SDG2 aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
Relating to the University’s strategic theme to make key breakthroughs to transform human health and wellbeing, we ranked 11th globally and 2nd in Europe for our progress towards this goal. About one in ten people worldwide are suffering from hunger; the University has a range of rigorous programmes in place to find solutions to end hunger.
We are tackling student hunger, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable food through the following initiatives:
- Success for All Fund - additional financial support to assist with financial hardship including help with living costs e.g. food.
- Marketplace meal deals - affordable meal deals on offer, and seasonal produce in stock.
- Cost of Living advice on shopping and essentials - dedicated webpages around low cost food options and signposting to other services, such as Save the Student, Exeter Foodbank and hardship funds.
- Penryn Campus Sustainability Cafe - Sustainability café open on Penryn Campus including vegan and local food options.
- Sustainable Food Policy and Action Plan (exeter.ac.uk) - details of actions identified and status of completion (green being completed/in place) including all menus consisting of at least 50% vegetarian/vegan or plant based meals, meat second operating procedure, showcasing seasonal produce, reducing ruminant meat consumption and providing a broad range of produce from sustainable resources.
Closely linked to these are food waste initiatives:
- Campus Food & Drink - we monitor food waste and aim to reduce our food waste as well as increasing the amount that is anaerobically digested instead of sending it for incineration.
- Year End Report – details the food and drink waste breakdown in carbon tonnes for the 2020/21 academic year.
University-led research, innovation and business support projects that aim to avert national hunger by improving food security and increasing sustainable agriculture include:
- BEE-STEWARD - a decision support tool that allows farmers to test land management techniques to find out which are more effective for pollinators.
- Natural Environment Valuation Online tool - to help explore, quantify and make predictions about the benefits that are derived from existing and altered land use across England and Wales. The tool is freely available to all users and is designed to be easy to use, making it accessible to a wide range of users.
- EVENT: Improving Soil Health in Cornwall for Landowners & Farmers - Tevi (led by the UoE Impact Innovation and Business department) and Agri-tech Cornwall (of which Exeter University is a partner) presented an online event aimed at helping landowners, businesses and farmers to improve soil health in Cornwall.
- UK Farmer Group Discussion Network - taking the lead from participating farmers, the network provides groups across the UK with a rolling programme of issues to consider, posing specific questions on the matters that affect the future of farming most. Across 2020 and 2021 the network ran 7 workshops and 8 rounds of discussion cycles with farmers which involved sending out topics for them to consider, then taking part in a survey and sending them results each time via a newsletter.
- Future Farm Dairy Research Facility - Agri-tech Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly (of which Exeter University is a partner) was a £11.8m project to increase Research Development and Innovation in the Agri-tech sector across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Running to December 2021, it was funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Cornwall Council and the Council for the Isles of Scilly. ‘Future Farm’ was developed to be not only a working farm, but also a teaching and dairy research facility. It was carefully designed to have a huge impact on the important South West dairy production industry – the most important sector within agriculture, equating to 31% of the region’s total agricultural output and 39% of national dairy output.
- Plant Factory - Agri-tech Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly (of which Exeter University is a partner) was a £11.8m project to increase Research Development and Innovation in the Agri-tech sector across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Running to December 2021, it was funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Cornwall Council and the Council for the Isles of Scilly. The Plant Factory’s twofold remit was, firstly, to help businesses research the light spectrum to promote growth and the quality of chemicals in various plant species, and, secondly, to help businesses understand the potential of CGE conditions and encourage them to establish their own facilities (and the technology to remotely monitor them).
- Our Suppliers - over 431 South West Products feature on our supply lists. Read more from our suppliers, including Bidfood - our main food supplier.
- Sustainable Food Policy – the University has adopted a Sustainable Food Policy that includes a wide range of measures around responsible procurement. Read more about this in the 'sourcing' section of the policy.