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.

This page was last reviewed June 2023

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.

The future of farming

Regenerative agriculture is important at Riseholme Park Farm, with one of our main aims to ensure a crop is in the ground as near to 365 days a year as possible.

Crops are actively carbon sequestrating while they are growing, by replacing crops as soon as possible it promotes carbon sequestrating as much of the year as possible.  This also prevents any nutrients being lost over winter in bare soil from previous crops.

Cover crops are used between harvested crops, these are quick growing crops which livestock can graze, this is important as we are providing an alternative feed for the livestock when grass is resting in winter and also providing nutrients straight onto the land from the sheep.

All of our winter feed for the livestock is made on farm and all straw used for bedding from our crops on the farm, this is then returned to the fields as muck the following year to be used as a fertiliser to grow more crops.

Local farm produce

Riseholme Park Farm also provides locally reared beef and lamb, which is processed within Lincolnshire, keeping food miles to an absolute minimum. This is also served on the University FoodLinc Menu.

Read more about Riseholme Park Farm.

Image of punnets of red strawberries

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.

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 a 20p will be made to buy a disposable cup/container.

As part of this Bring Your Own initiative, the University catering outlets have coffee cups available for purchase.

Lincoln Pier Café, a University of Lincoln outlet, also only serves hot drinks in crockery and reusable takeaway cups. Whilst the Lawress Hall Coffee Hub only serves hot drinks in reusable coffee mugs. 

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 certain meat options are grown at Riseholme Park Farm.

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!

Users of the hospitality service can choose the ‘Premium Service’ free of charge to ensure crockery is provided for their delegates.