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Organic Centre Wales joins Aberystwyth University in celebrating Local and Sustainable Catering at the University

Organic Centre Wales (OCW) and Aberystwyth University hosted an event on the 23rd October to celebrate the University's recent achievement in gaining a Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark Award from the Soil Association, for all of their campus restaurants. The Food for Life scheme is fast becoming the industry standard for local, sustainable, ethically sourced food and recognises many of the excellent food procurement practices already taking place within the University.

The University benefits from its very own farm on site which allows the restaurants to source lamb and beef with arguably one of the shortest supply chains and lowest food miles for meat sourced on such a large scale. Their own greenhouses supply the kitchens with fresh salad and herbs to accompany the 1000 plus hot meals served every day at the University.

Jeremy Mabbutt, Head of Hospitality Services, said: “It is a time of heightened awareness amongst consumers about where their food comes from, particularly when eating out; and this is no different for the staff and students at Aberystwyth University. Sustainability has had a significant influence on our food procurement activities for some time and this has been made even easier to achieve with our very own farms at the University. By gaining the Food for Life Catering Mark we are able to demonstrate our commitment to local, sustainable sourcing and to providing excellent food every day for staff, students and visitors to the University.”

OCW, based at Aberystwyth University has been supporting caterers across Wales to learn more about the scheme as part of their supply chain project with local organic producers and food education work with consumers. The event featured a range of local produce, and both conventional and organic producers attended to discuss what sustainable sourcing means to them.

Speaking about their work in this area Jane Powell, OCW said, “Wales has a long standing reputation for great food, and by more organisations becoming part of the Catering Mark scheme, it will provide a healthy market for local, sustainable and better welfare food. We feel initiatives such as this and the organic sector is pivotal in the drive towards Wales as a sustainable food nation. We are delighted to support this event and to work within an environment where good food is available to all.”

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