What is Sustainable
Development Commission describes sustainable food as food and drink that:
How is the
University working to achieving this?
The University of
Reading has extensive activity within food and drink, from its farms, The
National Fruit Collection, teaching and research in both Agriculture and Food
Sciences as well as an extensive Catering operation. As a self-funded service
of the University, we are committed to consistent improvement around
sustainability in a manner that is financially sustainable to allow us to
continue to invest in this area. We appreciate and understand that different
individuals and groups have different interpretations and views on how to
achieve this, so we try to be open and transparent on our progress, to
encourage conversation and debate.
The outlets and
services covered by this policy are, Agriculture Café, Architecture Café, Before
and After, Café No. 1, Eat at the Square, Enterprise Café, Greenlands Catering,
Greenlands Bar, HBS Café – Whiteknights, Health and Life Sciences Café, Hospitality
Services, Ice House, Library Café, Northcourt Bar, Park Bar, Park Eat, Park
House, Park Market, Roastology, SportsPark Café, St. Patrick’s Dining, The
Dairy, The Market Place, Wantage Bar and Wantage Dining.
This document is a
living document of both completed actions and those in progress so will be
updated on a regular basis.
How are we working to achieve this?
Section 1 – Food
and Drink that is safe, healthy and nutritious, for consumers in shops,
restaurants, schools, Universities etcetera
Things we have done or are doing;
1.1.1 The University follows the principles of Menus of Change focussing on a range of topics including reducing meat consumption, dairy products, more vegetables etcetera. Full details are here www.menusofchange.org and below. This is a leading principle of how we achieve sustainable food.
1.1.2 Between May 2019 and March 2020, a team of talented professional chefs has been put in place at Dining locations as part of the University’s focus on cooking nutritious and delicious food rather than processed foods.
1.1.43 Adoption of two vegetarian wholesalers, providing a wider range of vegan and vegetarian products, while reducing overall meat use per dish through the addition of items such as lentils in sauces
1.1.4 All outlets currently rate five stars for food hygiene – www.scoresonthedoors.org.uk
1.1.5 Shift in procurement from Highly Processed Foods towards scratch items in our dining locations.
1.1.6 Dolchevita, an on-site Café, is entirely vegetarian. Our Park Market, is majority supplied by Suma Wholefoods, a vegetarian co-operative wholesaler.
1.1.7 Monosodium glutamate (MSG) or E621 is prohibited
Things we are
1.2.1 Removing any highly processed ingredients
used within the cooking process as menus are updated.
1.2.2 Reducing the number of deep-fat fryers
across campus and switching to alternative options.
Section 2 – Food
and Drink that provides a viable livelihood for farmers, processors and
retailers, whose employees enjoy a safe and hygienic working environment
whether in the UK or overseas
Things we have done
or are doing;
University is Fairtrade Certified and, in line with all Universities, is
working towards achieving the new Fairtrade Certification Standard.
non-student staff working within Catering operations are on a permanent
contract with specified hours such as 36 hours (full-time) or 15 hours with no zero-hour
contracts in place. All members of non-student staff are directly employed by
the University of Reading.
significant number of products carried that are Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance,
UTZ, Cocoa Life or similar accreditation.
2.1.4 An increasing number of suppliers are
certified B Corps and Co-operatives.
are asked to meet the standards set out in this document during tender stage and
demonstrate how they can further support and advance the objectives of
Sustainable Food shown above. See suppliers section.
is provided to all staff around sustainable practices and our cooking teams
receive further training on creating menus that have a lower impact on the
– www.tuco.ac.uk and NACUFS – www.nacufs.org both provide our
teams with further training and insights to develop teams.
are owned and operated by the University who offer our permanent staff
currently provide employment to 450 students across campus within our Catering
2.2.1 Improving supply chains to improve worker
Section 3 – Food
and Drink that respects biophysical and environmental limits in its production
and processing, while reducing energy consumption and improving the wider
What are doing or
3.1.1 The University is registered with MSC through TUCO and our chain of custody number is MSC-C-53312. All fish served by the University is MSC or ASC certified.
Greenlands site uses an aerobic digester to turn waste food to compost for use
around the grounds.
following sites use entirely renewable energy for cooking; Park Eat,
Hospitality Kitchen, Greenlands.
Eat uses Air-Source Heat Pumps to provide heat from the outside air to heat the
3.1.5 The majority of lighting across our outlets
has been switched to LED lighting.
3.1.6 All electricity used is from renewable
3.1.7 During Academic Year 2018/19 our recycling
This data covers Campus Commerce outlets at Eat at the Square, Park House, Wantage Bar & Catering, The Dairy, Park Eat, Greenlands, Dolchevita, St. Patrick’s, Sherfield and Ice House only. Other outlets use shared bins.
