Hospitality - sustainable food

UWE Bristol Hospitality delivers high-quality sustainable food across our three campuses.

We know that our students and staff are increasingly concerned about where their food comes from, its impact on the environment and animal welfare as well as on their own health.

We are in a unique position to provide environmentally friendly and healthy food to a receptive audience and to encourage a longer-term change in buying and eating habits.

We are particularly committed to using local food and ingredients, both to cut food miles and to contribute to thriving local economies and sustainable livelihoods.

Two cups of coffee in a cafe

2020 Strategy targets

Our 2020 Strategy targets are contained in our Sustainable Food Policy (PDF). Read below how we are meeting them and be inspired by what we are doing.

How we are providing sustainable food

  • 100% free range eggs: we use free range shell eggs from Reynolds Fruit and Veg, Total Produce and Cotswold Dairy. We have been awarded the Good Egg Award in conjunction with Compassion in World Farming. Where liquid egg is used, it is a free range product.
  • 100% organic milk: all our fresh milk is organic, supplied by a local dairy farm based in Tewkesbury which uses dairy farms within a 30 mile radius of their site.
  • 100% sustainable fish and seafood: all products we use have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as sustainably sourced and we are independently audited by them.
  • All our meat is Red Tractor assured: this means that we can trace all our meat back to independently inspected farms in the UK which must meet safety, hygiene and animal welfare standards. Our chicken, pork and lamb come from John Sheppard Butchers in Bristol.
  • Provision of seasonal fruit and vegetables: by 2020, 60% of fruit and vegetables used and sold on campus will be seasonal (2016 baseline 52%), with an intention to reach 70%. Our supply chains are already set up to prioritise seasonal food and the majority of vegetables and some fruit have Red Tractor traceability.
  • Local food: by 2020, 50% of our food (by value) will be sourced locally within the UK; our definition of ‘local’ is taken from the Soil Association Food for Life accreditation.
  • Increase in vegetarian and vegan options: in line with our policy to reduce meat consumption by 10% (by weight – 2012 base) and in response to student and staff demand, we have increased ranges of vegan and vegetarian options at all cafes and shops and 36% of our food is now plant-based.
  • Fairtrade champion: UWE Bristol champions Fairtrade and has Fairtrade products at all its outlets including over 70% Fairtrade coffee in its cafes, over 50 Fairtrade goods in The Students' Union shop and more. Our 2020 target of increasing sales of £78,000 by 25% has been overtaken and now reaches over £1 million in terms of spending. Find out more about Fairtrade at UWE Bristol.
  • Sustainable palm oil: our purchases of catering products will be certified to Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and that, where possible, by 2020 all products that UWE Bristol purchases will meet this expectation.
  • To provide healthy eating: established under the Food For Life accreditation, fruit is for sale at a cheaper price than the cheapest dessert at all our outlets. We also provide a healthy Meal Deal choice of fruit instead of a chocolate bar. In preparation of our food, we use below the Government target level for salt and are reducing sugar usage and intake under the national Sugar Smart programme. Finally, we ensure positive placement of healthy products in our outlets and provide positive health messages and information for the University community.
  • Reducing use of artificial additives: we do not use any food additives in food prepared in our kitchens.
  • Reducing food waste: building on work on reduction of portion and plate size established through accreditation under the Soil Association Food for Life award by 2020, we will continue to do public education on food waste and cooking with leftovers. We will continue to buy non-standard vegetables and to maintain excellent food storage practices to ensure longest life of food used on campus.

Food for Life Soil Association silver award

In 2019 we were awarded the Food for Life silver award for the third year running for our main outlet OneZone at Frenchay Campus.

This award provides independent endorsement that we are taking steps to improve the food we serve, using fresh ingredients which are free from trans fats, harmful additives and GM, and better for animal welfare.

The award shows that we are meeting demands for traceable, sustainable, healthy food.

Soil Association Food for Life Silver Award logo

Changing how we do things

In addition to the food we buy and serve, UWE Bristol Hospitality aims to embed sustainability in how it operates:

  • Used coffee grounds are given away in Students' Union shops and used on our own grounds as a fertiliser.
  • We have increased sandwich making in-house with less packaging than commercial brands.
  • We have made increases in effective storage and accurate planning, resulting in reduction of food waste inline with our target of 20% reduction by 2020 (2012 base).
  • We promote the 'Too good to go' food waste saving app to students.
  • Tap water is provided in all outlets through fountains and jugs.
  • Bamboo reusable mugs are sold at cost in all cafes to encourage use of reusable cups rather than single use disposable ones, with the added incentive of 20p extra charge on hot drinks if you haven't got a cup.
  • We have increased provision of Bioware compostable plates, bowls, knives, forks, spoons and cups across our campuses, with a view to 100% provision.
  • We are actively promoting sustainable food sourcing on all our menus/screens/Facebook page.

Any ideas/feedback?

We are keen to hear your views – please email

Student support and study projects

We can support you by providing information and opportunities; email the Sustainability Team at