Sustainable Food

The University is committed to finding new ways to make food and all it involves more sustainable. There are a number of initiatives in place including a commitment to promote Sustainable Food and Fairtrade Fortnight, as well as working with the Catering Team and the E.C.O Society.

Edible Campus & The Kitchen Garden

The objective of the Edible Campus project is to provide space at the Brayford Campus for students and staff to grow their own food. A small number of heritage variety apple trees have been planted in open spaces around the Student Village to start the project. A Herb Garden can be found near the Village Hall, and is currently being replanted and tidied.

There are also raised beds to grow vegetables in at “The Kitchen Garden”. We’ve grown courgettes, broad beans, carrots, garlic, onions and much more! There are a small selection of mature herbs available for you to harvest from the garden, but we ask that you ensure that you leave some for others. Volunteers are welcome to join our weekly gardening session behind Witham House on the Brayford Campus, between 1-2pm every Wednesday. Please email if you are interested.

Produce is divided between volunteers and Mint Lane Café.

Further information and a gallery of our Kitchen Garden activities can be found on the Kitchen Garden Project Page.

Supporting the Community

At Riseholme Park, the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology has been supporting local community enterprise Mint Lane Café over the last few years by providing them with fruit and vegetables grown on the estate.

This might include, lettuces, cauliflowers, apples, strawberries and much more.

In the course of research, this produce is often considered as waste, and so to reduce that, it is given freely to both the café and any staff or students who would like it.

Any excess food waste is composted in the Riseholme Kitchen Garden.

Image of punnets of red strawberries

Bring Your Own

The University now imposes a takeout levy. Staff, students and visitors to the university are encouraged to bring their own containers, whether for hot drinks or food, otherwise an additional charge will be made to buy a disposable cup/container.

As part of this Bring Your Own initiative, the University catering outlets have two coffee cup purchase options:

  1. KeepCups – these 12oz cups come in a variety of colours and allow you to avoid the levy, whilst looking incredibly stylish.
  2. Eco Cups – this initiative enables you to buy a silicone sleeve and a lid which accompany the new ECO Cup allowing you to drop off your old cup to be washed and you get a new cup for your drink. Pop into your nearest catering outlet to see how these scheme fully works.

Lincoln Pier Café, a University of Lincoln outlet, also only serves hot drinks in crockery and reusable takeaway cups.

Catering Commitment

The FoodLinc team have taken measures to condense the number of suppliers they use. This means fewer delivery vans visiting the campus – reducing the carbon footprint, and a more fluid procurement process – less paper. The team have also sourced a number of Fairtrade foods as well as using a local producer for some products. For example; all eggs used are free-range.

When preparing the meal choices across campus, the catering manager ensures that there is always a vegetarian option as well incorporating some vegan and gluten free choices during the week. Furthermore, cooking oil is recycled and turned into bio diesel!

All FoodLinc coffee cups are recycleable, whilst takeaway containers, coffee stirrers and takeaway cutlery are biodegradable. The catering team also run a scheme where you can buy a reusable cup which you can read more about below.

The catering team has also committed to Meat Free Mondays across all food outlets, including their catering vans and any meal orders as well. 

In October 2019, the Groundworks café was reopened as vegetarian and vegan only with menu input from students.