Skip to content

Food

Food env goals

If done well, agriculture, forestry and fisheries can provide nutritious food for all and generate decent incomes, while supporting people-centred development and protecting the environment.

The University of Tasmania has an important role to play in supporting the sustainable development of the food and agricultural sector in this state through research, development, extension and education. Our University also has a social responsibility to ensure the eradication of poverty and hunger especially as it relates to student well-being. According to Universities Australia's 2017 Student Finances Survey, one in seven students across Australia regularly go without food and other necessities because they cannot afford them. We are therefore committed to improving the wellbeing of all students through ensuring the availability of affordable, nutritious food on campus whilst minimising the environmental impacts of its production and consumption. The growing, processing, packaging, transportation (so-called ‘food-miles’), sale and consumption of food all produce greenhouse gas emissions associated with anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change. According to the United Nations, over one-third of the world’s food is wasted.

The University of Tasmania is committed to enabling staff and students to choose sustainable food options on campus.

Governance

Governance Level Principle GLP9 Environmental Sustainability

The Governance Level Principle GLP9 Environmental Sustainability (PDF 298.0 KB) aims to improve the University's contribution to global environmental sustainability.

Procurement Policy

The University of Tasmania's Procurement Policy (PDF 120.7 KB) governs all University procurement related activity and outlines the commercial approach adopted by the University to manage the acquisition of goods and services from vendors, contractors and suppliers.

In line with the University's Statement of Values all procurement activity must endeavour to address and consider the following social, environmental, safety and sustainability considerations:

  • Engagement with, and consideration of, local community interests
  • Environmental and sustainability issues – specifically addressing the University’s commitments in this area.
  • Social responsibility - including considerations such as health and safety, human rights, ethical production processes, Fair Trade, diversity and other social impacts of procurement processes and the selection of goods and services. This responsibility extends also to the eventual disposal of goods
  • Health and safety

Strategy

University of Tasmania Strategic Plan 2019-2024

The University has a strong tradition in environmental education and research, as well as contributing to greater awareness of the importance of sound environmental management in the broader community. Consistent with this, the University has a focus on best practice management of the impact that University operations have on the environment. This is reflected in the University of Tasmania Strategic Plan 2019-2024 which outlines our commitment to improving the environmental sustainability of Tasmania in the following ways:

  • "Land – the responsible use of our agricultural resources and the sustainable management of our island’s unique ecosystems and waterways;
  • Air – reducing carbon emissions and increasing the awareness of the effects of climate change;
  • Sea – preserving our oceans, promoting sustainable fisheries and aquaculture and reducing ocean waste and pollution."

UTAS Sustainable Food Strategy (in development)

The University of Tasmania’s Sustainable Food committee is currently developing a university position on sustainable food on campus as part of an overall catering strategy. This committee involves academic and professional staff, whose work includes cuts across university operations, e.g. catering contracts and other food-related activities on campus, to research, learning and teaching. This group aims to establish a Food Charter. This work will ultimately inform the development of a strategy seeking to improve food security, increase local food production and procurement reduce food miles.

Reporting

STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System)

In 2019, the University of Tasmania commenced using STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) to monitor its sustainability performance. Relevant food categories within STARS include food and beverage purchasing and sustainable dining. The latter category incorporates sustainable food systems support and food and dining waste minimisation initiatives.

There are a number of edible gardens, orchards, food allotments and even individual trees from which you can source fresh food on campus. Some are open to all staff and students, whilst access to others is limited.

North

  • Inveresk (1)
  • Newnham (4)

North West

  • Cradle Coast Campus (2)
  • Rural Clinical School (1)
  • Makers' Workshop (1)

South

  • Sandy Bay (1)
  • IMAS Taroona (3)

Find out more about sustainable food options and initiatives on campus.

Catering contracts

A multi-directional review of our University’s catering contract is currently in progress. This provides an opportunity to embed sustainability principles into our catering contracts that are coming up for renewal.  

Local food procurement

Our University is working with community partners to progress opportunities for the procurement of local food and the development of a circular economy in our island state. Led by Eat Well Tasmania, this research and Tasmanian food sector engagement project seeks to influence the current policy environment to better support the procurement of Tasmanian seasonal food within Tasmania.

There are many ways you can advocate for and/or access affordable, nutritious food or grow more of your own produce on campus or in your community:

For more information on food and gardens at UTAS, contact sustainability.utas@utas.edu.au