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Fairtrade products

At the University of Leeds, we are passionate about Fairtrade and have been supporting and selling Fairtrade products since 2003.

In 2005 the University of Leeds obtained Fairtrade status and our continued support has helped Yorkshire to be named the first Fairtrade region in the country.

  • In the last two years, we have increased the proportion of staff uniforms made from Fairtrade certified-cotton.
  • We were one of the first University’s to champion Fairtrade by taking part in the NUS Fairtrade University pilot.
  • We have a cross-institutional Fairtrade Committee with members of wide-reaching influence across campus.
  • We report to the Fairtrade Foundation annually on sales of our Fairtrade items.
  • The University of Leeds won the bid to host the next Fairtrade International Symposium.

Locally sourced

Great food at Leeds use locally sourced food wherever possible and 65% of our suppliers are within 40 miles of the University.

We follow a strict food policy which ensures ethical, sustainable procurement of all food.

Sustainable Restaurant Association - Food Made Good

Sustainable Restaurant Association

Great Food at Leeds (GFAL) are proud to maintain the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s highest accolade for all our outlets, the three star ‘Food Made Good’ sustainability rating. GFAL scored exceptionally highly in the following areas:

  • Supporting the community
  • Monitoring and reducing food waste.
  • Treating customers and staff fairly.
  • Supporting farmers to keep supply chains healthy and predictable.

Sustainable KeepCups

We have worked closely with our friends from Sustainability at the University of Leeds to provide a high-quality reusable cup option for our customers.
Great Food at Leeds KeepCups are available across campus and you save 20p each time you use yours!

Visit our KeepCup page to find out more.

Curious about Carbon?

Esther Simpson carbon footprint pilot

At Esther Simpson café we are now displaying the carbon footprint of our filled flatbreads and croissants, following the work of a student sustainability architect, whose work focused on sustainability in the University of Leeds catering services.

About one third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the food system, so as part of our approach to sustainability we want to make it easy for our customers to see and consider the climate impact of their food choices.

The carbon footprint is calculated using the energy and resources required to produce each ingredient and then the weight and distance transported to the University. We’ve used the TUCO calculator to do this and all values are expressed in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e).

The calculated footprint does not consider transport from Esther Simpson to home or disposal of the packaging as this can vary and is out of our control.

Great Food at Leeds is always working on ways to improve our approach to sustainable practices, which are embedded in both our values and our everyday operations.

We’d like to hear your feedback on the pilot – whether you find the carbon footprint information useful and whether it has any impact on your food choices. You can let us know your thoughts by emailing

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