Lancaster University continues to raise the bar on Food for Life journey

27 February 2017

Lancaster University achieves prestigious Food for Life Catering Mark, a recognised industry standard, for serving fresh and healthy meals in more venues on campus than any other University in the UK.

The Lounge and Café 21 on the Bailrigg campus have retained their Soil Association’s Gold Food for Life Catering Mark for serving fresh and healthy meals made with local and organic ingredients.

More and more, people want to know where their food comes from and how it has been made. The Gold Food for Life Catering Mark guarantees nutrition, animal welfare, the environment and staff well-being are considered in all decisions. After a rigorous on-site inspection, Lancaster University have proved that they prepare meals using at least 15% organic ingredients as well as a selection of ingredients produced locally or in the UK, and are making healthy eating the easy option.

The University strives to provide great quality, locally sourced food for all students, staff and visitors and is mindful that food production and consumption have major effects on the environment, as well as social, health and ethical consequences; therefore, Lancaster’s food strategy ensures that the University is committed to sourcing produce from local, sustainable suppliers whose ethics and vision match their own.

In 2014, Lancaster University made Food for Life history, becoming the first UK University to obtain two Gold accreditations, paving the way for other further education establishments.

To further strengthen the University’s commitment to sustainability, their dedicated on-site facility, Green Lancaster, provides a wealth of fruit and vegetables grown by students and volunteers and delivered directly the kitchens on campus and also fits in with the Government’s ‘Plan for Public Procurement’ which recognises the Catering Mark as a tool for best practice standards.

In addition to the Impressive Gold standard achieved by The Lounge and Café 21, newly opened restaurant ‘The Marketplace’ achieved the silver catering mark, alongside The Deli, central catering kitchen,  Conferencing department, Pre School and internal catering .  In addition, Barker House Farm achieved Bronze status solidifying Lancaster University’s status as the most decorated University in terms of Soil Association accreditation in the UK.

Julian Ankers, Executive Chef at Lancaster University said: “Our students, staff and visitors are increasingly interested in where their food comes from and where it is produced.  The Gold ‘Food for Life’ Catering Mark guarantees that all environmental considerations have been taken care of – health, climate change and animal welfare.
It also recognises the use of fresh, seasonal, local and organic ingredients. This is something we have worked hard to progress with our local suppliers including; Plumgarths Farm Shop in the Lake District, Lune Valley Smokehouse near Carnforth, Dewlay Cheesemakers in Garstang and J.Atkinson & Co of Lancaster, so we’d like to thank them for their help in us achieving this standard.”

Martin Sawyer, Chief Executive of Soil Association Certification, says:
‘The Gold Catering Mark is a fantastic achievement so it’s brilliant to see Lancaster University gaining recognition for serving great fresh meals made with seasonal, local and organic ingredients. Serving menus to Gold Catering Mark standards can significantly reduce carbon emissions and supports local businesses so this is a win-win for planet-friendly food and the local economy. Lancaster University is leading the way in the drive to improve food culture in the UK.’

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