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Sustainability at York St John

Food and catering

Ethical and sustainable food sourcing on campus.

Chef preparing and cooking food

We are continuing to work with our catering team to make sure that our sourcing is as sustainable and ethical as possible.

What we've achieved

  • The menu in YSJ Kitchen, our main food outlet on our York campus, is Food for Life Bronze certified by the Soil Association.
  • All coffee served at our catering outlets is Rainforest Alliance approved.
  • The hot chocolate we serve and the sugar in our main outlets are both Fairtrade certified.
  • 80% of our cakes are made in-house, reducing the need for packaging.
  • We only use free range eggs.
  • Where possible we only use Red Tractor certified meat and Marine Stewardship Council certified seafood.

We have also implemented the following measures:

  • 20p takeaway surcharge for disposable food boxes and paper coffee cups
  • Water bottle refilling points
  • York St John branded reusable and 100% recyclable cups available at all catering outlets, with a £1.00 discount on hot drinks with purchase
  • Fighting surplus food waste with the 'Too Good to Go' app

Ongoing measures

Too Good to Go

Bags of surplus food items including sandwiches, pasties, pizzas, cakes and fruit will be available to buy on the Too Good to Go app at a discounted price from 3.30pm every weekday during term time.

Sustainable catering

We work with our catering team to make sure that our sourcing is as sustainable and ethical as possible.

Expand the drop-down below to find out more about our suppliers.


Supplying the YSJ Kitchen with: a variety of baked goods including fresh bread, morning rolls, cakes and biscuits.

Haighs has been a family bakery since 1950, beginning in a little, Bradford shop with a coke-fired oven. In the following decades they grew into a company and relocated to Leeds, but still use many of the traditional recipes and methods. Their products are made from scratch (no pre-mixes) using top-quality ingredients, locally sourced wherever possible. All products are made to the highest food safety standards, and Haighs have achieved SALSA accreditation. Their investments in new bakery machinery, heat exchange on the oven flues, and new delivery vans, continue their aim to reduce their carbon footprint. They endeavour to eliminate food waste in all production processes.  Any food waste generated is given to a local farm.

Selection of breads.

Supplying the YSJ Kitchen with: delicious meat-free substitutes for fried chicken, served twice weekly with a variety of sides.

VFC Foods is a British vegan food company that began trading in December 2020. An acronym for 'Vegan Fried Chicken', it was founded by Matthew Glover (the co-founder of Veganuary) and Adam Lyons (a chef and restaurateur) in North Yorkshire.

The company specialises in creating meat substitute products for fried chicken. They describe their company as "…an act of positive rebellion against a system that has brought us climate change, environmental destruction, factory farming and slaughterhouses". They say this that their contribution to dismantling "this destructive system is with great food". VFC prioritise paper packaging, and their shipping cartons contain more than 90% recycled materials. An independent audit by eco assessors Mondra found that VFC beat generic animal-based southern fried chicken in every environmental category.

Vegan Fried Chicken products.

Supplying the YSJ Kitchen with: a variety of high quality, Fairtrade coffee, tea and hot chocolate.

York Emporium was set up in 2010 to serve the increasing need for roasted coffee and tea in Yorkshire and beyond. As well as serving retail customers with daily roasted coffee and loose-leaf teas, York Emporium supplies cafes, restaurants and bars, sometimes with specially tailored blends.

York Emporium's coffees are ethically sourced from green coffee buyers committed to excellent coffee and paying their farmers a fair price. York Emporium source, roast, blend and pack the coffee, ensuring the coffee makes as few journeys as possible once it has left the farm. Their main speciality coffee buyers focus on building collaborative supply chains for mutual profit and positive social impact. They support and build programs like Girls Gotta Run in Ethiopia and the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA), which is expanding from Central and South America into places like Burundi in Africa.

Providing the YSJ Kitchen with: Authentic marinated Red Tractor certified chicken (served with a choice of two sides).

Love Joe’s started in the kitchen of a chip shop. Throughout the years, Joe's idea to provide a healthy and flavourful chicken product for the shop grew and evolved. Their conceptual chicken quickly became a favourite amongst suppliers. For over 30 years they have aimed to make life easier for kitchens across the country, providing the best quality chicken and menu ideas for pubs, restaurants, street food vendors, education and healthcare sectors, with dishes from around the world.

Their investment in technology and their team means they’re able to react quickly to large bespoke new product development projects. Their facility is custom built and state of the art, ensuring the standard of the product they deliver is consistently of premium quality. 

Love Joe’s have a BRCGS Food Safety Certificate grade A. They are Halal Authority Board and Red Tractor assured.

Chicken drumsticks and salad on a plate

Our sustainable procurement goals

  • Source environmentally responsible suppliers
  • Purchase goods and services with least environmental impact
  • Buy produce locally and within season
  • Support local businesses and economy where possible
Food For Life Bronze logo