Paper Cup recycling totalled 200kg. No waste goes to landfill.
2018 the University introduced Coca-Cola Freestyle as part of a reusable bottle
system allowing use to significantly reduce the number of plastic bottles being
transported onto Campus and consumed on campus. To date the system has saved
around 250,000 bottles of water
September 2019, Frank the Barista, an innovative Coffee scheme was introduced
offering significant discounts to those using a University reusable Cup. This
has avoided 174,000 paper cups between 1st August 2018 and 31st July 2019.
Grab and Go range made in-house for The Dairy, Wantage, Park Eat and Eat at the
Square, is packaged in entirely plastic-free packaging that is also compostable.
Choose to Reuse Meal Box scheme was introduced in September 2018, allowing
customers to opt to use a reusable takeaway box that can be returned for
washing to a number of outlets, where a clean one is given out.
Water is sold in either packaging made from 100% recycled plastic (rPET) or
aluminium cans. A hydration map of campus is also available showing where water
can be found free of charge.
containers, delivery trays and boxes are currently being used by a number of
suppliers including butchery, fruit and vegetables, wholefoods and beer &
3.1.14 The following sites use closed-fronted display fridges; The Dairy, Park Eat (1 fridge closed, 2 fridges open), Eat at the Square, Dolchevita, Architecture.
bar cellar systems have been moved to in-line cooling reducing the energy
required to keep drinks cold and offering significant improvements on energy
efficiency. We are currently on the second generation of system after testing
an earlier system for a third party in 2015.
3.1.16 Eat at
the Square, Park House, The Market Place and Roastology switched to enzyme-based
cleaning products rather than traditional cleaning chemicals. The following
sites are now scheduled to switch across in 2020 – The Dairy, Wantage Dining,
Wantage Bar, Northcourt Bar, Ice House, Park Eat, Park Bar, Park Market and St.
3.1.17 Up to
17 students are feed free of charge through our Eating Plan system allowing us
to use food that would go to waste, to be used for a better purpose.
3.1.18 Infrared taps in following back of house
Kitchen areas; Hospitality Kitchen, Wantage, Park Eat, The Dairy, Eat at the
Square, Park House
3.1.19 Infrared taps in customer areas at the
following sites; Park Eat, The Dairy.
3.1.20 Greenlands, Park Eat, Eat at the Square,
Wantage, St. Patrick’s and the Dairy use automatic dishwashers with waste water
and heat recovery systems.
3.1.21 Zero Waste Stations for dried food and other
ingredients plus cleaning chemicals are available at Park Market and the Market
straws are banned and have been replaced with Turtle Straws, made from natural
will purchase the most efficient appliance within it’s category, of the correct
size and capacity, when replacing equipment.
3.1.24 The majority of our crockery is sourced from UK Manufacturers working to excellent environmental standards and used by default in our restaurant outlets. Metal cutlery is also used.
3.1.25 Greenlands Campus have removed single use cups from Conference areas avoiding around 3,000 paper cups per week
What we are working
following sites are working towards removing natural gas for cooking. The
number is brackets is total number of appliances remaining that use natural gas
for cooking. Eat at the Square (2), Park House (1), The Dairy (2), St.
Patrick’s (5), Wantage (4).
3.2.2 Removal of single use plastics in process of
cooking foods e.g. Cling Film
of single use plastic pint glasses at Park Eat Bar, through modifications to
back of house areas to allow washing up of glassware on a large scale.
of a porcelain mug compatible with Frank the Barista system allowing the
complete removal of paper cups for hot drinks.
of a paper cup for external bar events where glass and polycarbonate cups
aren’t a practical solution or a rental system that includes washing, where
on open fronted fridges at the Library (2), Agriculture (1), Before and After
(1), Enterprise (1), Park Eat (1), TVSP (1), SportsPark (1), Wantage (3).
our fleet of five vehicles to electric based. Currently all diesel, in part due
to the requirements for refrigeration (4 vehicles) and due to need for
four-wheel drive to keep services operating during poor weather situations and
towing trailers (1 vehicle).
to be carbon positive in our daily operations through generation of renewable
power on suitable sites.
3.2.9 Wrap Food Waste Road Map implementation.
3.2.10 Displaying Carbon Footprint information on
3.2.11 Smart Controls on Kitchen Ventilation Systems
of Infrared taps in customer areas at Eat at the Square, St. Patrick’s, Park
3.2.13 Infrared taps in back of house areas at St.
3.2.14 Growing of fruit, herbs and vegetables on
campus in a financially sustainable manner.
