Fairtrade 2018

The University of Exeter is proud to be a Fairtrade University.

Sustainable food and drink

The University recognises its social and environmental responsibility. As such, we have worked closely with suppliers to minimise the environmental and social impacts associated with the products and services provided. A Sustainable Food Policy has also been adopted to provide guidance in meeting these aims. The main objectives of the Sustainable Food Policy are to ensure that where possible, all fresh produce is sourced from local suppliers, that packaging is environmentally-friendly, and that food is ethically sourced.

As a large organisation, we also have the opportunity to influence our suppliers to improve their sourcing and practices for more environmentally-friendly and ethical produce. All of our key suppliers report to us quarterly on environmental initiatives and standards being delivered by their companies, and if applicable key performance indicators (KPIs) are developed to measure progress with regard to sustainability. We have liaised with our suppliers to increase environmental performance in the following ways:

  • Local meat and poultry suppliers have adopted a Government Scheme for Safe Driving (SAFED), saving 10-20 per cent fuel / transport costs.
  • Local poultry supplier was influenced to install wind turbines and PV tubes that supply power to their premises.
  • Sustainability/environmental awareness is a standard agenda item when meeting with supplier with achievements reviewed in areas such as recycling, energy saving/CO2 reduction.
  • Local fruit and vegetable supplier developed a website promoting seasonal local produce.
  • Our local sandwich supplier is committed to sourcing more of their ingredients locally.

Retail and Catering Environmental Commitments

The Retail and Catering Team at the University have made the following environmental commitments:

Find out more on the University Eat & Shop Sustainability pages.

Sourcing from local suppliers can reduce the environmental impact of food products, particularly due to the reduction in carbon emissions associated with transportation. It also means that we can support local businesses and the UK farming industry.  The University of Exeter recognises its responsibility to carry out its procurement activities in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. We also strive to ensure that local and smaller suppliers are not discriminated against in the procurement process and specifications.

The Sustainable Food Policy ensures that:

  • All fresh poultry products, including meat and eggs, are sourced from the South West.
  • 90% of fresh meat products are sourced from the South West and from Devon where possible.
  • All milk is sourced from the South West.

"M C Kelly are poultry farmers and processors near Crediton. The University of Exeter share many of our values and ideals and we are proud to have supplied to them for seven years. We supply our own turkeys direct from our farm to the University with just 16 food miles from farm to plate. We aim to produce high quality meat as locally as possible with the minimum environmental impact. To further that aim we generate 40% of our electricity using turbines and solar. We constantly find ways of reducing our resource usage and recycle everything other than plastic film. Our farm is in higher level stewardship allowing our wildlife to thrive"

"Bidfood are happy to have supplied the University of Exeter since 2005.  We are the team behind your favourite places to eat out and are responsible for getting fantastic products to thousands of our customers every day so they can make your visit a great one.  We deliver tasty and nutritional products to a wide range of places including schools, universities, care homes, pubs, hotels and leisure parks to name a few.  From bio-diesel recycled from waste cooking oil, to locally sourced products, we think green in all we do, so you can be green too.  In 2012 we recycled 3,194 litres of waste oil from the University of Exeter, saving a massive 7.25 tonnes of carbon emissions through the year"

"F Milford & Sons Ltd is a family run wholesale fruit and vegetable supplier, who has been a leading supplier to the University of Exeter for over 50 years. Our family run business has evolved over the last 105 years through four generations, moving from a shop to modern warehouse premises now based at Marsh Barton. We now serve a large area of Devon and Somerset. Our success over the years has been in our ability to source a range of local produce from growers based within the Westcountry. We pride ourselves on cutting down the food miles and ensuring fresh Westcountry produce is served on Westcountry plates"

What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade aims to offer a minimum price, better working conditions, and fair terms of trade for both farmers and labourers. Buying Fairtrade products ensures that farmers receive a fair price for their food and guarantees decent wages and working conditions for workers. On top of that, products must also meet environmental standards, being kind to the planet not just its people.

Fairtrade within the University of Exeter

All coffee, tea and hot chocolate is 100% Fairtrade in University outlets, plus our local fruit and vegetable supplier stocks Fairtrade bananas at the same price as non-Fairtrade. We also have a range of Fairtrade confectionery, chocolate bars, muesli bars, muffins, flapjacks, fruit juices, smoothies, jewellery and wine. In addition, the Students' Guild sell a range of branded clothing (hoodies, T-shirts and sportswear) which are made from Fairtrade cotton. Take a look at the Eat & Shop webpages to find out more.

Fairtrade Policy at the University of Exeter

Read the University's Fairtrade Policy‌ to find out more about the commitment of the organisation.

Fairtrade Fortnight

Each year people from across the globe celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight to promote the work of the organisation and celebrate Fairtrade products. The University runs various events and offers throughout the fortnight which usually takes place in February. Keep an eye on the Eat & Shop Facebook Page for details.


The University is committed to ensuring all animal-derived products are purchased from suppliers with ethical practices. In line with the Sustainable Food Policy, all meat, poultry and milk on campus is sourced from Red Tractor Assured farms. This means that the meat sold by University venues has been certified as meeting certain safety, hygiene, animal welfare and environmental standards.

In addition to this, all fish and seafood purchased by the University is on the MSC Fish to Eat list, which highlights species that can be fished sustainably and aren't endangered. In 2013, the University was recognised for it's commitment to only using free-range eggs across all venues, in receiving a Good Egg Award.

All University catering outlets offer free tap water in reusable bottles to customers, and Fresh Ideas can also provide fresh water in reusable bottles for meetings and events where practicable.

Give Me Tap reusable water bottles are available to buy from Eat and Shop outlets, encouraging staff and students to fill their bottle from a water or drinks point on campus instead of buying plastic bottles. The purchase of every Give Me Tap bottle contributes to the charity by providing clean drinking water to someone living in Africa for 5 years.
Read more about the University's commitment to reducing plastic waste in the UoE Single Use Plastic Strategy 2018.