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Sustainable food

Our environmentally aware and award-winning catering partner, BaxterStorey, are working with us to continually improve the University’s environmental catering performance, and we have implemented a Sustainable Catering Policy and Targets to drive these improvements forward.

The Sustainable Catering Policy is applied to all University catering, and we meet at our Catering Contractor bi-monthly to review progress. BaxterStorey already:

  • Uses local suppliers where possible (such as bakers, butchers and vegetable suppliers). The majority of our vegetables, salad, and some fruit comes from local farms in Cheshire, Staffordshire and Lancashire.
  • Dyson Farming grow jacket potatoes and frozen peas exclusively for BaxterStorey customers. They sustainably farm and manage land and have anaerobic digestion at two sites.
  • Only uses Barber’s cheese, which is 100% British made and comes from the world’s oldest cheddar cheese maker that was established in 1833.
  • Provides seasonal food.
  • Sells Fairtrade produce (such as coffee and chocolate).
  • Only uses Red Tractor assured milk, chicken, beef and pork products.
  • Only uses tuna that is pole or line caught.
  • Provides free-range eggs in all University catering.
  • Is a key partner of the Protein Challenge 2040. Through Food EQ, chefs are working to remove 20% of meat content in recipes and replace with plant based products or pulses.
  • Uses only rapeseed oil in frying and food productions due to its nutritional benefits and UK production. This is sourced from the Cotswolds.
  • All university catering outlets only purchase Marine Stewardship Council certified fish.
  • All hot drinks are now 15p cheaper when a reusable cup is used. Hot drinks purchased in disposables are charged 15p.
  • Reusable cups are on sale across University catering outlets.
  • Eco-to-go reusable boxes and soup pots are also sold on site.
  • Have removed single portion sauce sachets (currently paused due to restrictions).
  • Are moving to wooden cutlery (currently running down plastic cutlery stocks)
  • Sandwiches are made on site to reduce mileage.
  • Waste oil is collected for use in the production of bio fuel.
  • Food waste is separated and weighed to monitor it and find ways to reduce it.
  • Healthy eating options are positively promoted.
  • A-rated, high efficiency appliances and catering equipment is used.
  • Waste ground coffee is sent to the Gardening Team for the Estate, with more available for staff and students to take home for free for their gardens.
  • Participated in engagement events such as Welcome Fair and Fairtrade Fortnight, with reusable cup offers provided.
  • Deliver environmental toolbox talks to staff, including about reducing food waste, energy saving and plastic packaging.

BaxterStorey continue to enhance its food quality and environmental efforts. In 2018, they achieved the Soil Association ‘Food for Life Bronze Award’ and won the edie 2018 ‘Operator of the Year for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability’ award. Birmingham City University and BaxterStorey also won the ‘Best Greener & Healthier Lifestyles Food Scheme’ in the Making Birmingham Greener and Healthier Awards 2017 for our work in sustainable catering and encouraging healthy options.

On campus

As well as the continuous catering improvements above:

  • BCU have allotments on the City South Campus for students to use as well as a food growing area on Curzon building terrace.
  • Free drinking water points are provided at all campuses for staff, students and visitors. Locations are shown on our interactive map
  • Annual Fairtrade Fortnights are held, with a range of events and initiatives. See our Events Page for more information.