Our Sustainable Food Policy Statement outlines our intentions to minimise the negative environmental, ethical and social impacts of our catering operations and to promote positive environmental, ethical and social practices.
The policy supports our Environmental Sustainability Policy and Plan, Sustainable Purchasing Policy and Environmental and Energy Management System.
This policy provides a framework for our Sustainable Food Action Plan, which we are currently updating in partnership with our catering contractor, Chartwells who operate Salfood and our Student's Union.
Our progress so far
We have implemented a number of projects to support sustainable and healthy food on campus.
Community growing space - Mary Seacole
In the courtyard at Mary Seacole Building there are planters containing a variety of edible plants including chives, strawberries, sage, rosemary and fennel. These edibles can be harvested and used by anybody associated with the University, including in University catering.
The Users and Carers’ edible garden was opened in 2013 by the then Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Hall. The School of Health and Society have worked in conjunction with the Environmental Sustainability Team, the Users and Carers’ Group and Incredible Edible Education to run ‘Sow and Grow’ events, where staff, schoolchildren and partners from the business community have worked in the garden, giving the planters some maintenance and planting new edibles.
Year 12 and 13 students from Oakwood Academy in Irlams o’ th’ Height have also planted vegetables and flowers, as part of the practical experience they need studying for their Open Awards Entry Level 2 in Horticulture, which also sees them working on local allotments.
We will be working to improve the Mary Seacole courtyard, as part of our Landscape Management Plan.
Community growing space - Dementia Hub
The Good-life club meets fortnightly at the Dementia Hub and is a living well group for people affected by dementia. Since the Hub was launched during Dementia awareness week, the focus has been on gardening, maintaining the outdoor space at the hub and finding spaces to grow edibles. With the help of the gardening team at the University and support from Incredible Education the group have planted seeds for herbs, beetroot, spinach, potatoes and bought young tomatoes, strawberry and other edible plants that have been planted up in baskets and tubs. A volunteer chef from “Vegetarian for Life” has joined the group at the Hub to demonstrate how to use the edible produce in the garden and prepare a healthy meal that the group will enjoy together.
There are always some jobs to do; for those who are not interested in gardening they can use the Hub space to chat, read, engage in craft activity or relax in the pergola in the centre of the garden which has evolved into being a special space for reflection. As the group develops and new members join, the impact of this work and people’s experience is to be evaluated by researchers at the Institute in order to learn more about the benefit of these activities on living with dementia.
Sylvia, wife and care-partner for her husband Cliff who is living with dementia says “It’s great, it’s homely and it makes us feel relaxed. We feel part of a family!”
For any further information about the Good-life Club please ring Salford Institute for Dementia on 0161 295 2345
Community growing space - The Library
One of the suggestions for improvements from our Green Campus Group, was to develop a community growing space. We have been successful in achieving funding from the Salford Advantage Fund for this. We used ideas from a focus group to identify a suitable location and develop a design for the space that is accessible and reuses materials. Work has started on the space but is currently on hold due to COVID-19.
We are keen to provide more growing spaces on campus that staff, students and the local community can get involved with, so if there is an area that you think would be suitable for this then please get in touch.
Drinking water on campus
We have over 20 drinking water refill points across campus so that you can reduce the number of plastic bottles you buy and use your own reusable bottles instead. You can find the locations on the campus map here.
If you have any suggestions for other locations, please get in touch.
Zero Waste Shop
At the new zero waste shop based in the Allerton building, you can bring your own container along and fill it up with a variety of dry foods including rice, oats, couscous and macaroni; spices including curry powder, coriander seeds and chilli flakes and even laundry powder, and this is just the starting point.
The store is a joint project between the Students’ Union and Salfood so contact either of them with your ideas and you might be seeing your favourite product in the store.
Find out more on our blog.