Campus Dining defines local as farms and businesses located within a 250-mile range of campus. We partner with the nonprofit Feast Down East and the supplier FreshPoint to procure produce, meat, eggs, honey, and other value-added products. UNCW Campus Dining is committed to procure at least 10% of all food products from local sources by 2030.
Click here to view a map of the local farms that UNCW Campus Dining sources our food from!
In addition to supporting local farms, we extend our procurement to local businesses to further support our local food economy. These businesses include, but are not limited to:
UNCW Campus Dining has two main on-campus cultivation programs: the microgreens and shoots cultivation program and the aquaponics demonstration. Both of these programs provide our dining facilities across campus with fresh ingredients that have a minimal impact on the environment. These programs reduce the transportation, fertilizer, pesticide, water use, and other environmental impacts these products would have if produced in a traditional manner.
Microgreens and Shoots
Microgreens are seedlings of edible herbs and vegetables that are harvested in as little as ten days after planting. These seedlings are then used to spice up the flavor of a dish or used as a garnish to ensure a plate makes an impression. Don't underestimate microgreens' nutritional value due to their size though, they are actually nutrient packed. One study found that a microgreen contained forty times more Vitamin E and six times more Vitamin C than their more mature counterparts. Microgreens and shoots can be seen currently growing at Dub's Café in the Warwick Center.
Aquaponics is the combination of hydroponics and aquaculture. Hydroponics is a way of growing plants without soil, while aquaculture is the process of farming fish. Combining these two concepts is aquaponics, where the system is a closed ecosystem. The fish provides ammonia through their waste, which is converted to nitrates and nitrites by beneficial bacteria, which is then used by the plants to fuel their growth and keep the water safe for the fish. Check out the aquaponics system located in Wagoner Hall!
At Aramark, we support our oceans on two main fronts—by watching what comes out of the water as well as what goes into it. Our Sustainable Seafood Policy details our purchasing practices, commitment to reporting, and approach to stakeholder engagement, while our commitment to reduce single-use plastics minimizes waste that may end up in our oceans.
Humanely Raised Products
Our Animal Welfare Policy addresses the treatment of animals for egg, meat and dairy products across a range of animal welfare issues including confinement, painful procedures, and rapid growth. Our global principles are the foundation for what we expect from our suppliers, while our policy details purchasing commitments specific to the countries where we operate. March 2021 Through engagement with suppliers, academia and NGOs such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), Global Animal Partnership (GAP), Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW), and many others, our industry-leading policy continues to expand on commitments we’ve made over the last several years.
At Aramark, we believe preventing deforestation is imperative to the wellbeing of our global community, and so in 2019 we announced our No-Deforestation Policy. We are on a journey to continually improve responsible sourcing practices in partnership with our suppliers, as well as industry and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Aramark is committed to working with our partners toward No Deforestation, No Peatland Loss, and No Exploitation of people, inclusive of legal and illegal deforestation.
We are proud of our progress to date:
• In 2020 we ensured that the soy used in all our contracted soy oils, as well as soy used in our contracted margarines and shortenings, is sourced from regions with no deforestation risk.
• We completed our transition to responsibly sourced palm oil that meets RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) standards in all our contracted margarines and shortenings.
• By engaging with our suppliers, as of September 2020 we have determined that at least 80% of our contracted beef is sourced from areas with no deforestation risk. We will continue this work to identify the origins of the remaining beef supply in 2021.
Climate Healthy Menus
We are also committed to increasing our climate-healthy menu options in support of our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this goal, Aramark launched a major plant-forward initiative to elevate the role of whole grains, legumes, pulses, and produce on menus in colleges and universities, hospital cafes and workplace locations. So far, we have created over 300 new plant-based recipes, achieved a 12% average reduction in red meat in Aramark recipes, and trained more than 1,200 chefs in plant-based culinary innovation workshops. More than 30% of our menu offerings are now vegan or vegetarian. To learn more about this industry-leading work, visit Healthy for Life.
Fair Trade is the simple idea that things that we purchase are connected to the livelihoods of the producers; and how those purchases should be conducted in an equitable and fair way, not just to the benefit of the producer, but the consumer and planet, as well.
What does Fair Trade do?
Fair Trade sets a minimum price that is received by producers of fair trade certified products. This ensures that these farmers have the resources to stay out of poverty, conduct their work in an environmentally friendly way, stay safe on the job, and reinvest in their communities.
Learn more here.
Fair Trade Campaign at UNCW
UNCW is home to its own Fair Trade Campaign with Fair Trade Campaigns USA. With only one more step, passing a fair trade resolution in support of fair trade, can UNCW become a fair trade campus! UNCW has already expanded its fair trade certified products available for purchase on campus, and hosts numerous fair trade events each semester. See some fair trade event examples below!
Learn S'mores Events
Listen for news about these upcoming events where we sit around the campfire and use fair-trade chocolates to make some s'mores and learn about fair trade!
Fair Trade Coffee and Chocolate
UNCW Campus Dining hosts multiple Fair Trade Coffee & Chocolate Pop-ups during the semester. Come by to sample fair trade certified coffee and chocolates, and learn more about how fair trade leads to a healthier humanity and planet!