Focus on fighting food waste

Great Food at Leeds is proud to be part of the war on food waste. As part of Leeds University Union (LUU) Climate Week 2022, we want to put fighting food waste in the spotlight, sharing what we are doing to support this movement and ways you can get involved.

What is Climate Week?

Climate Week 2022 is taking place from Monday 21 – Friday 25 March. It’s the second year of this exciting campaign after its launch in 2021, and there are lots of opportunities for University staff and students to engage with sustainability at LUU. The three themes for this year’s event: climate justice, climate education and eco-anxiety.

At Great Food at Leeds, we are excited to be supporting the event as sustainability is a key value of our service. Managing food waste plays a huge part in running our service sustainably and combatting climate change.

Why is food waste a problem?

Food waste is a global problem, it occurs all around us – in the home, in supermarkets, restaurants, pubs and cafés. A whopping 3.6 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry every year in the UK!

Most wasted food in the UK ends up in landfill, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and impacts climate change. The worst part is that a huge 2 million tonnes of the food that goes to waste is still edible!

How is Great Food at Leeds tackling food waste?

We are proud to be part of the Too Good To Go food waste movement – a mobile application that connects customers to food outlets that have unsold food surplus.

You can find the Refectory and many of our cafes on the Too Good To Go app, place an order and collect a Magic Bag before closing time. Food offerings range from sandwiches to hot daily specials. We have saved almost 600 meals already in 2022!

Next time you fancy some food on campus, why not download the app and rescue a Magic Bag of surplus, unsold food and save food waste!

How can you help fight food waste?

Planning meals and not buying too much food is a good place to start, but when you do buy too much there are creative ways to use this up!

Our Senior Head Chef, Lisa, has provided some top tips for using up fresh ingredients from the back of the fridge and giving food leftovers a new lease of life!

  • Leftover Bolognese sauce: Why not try making this into a chilli? Add some fresh chilli, ground cumin and paprika, serve with rice and top with soured cream or natural yogurt. Alternatively, make this into a lasagne inspired dish by layering the sauce with sheets of pasta or cooked pasta shapes and top with cheese before baking.
  • Vegetables: If you find yourself with lots of vegetables that need using up, try making a vegetable soup. Roughly chop up whatever is available to you, root vegetables, greens or anything in between and cook in stock. Have it chunky or blend to smooth perfection, adding a potato will help make it creamy. You can also add some dried lentils to pack this with protein, too!
  • Fruit: Its grocery shopping day, the cupboards are bare, but you still need a nutritious breakfast… it’s time to whip up a smoothie! Add the last, over ripened banana to a blender with some berries (fresh or frozen). Pour in milk of your choice or fruit juice and add some porridge oats. Whizz it up and enjoy!

Do you have a food waste regular offender, lurking in the fridge at the end of each week? Need some inspiration on how to make the most of it?

Get in touch via our social media channels or drop us a line to and Chef Lisa will be happy to provide some ideas on how to save this from becoming food waste!

Spotlight on Fairtrade

We have been shining the spotlight on Fairtrade products, ingredients and suppliers as part of Fairtrade Fortnight, which took place from Monday 28 February – Sunday 6 March 2022.

At Great Food at Leeds we are passionate about Fairtrade and have been responsibly sourcing and selling Fairtrade food and drink products in our outlets since 2003!

What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade aims to tackle the injustices of conventional trade and ensure that their farmers have decent working conditions and prices for the crops they grow.

We understand that choosing Fairtrade and ethically sourced products is one way we stand with those vulnerable communities at the front line of the climate crisis.

What is Fairtrade Fortnight?

Thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together for Fairtrade Fortnight each year, to share the stories of people who grow our food and drinks, mine our gold and who grow the cotton in our clothes. These people are often exploited and underpaid.

Great Food at Leeds and Fairtrade Fortnight 2022

We have been busy showing our support for the farmers behind our Fairtrade food and drink! Here is how we got involved:

  • Raffle to win a Fairtrade chocolate hamper, with all proceeds going to the Fairtrade Foundation
  • Brought Fairtrade products together for our customers at till points in our outlets
  • Offered a free Fairtrade banana to customers purchasing a main meal in the Refectory•
  • Served up delicious chocolate chip banana bread, made with Fairtrade bananas, chocolate and sugar

How can you get involved?

As a customer, you can be part of the Fairtrade movement. You have the power to drive long-term change, through your shopping choices and spreading the Fairtrade message – this applies all year round, not just during Fairtrade Fortnight!

You can get involved in local campaigns, Fairtrade Yorkshire has information on this. Support Fairtrade shops and cafés in the local area, see Fairtrade Leeds for details, or cook some recipes using Fairtrade products. If you missed our delicious chocolate chip banana bread in the Refectory, why not have a go at making it yourself?

Follow our recipe below and share your bake with us on social media!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Ingredients (makes 8 slices)

  • 125g butter
  • 150g Fairtrade caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 Fairtrade bananas, mashed
  • 100g Fairtrade chocolate chips, white or milk are best
  • 190g self-raising flour


  • Prepare a 2lb loaf tin, grease and line with grease proof paper.
  • Beat the sugar, butter and vanilla extract together until a creamy texture
  • Add the mashed bananas and mix well
  • Add the egg and mix well
  • Stir in the flour and once combined add the chocolate chips
  • Pour into the prepared tin, sprinkle with a tablespoon of demerara sugar to give a crunch topping if desired
  • Bake at 150c fan assisted oven (170c regular or gas mark 3) for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean
  • Leave to cool, slice and enjoy! Serve with custard to make a delicious pudding

#FairtradeFortnight #ChooseTheWorldYouWant