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Two national awards for conferences and catering services

Posted 11 June 2015

There is a great sense of place about the University, and a pride in its produce."

Conference office and catering staff with the two awards

Conference office and catering staff with the two awards

Harper Adams University’s work to keep sustainability at the heart of its catering operations has been recognised through two national awards. 

Harper Adams is the 2015 winner of the Foodservice Footprint Award for Sustainability in Education, beating institutions throughout the UK. 

Catering Manager David Nuttall said: “It’s wonderful to receive yet more recognition for the efforts made by everyone in the catering team and across the wider university to make sure we deliver an efficient, sustainable service in all of our catering outlets. 

“Sustainable food production is at the heart of studies at Harper Adams, so it is important that we practice what we preach. The university’s mission is to provide higher education and research for the delivery of a sustainable food chain and rural economy. 

“The support departments truly embrace this ethos when feeding students, staff, visitors and conference guest, and are committed to providing a professional service to every client.”

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.

Harper Adams University also won the “Highest Scoring Newcomer” Hospitality Assured Award 2015, presented at the Institute of Hospitality’s annual lunch on June 8. 

Judges wrote: “The UK’s leading provider of higher education for the agri-food chain and rural sector has a strong commitment to sustainability. In their first assessment, the team really stepped up to the mark”

Thanks to the combined efforts of the Conference Office and Catering Department, the university achieved Hospitality Assured accreditation in autumn 2014, becoming the second of only two Shropshire venues to have passed the HA standard for service and business excellence.

Business Services Manager Lisa Chapman said: “The fact that we secured Hospitality Assured accreditation was success enough, so to have received this award is a real honour! We all work hard to make sure that our clients get the very best, no matter what the size of their event."

The Hospitality Assured assessment reads: “The catering department and conference and short course office are two departments within Harper Adams University. They cater for approximately 2,000 students, academic and support staff and approximately £1.6 million revenue from external delegates, predominantly out of term-time. 

“There is a great sense of place about the University, and a pride in its produce. The ethos of ‘food miles’ becomes ‘food metres’ and there is a real ‘farm to fork’ mentality that is reflected in its numerous food awards and the culture of sustainability. 

“The assessors were impressed by the positive atmosphere, the warm and friendly approach from the team members and their clear commitment to service. It was evident that the team have really pulled together to step up to the mark.”

 

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