Ethical catering

Bowl of salad

We believe the University of Winchester is a national leader in the area of Sustainable Catering. Committed to sustainability, we launched our LIFE brand which provides the foundation for our all our operations:


We promote the use of local suppliers, ensuring that our outlets always stock a number of local products. We only use free-range chicken and pork in our recipes and where possible, use locally reared animals across our range of menus.

Use our supplier map to view the local suppliers and producers we work with. 


We are an independent University caterer so we have the ability to use suppliers that best serve the needs of our customers.


Being fair and just is at the core of our philosophy, from offering Fairtrade products to dealing with customer comments or ensuring that our dishes are honestly priced and remain good value for money.


We strongly believe in high ethical standards. We encourage sustainable life choices and embrace good practices in our operation such as reducing food miles, promoting recycling and efficient waste management.

Through this initiative we are proud to say that:

  • Meals and menus are created using fresh, seasonal and ethical produce, with ingredients sourced from local and regional suppliers
  • Food miles are monitored and the number of catering deliveries made per week to campus has been minimised
  • Winchester is a Fairtrade University
  • The University is committed to animal welfare and uses free range eggs, chicken and pork and organic milk in all of its dishes for students and staff alike

As outlined in the University’s Ethical Food Policy, tender specification documents for university food suppliers include the requirement for service and supply standards to be met and delivered against targets outlined within the policy.

Free-range meat

In 2010, in a move to broaden the understanding and awareness of the quality-assured supply chain, representatives from the University’s catering department, along with the University's Vice-Chancellor, visited Plantation Pigs, a Surrey-based free-range pig farm, to learn about the husbandry that goes into rearing quality, welfare-friendly pigs and the difference it makes to the resulting meat.

The visit was facilitated by the University's butcher supplier, Solent Butchers, in conjunction with Hampshire Fare, a food group whose aim is to raise awareness of local suppliers and their products. 'Free-range' pigs enjoy a natural free-range lifestyle to produce the finest quality pork. Independently inspected, chefs and their customers can be confident that the pork comes from pigs that have been reared to high standards of animal welfare, hygiene and food safety.

Sustainable Food Initiatives


The University’s allotments at Holm Lodge provide space for staff and students to grow their own food. Staff and students interested in joining the waiting list for an allotment plot can contact the Student Union General Manager. Any surplus food grown is purchased by the catering department to use in our dishes


Coffee grounds from the University’s cafes are collected by Perlins Community Project in Winchester and used as the growing medium in their Oyster Mushrooms Social Enterprise. The University is working with Perlins to purchase the mushrooms grown to use in home cooked dishes.

Winchester Food Partnership

The University is a founding member of Winchester Food Partnership (WFP), and our Catering Operations Manager, David Morton, sits on the WFP Steering Group. The WFP is supporting and developing sustainable food practices across Winchester District, and is working towards Sustainable Food Cities membership.

Campus Community Fridge

Coming in 2019 - our new Campus Community Fridge. The Community Fridge will be based in the Kenneth Kettle Building and enable the University community to share surplus food that would otherwise go to waste.

Water Fountains

We offer free drinking water across campus and at all catering outlets. Use the Water Fountain Map

The University is also a supporter of the Refill campaign. Both the Learning Café and Café Life feature on the Refill App.

Catering for Life Policies 

For more information, see our policies and procedures

It's through these principles we have won a variety of awards for our work:

Awards and Achievements

Compassion in World Farming

Compassion in World Farming (CiWF) is a leading farm animal welfare charity that campaigns peacefully to end all cruel factory farming practices. Through prestigious awards, CiWF hopes to inspire, encourage and reward businesses that demonstrate the commitment to improving the standards of animal welfare.

Good Dairy Award

The University was awarded the Good Dairy Award from CiWF in 2011. The Good Dairy Award celebrates companies that use or are committing to use higher welfare dairy systems for cows and calves.

Good Chicken Award

The University was awarded the Good Chicken Award from CiWF in 2010. Winchester was one of only three higher education institutions to receive the award, which recognised the University's use of free-range chicken in catering operations. The Good Chicken Award, launched in 2010, celebrates companies that use or are committing to use (within 5 years) higher welfare chicken production systems in their supply chain. 

Good Egg Award

The University has been using free-range eggs in its catering service since 2005 and was awarded the Good Egg Award from CiWF in 2009. The award recognises the University’s commitment to animal welfare, in particular, the use of free range eggs in all catering activities. The win also demonstrated the University's continuing move to a totally animal welfare friendly catering service. The Good Egg Awards were developed by CiWF to celebrate companies that have committed to freeing millions of hens from a life of suffering in battery cages.

Soil Association's - Food for Life

  • 2017: Awaiting audit results
  • 2016: Food Hall – Silver / Conference – Silver / Princes Mead – Bronze / Cyber Italia – Silver / Gourmet Burger Company - Gold
  • 2015: LIFE Menus (Hospitality and Conference) – 1 x Bronze and 2 x Silver / The Food Hall – Bronze / Gourmet Burger Company – 1 x Gold and 2 x Bronze / Conference Menus – 3 x Silver
  • 2014: LIFE Menus (Hospitality and Conference) – 1 x Bronze and 2 x Silver / The Food Hall – Bronze / Gourmet Burger Company – 1 x Gold and 2 x Bronze / Conference Menus – 3 x Silver
  • 2013 6 x Bronze 2 x silver 1 x gold
  • 2012 5 x Bronze, 2 x Silver and 1 x Gold

Green Impact Awards

  • 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 & 2015/16
  • Green Impact Innovation Award winners 2010/11
  • Green Impact Catering Award 2012/13, 2013/14 & 2015/16

Other Awards and Achievements

  • Hampshire Fare member since 2011
  • The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) – 3 stars - 2011 onwards
  • National Recycling Awards 2018. Winner of Campaign of the Year – Public/Third Sector. The University of Winchester - ‘Chew fancy a brew?’ - A coffee cup campaign
  • Awards for Excellent in Waste Management 2018. Winner of Waste Management Initiative In The Retail, Commercial And Public Sector. ‘Chew Fancy a Brew?’ The University of Winchester’s Coffee Cup Initiative
  • Shortlisted in the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle category in the Food Made Good Awards 2018
    Listed in the Top 20 Restaurants in the Food Made Good Awards 2018
    2017 Green Gown Awards – Food and Drink Category
  • 2017 FreeFrom Awards Crème de la Crème – Gold
  • TUCO Innovation award 2016 for introduction of organic burger restaurant
  • 2016 FreeFrom Awards Education Sector - Gold