Sustainability in Catered Halls

Manchester Veg People

In 2011 we embarked on an exciting project to support a start-up cooperative, called 'Manchester Veg People', whose aim was to increase the number of organic veg growers in and around Manchester. The cooperative required a reliable buyer committed to food sustainability and supporting the local economy. The cooperative now provides two deliveries a week to our University catering teams with Food In Residences estimated to spend 10% or £40,000 a year on local, organic, seasonal veg from in and around Manchester which is available to all students in our 9 catered halls.


We offer fairtrade tea, coffee, hot chocolate, sugar, orange and apple juice in all our outlets. Buying Fairtrade makes a huge difference to the lives of the producers of these products, their families and communities as it ensures they get a fair price for their produce. The University first received Fairtrade certification in 2005 and so we have been fairtrade ever since across our halls.

Hug Mugs

We go through the equivalent of 550 trees worth of disposable cups a year. Including Food In Residence, this figure was approximately 750 trees. Back in 2011 Food In Residence banned disposable cups in all outlets and only use reusable cups.

Across the rest of the University we have launched a reusable mug known as the 'Hug Mug' which we sell in all our cafes and restaurants across campus for £6. If you use a Hug Mug to buy hot drinks or soup you save 20p each time.

Worldwide one million disposable cups end up in landfill every minute and each cup can take up to 50 years to landfill so disposable cups are a big problem for the environment. So why not buy a Hug Mug and start reducing your impact now?

In September 2017 we will be introducing a 10p disposable cup charge to further encourage people to use a reusable cup and think about the resources we waste.

Animal Welfare

Food In Residence are committed to purchasing high welfare meat and dairy, to help combat animal cruelty, protect the environment and promote healthier options to customers. All our milk is 100% organic and free range, 80% of the eggs we use are organic and free range and 50% of our beef served is organic and free range.

We also only have Marine Stewardship Council certified fish on our menus. Therefore no fish we serve are fish farmed. All our fish appears on the Marine Conservation Society approved list, meaning that any fish deemed at most risk of extinction are not caught. The society works to reduce overfishing, which is having a dramatic impact on life in our seas.

Meat Free Monday

Did you know that 1kg of beef results in more carbon emissions than going for a three-hour drive while leaving all the lights on at home? If everyone in the UK had a meat-free diet for just one day a week we would save enough carbon as taking 5 million cars off the roads in the UK. Food In Residence support the campaign by introducing more vegetarian and vegan options whilst raising awareness that having less meat is not only better for you but is also better for the planet too.

Waste & Recycling

Food In Residence is committed to adopting the waste hierarchy, whereby preventing and avoiding waste is our top priority. We currently recycle all plastic bottles, cans, tins, cardboard, glass, paper and food waste- which is sent to anaerobic digestion. We also encourage suppliers to reuse packaging instead of packaging food in single use materials. Our local veg cooperative, Manchester Veg People currently provide us with veg in reusable containers and crates that are collected and reused for the next delivery. This is a model we want to share with all our other suppliers to help reduce our overall waste.


The University’s energy bill is currently £50 0000 a day. Food In Residences are working to try to reduce this cost by only using what they need and switching equipment off when it is not in use. Some of our dining room lights have been replaced with LED lighting and our kitchens will shortly be replaced with LED lighting during 2017-2018.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

Food In Residence is the only University to have a 100%, commitment to purchasing only MSC sourced fish. This allows us to serve a better quality of fish in our restaurants whilst ensuring we are not supporting over fishing of endangered species and supporting MSC’s vision is to see the world’s oceans teeming with life, today, tomorrow and for future generations.

Gazegill Organic farm

We support a local family owned organic farm which is 40 miles away from the University of Manchester, by buying all our milk from them, which is served and cooked with both at breakfast and dinner. Look out for other gazegill products such as organic yoghurts coming to our menus in September 2017.

Lowerhurst Organic farm

Lowerhurst organic farm is 50 miles away from University of Manchester, we are proud to now have over 50% of our beef dishes bought locally from this organic farm.

Healthy Eating

Food In Residence has always been driven by Healthy Eating. We now offer a Vegan choice plus a Vegetarian choice for every meal. We have unlimited fruit at breakfast and dinner plus allow taking two of pieces of fruit away from the dining room to help towards a 5 a day healthy diet. Each of our outlets have a salad bar and all evening meals are served with two fresh vegetables.

This year we started to incorporate vegetables in some of our meat dishes to support healthy living, such as Lowerhurst farm’s organic beef meatballs with organic carrots and breadcrumbs.

Wonky Veg

Over 2/5 of all vegetables grown in the UK end up in landfill, due to them being misshapen and supermarkets not wanting to sell them. Food in Residence is commitment to help reduce and support local growers by taking wonky fruit and vegetables in all our halls. The Manchester Veg People cooperative supply us with local organic produce from around Manchester. We also source wonky fruit & vegetables from a local supplier, which we use to produce soups with, such as our recent wonky ‘heritage carrot’ soup.

Community Initiatives

Food In Residence values the community and has been involved in many local initiatives, throughout the year. We support MacMillan Coffee Morning’s and Pop Up Shops. We interact with the local residents, holding a lunchtime event, including afternoon tea, which the students support. We also have held a Christmas Dinner in Woolton Hall, which offers local carers, care leavers and homeless people a chance to experience a wonderful Christmas Day celebration, supported by volunteers.

Food Waste Strategy

Food In Residence is committed to deliver an effective and efficient food waste strategy in line with the Residencies Food Waste Policy. All catered halls have recently implemented an innovative award winning solution to mitigate front of house plate waste. All dining is trayless and there is a segregated clearing area, which both segregates waste streams and is able to measure waste weights. This system has been instrumental in waste reduction across the halls.

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