Brighton University has been shortlisted for a national award for its “field to fork” policy.
Under the policy the university has encouraged local farmers and growers to provide supplies for its five campuses.
The university’s Hospitality Services department is a finalist in the food and drink category of the Green Gown Awards which are run by the Environmental Association for Universities.
The awards will be presented at a black tie ceremony in November.
The university’s said that its strategy, “Field to fork – bringing the veg back home”, followed a decision not to use existing national supply frameworks.
After a procurement process, the university began using JR Wholesale, a market gardening operation near Hailsham.
They grow much of the university’s produce and also source from small local farms and orchards on behalf of the university.
The university backs Community Supported Agriculture, a partnership between farmers and the local community.
Farmers benefit with a more stable and secure income and consumers benefit from fresh healthy food and from knowing where it is grown.
The community benefits from fewer “food miles”, less packaging and ecologically sensitive farming with improved animal welfare.
Julian Crampton, the university’s vice-chancellor, said: “We are delighted to have been named a finalist in a competition that promotes an ethos that runs through the very fabric of this university – sustainability, encouraging healthy living and reducing our carbon footprint.”
Professor Crampton said: “We are very proud of our green credentials.
“For the past two years we have been ranked in the top five UK universities in the People and Planet’s Green League and we were awarded the title of Green Business of the Year in the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards.
“In June this year we launched the Green Growth Platform, a £3 million five-year scheme funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England aimed at driving growth in the environmental business sector in Sussex.
“And we have attracted international media attention following the opening of our innovative Waste House, the UK’s first house built almost entirely out of rubbish.
“Sustainability is a challenge which the University of Brighton takes very seriously.”
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