We are proud to offer a comprehensive range of seasonal, local and ethically sourced meals across our main catering outlets.
We have NTU Food outlets, of which the Refectories at Brackenhurst, Clifton and City, have been awarded the Soil Association's Silver Food for Life Standard for hot meals prepared on-site. This means we only use free-range eggs, quality-assured meat, organic milk, and much more in our dishes.
Our Catering team takes sustainability very seriously. In all outlets, they offer free tap water to all customers, recycle all food waste and cooking oil, and use environmentally friendly takeaway packaging wherever possible. The Catering team also donate unsold and in-date sandwiches to local charity Matthew 25:40, which distributes them to the vulnerable community in Nottingham.
Find out more about the Catering team's great work.
Reducing meat and dairy consumption has been identified as one of the key actions that individuals and organisations can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, it is important to recognise that there is wide variability in livestock farming practices, the most intensive systems use natural resources less efficiently than those producing lower emissions. Environmentally sensitive systems of livestock production can provide valuable habitat for a wide variety of insect, bird and mammal species, and permanent grassland can provide carbon sinks, offsetting the sector emissions. Conversely, crop production can also be highly intensive using scarce water and emitting high levels of greenhouse gases, so it is important to consider the environmental impact of the alternatives when replacing animal products in the diet.
Of NTU's catering offer 55% is vegetarian, with 64% of this being suitable for vegans and 72% of all produce is sourced from the UK with 22% from the local area. Where possible the team source local and seasonal produce.
Through our research, teaching and operations, Nottingham Trent University has a long-standing history of supporting sustainable agriculture, including animal welfare practices. The Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security research group includes animal nutrition, livestock behaviour and welfare research, and focuses on teaching modern production methods related to sustainable agriculture. Operationally, NTU catering outlets focus on locally sourced ingredients for freshly prepared dishes, purchasing Red Tractor certified meat products and prioritising animal welfare when choosing suppliers. Where possible, catering utilises beef and lamb sourced from our Brackenhurst campus for graduation dinners. As part of an overall commitment to sustainability, wellbeing and supporting cultural heritage, NTU encourages staff and students to consider consuming less meat, whilst focusing on purchasing locally sourced, high quality meat products
Now into its sixth year, the Foodshare Allotment is a food-growing project open to all students and staff every Wednesday afternoon during term time. As a volunteer, you will learn how to grow pesticide-free fruit and vegetables and gain some great skills while getting some fresh air. All volunteers get a share of the produce grown, and the rest is donated to local charities and community cafes.
In 2022, students and staff returned for a "usual" year of volunteering following lockdowns which affected productivity. A range of crops from tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and chards in the summer months, to squashes and berries in winter were harvested. Food grown over the past year has been donated to charities including Guru Nanak's Mission and Windmill Community Gardens, used for both community meals and children's crafting sessions where paints were made from berries!
Staff volunteer groups have also been helping at the allotment throughout 2022, groups including the Events Team, have visited the allotment to help weed, sew, lay paths and create composted beds for wildflowers. The Sustainability Team did their part volunteering by building three new recycled raised beds at the site, sourced from "British Recycled Plastic".
The Foodshare Allotment can be found on our Clifton Campus, next to the Peverell hall of residence. It is a joint project run by the Sustainability Team, Loughborough road Team, Nottingham Trent Students’ Union, and UPP. If you would like to volunteer, please contact our Sustainability Engagement Officer
NTU supports Fairtrade
NTU is a Fairtrade university, with commitment from both NTU and NTSU. We only offer Fairtrade certified tea, coffee and hot chocolate in all of our catering outlets and hospitality offerings. We also sell a range of Fairtrade products through our cafes and Student Union shops, from chocolate to t-shirts!
You will find the Fairtrade logo on all sorts of things, from chocolate and tea to cotton wool, olive oil and even jewellery! When you buy something with the Fairtrade logo, you know that the farmers have been paid a fair price for their produce.
The Fairtrade Foundation helps farmers and producers in some of the poorest countries in the world make a better living for their families and communities. They work with producer cooperatives and buyers to negotiate a better price for their produce than they would receive at market value. This gives them extra funds to improve their lives, such as sending their children to school, investing in community facilities, or securing safe water supplies.
Find out where to buy Fairtrade products in Nottingham using our map.
Fairtrade Activities and Events
Every year we run a whole range of events and activities with a particular focus on Fairtrade Fortnight. We have hosted a range of awareness raising events over the years including:
- Fairtrade afternoon teas
- Street food markets
- Fairtrade desserts at NTU catering outlets
- Fairtrade bake-off contests
- Speakers and debates
See Nottingham Trent University's Fairtrade Policy
See Nottingham Trent University’s Fairtrade SMART action plan and interim progress and some impacts of action 21.22.
See the Fairtrade Foundation website for more information on their mission.
Advice on eating well is available on our Student Services pages.
Love Local Nottingham
We've compiled an alternative map of Nottingham – full of independent cafes, cycling facilities, ethical businesses, and things to do in the great outdoors.
The map is viewable on Google Maps. Please note that Internet Explorer 9 or higher (or an alternative browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox) is required to view the map.
We have several water fountains located across all of our campuses which provide free cold water for staff and students. View our map to see where these are located.