The University of Manchester’s 6 year vision specifically expresses the need ‘To embed environmental sustainability as a key priority across the full range of its activities’ and all areas, including the catering teams.
The University became a founder member of the Manchester Veg People (MVP) co-operative in May 2011 and as one of the largest food buyers in the city its Executive Chef met with the growers to discuss what they could produce that the University would buy.
MVP allowed growers to coordinate supply and demand, minimising waste, strengthening trust and understanding, and eliminating much of the risk for growers. MVP is now a multi-stakeholder co-operative of local organic growers and buyers who worked together to help develop a new model for the local food supply chain. It aims to increase access to local produce, at the same time as creating a larger and much more stable market for the growers’ produce.
1 Local and organic food can be purchased cost effectively
2 It is possible to work with smaller producers efficiently and effectively
3 This initiative generates real interest and passion within the catering team and is of great interest to the rest of the University community.