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University of Winchester"The University of Winchester Catering Department is pleased to be supporting the Food Legacy programme. We are committed to increasing awareness of sustainable practices by supporting local ethical suppliers and nationally by encouraging and supporting initiatives on sustainability and healthy eating."
David Morton, Catering Manager, University of Winchester

The catering team at the University of Winchester has taken a long-term, considered and dedicated approach to improving the healthiness and sustainability of the food they serve. Step by significant step, they are making their way towards achieving a far-reaching commitment to ethical and sustainable food. And they have the awards to prove it.

The University of WinchesterThe University first began using free range eggs in 2005 and won the Good Egg Award from the independent animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming in 2009. The awards celebrate companies that have committed to freeing millions of hens from a life of suffering in battery cages.  

To support ethical trade, in 2007, the University of Winchester gained Fairtrade University status, committing to serve Fairtrade-certified food and beverages and to promote these to staff and students.

In the autumn term of the 2010 academic year, chefs at the University of Winchester started cooking meals using locally sourced free range pork and chicken. This was in addition to the use of free-range eggs as part of the University’s commitment to animal welfare, ethical procurement and sustainability.

“Free range pigs and chicken enjoy a natural free range lifestyle to produce the finest quality meat,” says David Morton, Catering Manager at the University of Winchester. “With independent inspections, customers can be confident that the meat used in our dishes comes from pigs and chickens that have been reared to high standards of animal welfare, hygiene and food safety.”

The University of Winchester also signed up to the Sustainable Fish City campaign - the first institution outside London to do so, promising to serve only sustainable fish, to standards inspired by the London 2012 Food Vision. As David Morton explained, "Although Sustainable Fish City is based around London it is important that as many Universities and businesses support the campaign as possible. We would like to be part of this rolling out nationally."

Claire Lewis and Caroline Bennett speaking at the University of Winchester LIFE eventIn October 2010, the University had celebrated LIFE Week, a programme of events marking the formal launch of the University Catering Department’s Ethical Procurement Policy.’LIFE’ stands for Local, Independent, Fairtrade and Ethical. LIFE week included a series of food-related events and activities on campus, such as a hog roast, local ale tasting and stalls by local suppliers in the Food Hall.

A key event was the screening of End of the Line, an eye-opening documentary about the overfishing of the world’s oceans. The University welcomed the film’s producer Claire Lewis to attend. She was joined for a Q&A after the screening by Caroline Bennett, Managing Director of Moshi Moshi, one of only seven seafood restaurants in the UK to have received formal accreditation from the Marine Stewardship Council. Caroline also sits on the working party of Sustainable Fish City. Claire and Caroline are shown speaking to the audience in the picture on the right.

Most recently, in summer 2011, Winchester became the first university caterer rated by the Sustainable Restaurant Association, receiving the highest award – Three Star Champion status. The SRA Star Rating system recognises the sustainability achievements of restaurants, pubs and now universities and colleges, and provides diners with a straightforward means of identifying ethical places to eat.

And for the University of Winchester, it's not just about food. The catering department is constantly seeking ways to improve on their sustainability performance through a number of innovative initiatives. “At least 80 per cent of our food waste is removed from site for composting, 150 litres of waste cooking oil is collected weekly and converted into bio-diesel to be used in the University’s vans and over 50kg of coffee grouts are collected each week by the gardeners and used within their compost on campus,” explains David.

“We use local and regional suppliers and we work with them to minimise the number of deliveries to the campus and we monitor the number of food miles made. In addition we’re working hard to increase recycling to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.”

Find out more about the University of Winchester at: www.winchester.ac.uk 

Food Legacy: The campaign, launched October 2011, is inspired by the London 2012 Food Vision adopted by the organisers of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Food Legacy asks caterers, restaurants, event organisers and hospitality organisations to commit publicly to taking steps to improve the healthiness, ethics and sustainability of the food they serve.

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