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 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.
Supporting institutions to embed sustainable food and food growing on their campuses
Food, and how we produce, package, distribute and waste it, accounts for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and 80% of the pressures on biodiversity. Sustainable food and food growing initiatives can provide exciting opportunities to positively impact both the climate and nature, whilst also being good for the health and wellbeing of students.
Our Sustainable Food and Growing support network supports staff and students to collaboratively agree and achieve ambitious targets, link up different food and growing projects on campus, learn and be inspired by other institutions, and provide opportunities to have news items and best practice showcased.
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.
Join our Sustainable Food and Growing support network 2023/24, get more information and sign up! If you would like more in depth support in any area, for example to create a sustainable food policy or set up a new growing site, a consultancy service is also available. Please email us to discuss this option.
You can also explore our training sessions to set up a social enterprise via the Learning Academy.
Sign up to our Food & Farming newsletter to get the latest updates and email us at email@example.com if you have any questions.
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.
June 12, 2023
We are looking for 2-3 students' unions to partner with SOS-UK on this innovative pilot
March 17, 2023
We are excited to launch our latest support package to education institutions across the country! Our offer provides the resource and expertise you need to embed sustainability across your institution
March 3, 2023
Read about how SOS-UK is helping wildlife and how you can get involved to support the wildlife around you.
December 21, 2022
Read about How Farming Can Cool The Planet, a new project aimed at uniting young people to highlight the need for equal access to sustainable, nutritious and affordable food.
October 7, 2022
The new Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund project at SOS-UK
July 19, 2022
We are excited to launch our offer for Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) students’ unions for 2022/23.
May 4, 2022
How food is produced is critical. When farms adopt climate and nature friendly farming practices, carbon can be stored, soil health can increase and nature can be restored.
April 26, 2022
We’re applying for funding to run a pilot programme bringing people, plants and wildlife onto UK university and college campuses – would you like your university or college to be part of it?
April 19, 2022
We are delighted to launch our tertiary education offer for 2022-23
April 19, 2022
Find out more about our Food and Farming Network and how you can get involved.
November 10, 2021
Sometimes it just takes an idea, and the drive to get started, to create something which can benefit a small community in a big way. Learn about Beetbox a food coop at the University of Kent.
August 16, 2021
Through the case study of Growhampton, Ollie Cem explores how foraging can connect students to green spaces and what the benefits are for wellbeing, nutrition and climate resilience.
August 16, 2021
Is it fair to claim that our current food system is wasteful and unsustainable? Lyndon Wallace, Student Groups Coordinator at Leeds Beckett Students’ Union explores this question.
August 5, 2021
Weigh to Go, supporting students and staff at Keele University to make more sustainable food choices
May 17, 2021
Find out how in SOS-UK's new sustainable food guide for universities, colleges, students’ unions and students, written in collaboration with Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming.
April 19, 2021
SOS-UK have teamed up with the Charity Feedback to call on universities to divest from industrial meat and dairy
March 24, 2021
Wasting food feeds climate change. Did you know food waste is actually one of the biggest contributors to climate change, more than flying?
February 26, 2021
We are super excited to share the news that Esmée Fairbairn Foundation have awarded SOS-UK three years of funding to set up Farming for Carbon & Nature!
January 11, 2021
As Veganuary kicks off, a new and exciting scheme called Kale Yeah! launches to help university and college caterers plant-power their menus!
December 14, 2020
Between 33% and 50% of all food produced globally is thrown away, join Olio to reduce food waste on campus.
November 24, 2020
The global food system accounts for 20-30% of greenhouse gas emissions with meat and dairy being significant contributors but is banning beef the answer to the climate emergency and the nature crisis?
Here's a lively guest blog from the City University food co-op team, supported by Student Eats, on their experience starting a sustainable food enterprise. (Hint: it sounds pretty great!)
We've supported some truly inspiring sustainable food enterprises through our Student Eats programme. Here's how some participants feel about their projects' impacts on wellbeing.
Sustainable food systems not only reduce environmental harm and minimise waste - they bring people closer. These four food enterprises, supported by NUS' Student Eats, have community connection at th
Hayley Cooper, student at University of Central Lancashire, shares her story of organising a farmers' market supported by NUS' Student Eats.
I chose to study my undergraduate degree alongside staying on to complete my masters at Keele University due,
A summary of the 2018 Student Eats (Food and Farming) conference
Exploration of veganism and it's ethics in a processed food world.
Super easy squash daal recipe! A delicious and wholesome recipe to keep you warm on a chilly autumn evening.
Keep yourself toasty this autumn with this warming carrot and coriander soup.