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Food and Farming

Grow, sell, cook, eat sustainable food
Sign up for 2022/2023Check it out

About

We work with students and staff at colleges and universities to create a more equitable food system by putting healthy and sustainable food at the heart of campuses across the UK.

Sustainable Food

Sustainable food supports people, planet and local economies.

Sustainable food is food that is produced, processed, distributed and disposed of in ways that avoid damaging or wasting natural resources and do not contribute to climate change or the nature crisis, but do contribute to thriving local economies and provide everyone with safe and healthy food that is full of nutrients.

Take a look at our sustainable food guide. It outlines 8 key actions institutions can take, and 15 actions students can take, with links to numerous resources and additional information for each action.

Join our Food and Farming network for 2022/23
In 2021/22 a new, dynamic and progressive Food and Farming network was piloted with 3 organisations, and now we want to offer the opportunity for others to join us with our 2022/23 programme, sign up and more information. This network is aimed at students, officers and staff from unions, colleges and universities to collaboratively tackle key issues related to sustainable food projects, including but not limited to; food enterprises, food growing, campaigns, catering, campus farms and broader food system issues that impact campus life. We will provide opportunities to partner with other institutions, hold networking events and share good practice through resources and case studies.​ This programme benefits from being run in partnership between the students’ union and the institution, but it can also be run by either alone.

Sign up via our institution or students’ union rate card, or contact us with any queries.

Growing

Growing food connects people with the land, giving them the skills to eat sustainably now and into the future.

We support campus growing sites, shared allotments and community gardens through our growing network, which is free to join if your food growing is part of a university or college initiative.

Want to expand your growing journey? sign up your growing space to our network and check out our grow to sell handbook.

Social enterprise

Selling sustainable food empowers individuals to change their local food system. 

From co-ops selling local fruit and vegetables to zero waste shops selling dried wholefoods and pay-as-you-feel cafes using up food surplus, we have been working with universities and colleges across the UK to bring social enterprise ideas to life. These enterprises have changed their local food systems and encouraged students and staff to choose ethical, healthy and affordable food.

"Students grow in confidence weekly and are very proud of what they produce as the have control over it literally from seed to plate." West College Scotland, Come Dine With Us


Setting up a sustainable food enterprise is good for you, good for your institution, good for your community:

Fresh affordable food for students, staff and members of the public.
Provides real-life experience of setting up and running a business.
An opportunity to see your ideas come to life.
Enhances employability skills – leadership, teamwork, planning etc.
A great way for emerging student enterprises and societies to market their products.
Potential income generation for your students’ union or society.
A chance to raise awareness about the importance of buying sustainable food.
Supports the local economy and community partnerships.

Interested in starting a sustainable food enterprise? Have a look at our enterprise resources and learn more about setting up a grow to sell, preserve to sell or cook to sell social enterprise. For more details and support, check out our training session to establish a social enterprise via the learning academy.

Our Student Eats enterprise programme has been delivered in partnership with the Soil Association and Sustain. The programme is part of the Our Bright Future programme, a portfolio of 31 projects funded by The National Lottery Community Funding. To learn more about the impact of our programme read our report.

National Lottery Community Fund and Our Bright Future logo

Farming

We support farmers on university and college land to transition to nature friendly farming, for more information see Farming for Carbon and Nature programme.

We are part of...

Sustain Alliance for better food and farming
The Sustain Alliance for better food and farming
The Eating Better Alliance
The Eating Better Alliance

Sign up for 2022/2023

Join our Food and Farming network 2022/23 sign up and more information! You can also Sign up your growing space to our network (free) and explore our training sessions to set up a social enterprise via the learning academy.

You can also email us at foodandfarming@sos-uk.org if you have any questions and sign up to our Food & Farming newsletter to get the latest updates.

Make more sustainable food choices

Are you looking to eat more sustainably but are not sure where to start? This checklist gives you a personal head-start to your journey eating sustainably for the climate and for your health and wellbeing! Check out the many resources linked and our Sustainable Food Guide for more information on how you can bring sustainable food to your university campus.

Check out our checklist to eating more sustainably

Join our free food growing network
  • Access to exclusive resources and discounts included 90% off Charles Dowding's no dig online course 1.
  • Chances to take part in closed competitions e.g. our annual Water Conservation Trust competition for up to £1500 to improve your growing site
  • Opportunity to win free tickets to our annual conference

All you need to join the network is a growing site at your institution or plans to have one within the next 3 months.

Just complete our joining form, it's free!