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A campus food service for all

Our branch motion on a sustainable and affordable campus food service for all

At our branch AGM on 19/02/2024, UNISON University of Warwick has passed a motion for A Warwick Campus Food Service for All.

This is our members saying it loud and clear -- food on campus should be the university's obligation, not a product to make profits from. We see our access to healthy, affordable, fair trade and sustainably sourced food on campus as an equality and sustainability issue, a worker's right, a student's right, and a social and public matter.

A plate with multiple spices on it

Food as a trade union matter

The International Covenant recognizes the fundamental human right of physical and economical access to food. In our pursuit of better pay within HE, the cost of essential services, including food, is integral to the material interests and welfare of working people, and thus, a matter of trade union concern.

We also look at the labour conditions in the food industry, where the erosion of pay and conditions for both domestic and immigrant workers aligns with our core interests.

Addressing the climate crisis is another focal point for trade unions. We acknowledge that the extraction and destruction of natural resources mirror the process of extracting and compromising our own time, labour, well-being, and habitats. Our commitment extends to safeguarding the well-being of working individuals in the face of environmental challenges.

Read our motion

[Image source: Pexels]

A lively canteen scene from a studen-owned vegan cateen in Finnish University canteen Kipsari

Our beliefs and experience about food at workplace

Warwick Food Group (formerly Warwick Retail),Link opens in a new window is expanding and experimenting with University-owned outlets to introduce greener and healthier, yet profitable, products on campus.

However, our aim is to ensure that the shaping of food provision, distribution, venue, and culture at our workplace is influenced by the interests of staff and students, rather than profit-driven desires. As those on campus are most affected by the quality and cost of our food, we seek to co-design the food we consume, its associated costs, and the spaces in which we dine. We advocate for democratic rights to be shared to us, and extend the workers' benefits to the fellow workers who prepare our food.

We strive to ensure that the food served benefits the community it resides in without excluding, alienating, or exploiting the diverse and struggling residents in the surrounding area of the University.

Read our motion

[Image source: Kipsari plant-based student canteen in Aalto University, Finland]

People working in the common allotment Food Union Coventry

Join our working group to ensure campus food works for you

We work alongside campus trade unions, student societies and local food groups. We need people to voice feedback to stakeholders, we need people to facilitate meetings and educational and social events, people to provide skills and feedback that help expand our imagination and practice in campaigning, food waste, community space design, food growing, and food culture.

UNISON members, please fill in a simple Interest Form and we will be in touch. As a trade union member, you are entitled reasonable time off to participate in trade union activities.

If you're not a member of trade unions, see if you can participate through the Warwick Student Staff Solidarity Network open meetings which tends to take place in the evenings.

Express your interests as a UNISON member

Contact Student Staff Solidarity Network

[Image source: Food Union, Coventry]