3.2.15 Crockery and cutlery are available through our Delivered Catering Services, although this is more expensive as it is significantly more labour intensive due to the weight, manual handling issues including no lifts in many buildings, our vans not being able to park nearby and tight turnarounds for rooms. We are working on practical solutions including offering deliveries where customers supply their own crockery and/or re-usable cups. The safety our staff always comes first.
Section 4 – Food
and Drink that respects the highest standards of animal health and welfare,
compatible with the production of affordable food for all sectors of society
What have we done
or are doing;
University uses solely free-range eggs and currently purchases these locally
from Beechwood Farm. Egg based products such as mayonnaise are free-range.
University is committed to reducing overall quantity of meat served per serving,
while increasing the quality and animal welfare standard.
4.1.3 All fresh, raw meat is sourced from UK
4.1.4 Fresh farmed fish is ASC and fresh wild
caught fish is MSC accredited.
majority of beef is sourced from our own farms, including cattle involved in
grassland and meadow restoration projects.
4.1.6 Purchase and serving of foie gras, Kopi Lauak
Coffee amongst others are prohibited
meat sourced from external sources certified free-range or RSPCA Assured as a
4.2.2 Exploring certification for Food for Life
buffet items are being worked on to ensure compliance with ASC, MSC and Welfare
Section 5 – Food or
Drink that supports rural economies and the diversity of rural culture, in
particular through an emphasis on local products that keep food miles to a
NB Our definition
of local is products and produce from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and
Oxfordshire. Regional includes Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Surrey
& West Sussex. The University is spread across Berkshire, Oxfordshire and
farms provide the majority of raw beef used in our cookery as well as fruit
from our own farms.
have direct relationships with a number of local and regional suppliers that
deliver, produce and/or supply alcoholic drinks;
– Ascot Brewing,
– Binghams Brewery,
– Chiltern Wines,
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
– Elusive Brewing,
Shepperton Mallet, Somerset
– Loddon, Dunsden
– Loose Cannon,
– Lovibonds, Henley-on-Thames,
– Phantom Brewing,
– Rebellion Brewery,
– Reunion Ales,
Feltham, West London
– Siren Craft
Brewery, Finchampstead, Berkshire
– SH Jones, Oxford
– Tap Social Movement,
– Tutts Clump
Cider, Bradfield, West Berkshire
– West Berkshire
Brewery, Yattendon, Berkshire
– Wild Weather
Ales, Aldermaston Berkshire
– Windsor &
Eton, Windsor, Berkshire
– XT Brewing,
have direct and indirect relationships with a number of local and regional
suppliers that deliver, produce and/or supply food;
– Beechwood Eggs, Thatcham,
– Cotswold Fayre,
– Warings Bakery,
Spencers Wood, Berkshire
– Hobbs Bakery, Chipping
– Bug Amusements,
– Jungs Bakery,
– University of
Reading Farms, Sonning and Shinfield, Berkshire
– Phil Bodwitch,
– Snaffling Pig,
Ashampstead Common, Berkshire
– Solent Butchers,
– Clarks (Wantage)
t/a Wessex Mill, Wantage, Oxfordshire
– West Horsley
Dairy, Lightwater, Surrey
– Coco Loco,
Horsham, West Sussex
– Cotswold Fudge
Company, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
menus reflect seasonality with an emphasis on produce from the British Isles
and all fresh, raw meat being sourced from the UK. Where items come from
abroad, we seek to source from the closest, lowest-carbon source, e.g. Spanish
Orange Juice rather than South Africa, Soya from the US and Canada rather than
Brazil or UK Grown Sugar rather than the Caribbean.
5.1.5 We encourage and support local
businesses attempting to tender for contracts
5.2.1 Increasing the amount of food coming from
our own farms
5.2.2 Source milk from University Farms
5.2.3 Investigating further sources of local food
Increase the use of seasonal food
We view this
document as a base line of the standards we are currently achieving and through
competitive tender processes want to partner with suppliers that share our
desire to improve and elevate standards.
processes please explain how you are able to continue to help us improve during
the contract period, for example, using returnable packaging or delivery trays,
removing/reducing single use plastic etc.
7. Prohibited Items
7.1 The following products are prohibited
within our operations
This list only covers items that are legally saleable and is not
exhaustive. Items that are illegal, we cannot sell, so are not listed.
7.2 The following products require caution
when being used by our team
Document Owners – Heads of Catering; Last updated – 15th June 2020
Approval Route – Director of Campus Commerce; Approval Annually. Last Approved – 1st April 2020. Next Approval 1st April 2021.