Posted 29 April 2015
Sustainable food production is at the heart of studies at Harper Adams, so it is even more important that we practice what we preach.”
The catering team at Harper Adams University has been revealed as a finalist in the Foodservice Footprint Awards 2015.
The awards, to be presented on June 4, celebrate the work foodservice organisations are doing to lead the way towards a more sustainable and responsible industry.
Harper Adams has a strong track record in sustainability and the Footprint judges agreed, shortlisting the university for its efforts to source food responsibly, recycle as much as possible and provide healthy, sustainable options for all customers, including staff, students, campus visitors and conference and events clients.
Catering Manager David Nuttall said: “The short-listing for the Sustainability in Education Footprint Award is welcome news, and recognition of the whole team’s continuing work in this area, supported by the wider university.
“Sustainable food production is at the heart of studies at Harper Adams, so it is even more important that we practice what we preach.”
Examples of good practice at the Shropshire campus include minimising food waste and sending what waste there is to be recycled into energy via anaerobic digestion; sourcing lamb, beef, pork and eggs from the university farm – and measuring food metres rather than food miles; sourcing cheese, milk and bread from within 20 miles; and innovative recycling, for example the use of pigs trotters to train vet nurses in suturing or the roasting of pigs’ ears to give out as treats to dogs used in veterinary physiotherapy sessions.
Offal from livestock was used in a student-led project entitled “A hearty meal” utilising cheaper cuts which aren’t commonly used such as heart, kidney and liver. This product won a national prize and represented the UK in European food innovation finals. Another student business grew with HAU support & labour to generate an artisan small business “Really Porky Pies”, while beef burger patties are used in student research on food hygiene within the campus laboratories.
Supply chain management taught at the University encourages food students to interact with the catering department. Fairtrade sourcing is one particular topic that students engage with. Harper Adams is now in the best practice guide for Universities striving for Fairtrade status