Ethical Statement

 Food Ethics Policy - Sustainability and the Environment

meat & fish

Magdalene College places great importance on the environment and aims to manage its activities, buildings and estate in a manner that promotes environmental sustainability, conserves and enhances natural resources and prevents environmental pollution. With this in mind, the Conference and Catering department understand that they play a key role in helping the College to reduce the impact of its operations and have introduced the following Food Ethics Policy.

 Key Features of the Food Ethics Policy

  •  Where possible, menus are designed around seasonally available products. 
  •  As far as is practically and cost-sustainably possible, products are sourced preferentially from suppliers who are locally based, then regionally, nationally, European mainland and finally internationally based.
  •  Exclusion of at risk fish species from our menus. Such fish are identified by the MCS (Marine Conservation Society) and we consciously choose only those fish that can be sourced sustainably.
  •  Magdalene College has been awarded Fairtrade Status by the Fairtrade Foundation. We choose and promote Fairtrade-certified products, imported to ensure a fair deal for disadvantaged producers. Some of the companies we use belong to the Fairtrade organisation and we actively sell some products in our cafeteria. We actively promote the use of Fairtrade products through special theme days and events in Formal Hall.
  •  Where viable, we use organic food produce on our menus.
  • As frequently as possible, when poultry is featured on our menus, this will be from free-range produce. All our eggs are free-range.


To help us achieve this policy, Magdalene College has carefully selected its suppliers and is proud to be associated with reputable companies who have procedures in place to enable us to ensure that we are able to manage the impact of our purchasing decisions. All these companies have their own environmental policies which are available to view. Listed below are our main suppliers:

  • Barkers Bakery, Cottenham, Cambs: providers of all types of fresh bread.
  • Direct Seafood from Colchester: providers of fresh fish, 72% are sourced from the UK.
  • The Cambridge Food Company, Cambridge (Cheese +): providers of free-range eggs from Bitteswell Farm, Leicestershire, Suffolk bacon and sausages, local cheeses from Hitchin, Norfolk and Lincolnshire.
  • The Denham Estate, Bury St Edmunds: providers of estate-reared venison and lamb.
  • Foodwell, Waterbeach, Cambs: providers of freshly prepared vegetables and potatoes from Cambridgeshire.
  • Fisher & Woods, Saffron Walden: providers of fruit and vegetables supplies from Ely, Boston, Chatteris, Lincolnshire, March and many other local farms.
  • Andrews of Cambridge: providers of local meat, poultry and sausages from East Anglia.
  • Radwinter Wild Game, Saffron Walden: providers of game from local villages such as Trumpington, Great Shelford and Duxford.

Managing our activities

  •  Re-cycling – suppliers are encouraged to reduce packaging. The majority of them use packaging that is biodegradable and/or recyclable. The College has its own recycling system in place – collection bins for plastic, glass, paper and cardboard. Recycled waste is collected by the local council.
  • Food waste is collected by a local company, AmeyCespa of Waterbeach, Cambs. They use an innovative method for composting which meets the BSI specification.
  • Origin of food produce – our suppliers can provide us with the origins of their produce. They all have a traceable, often computerised system in place that enables them to provide this information.

Managing our commitment
We want to ensure we are achieving a measurable level of success with meeting our objectives and regularly review our
internal operations.