As part of our commitment to enhancing campus environments we launched the Deakin Food Charter. Based on feedback from our students and staff, this set of principles is supported by the university's Faculty of Health and guides a balanced food and drink offering across Deakin.
The aim? To provide choice in our food offer that meets the needs of our vibrant, complex community. The Charter is based on five pillars – healthy, informed, balanced, easy and sustainable – that focuses on everything from fresh, seasonal ingredients to sustainable packaging and no minimum EFTPOS charges.
The five pillars: what do they actually mean?
Free tap water and a variety of foods are part of our commitment to bringing you healthier options. And so you know exactly what you’re eating, we’re introducing a traffic light classification system based on the Healthy Choices guidelines.
We have also been working with the retail food supply chain to source cakes that fit into the Amber traffic light classification range.
Did you know unhealthy food environments contribute to unhealthy diets and high levels of obesity – which are now the biggest contributors to poor health in Australia*? The Deakin Food Charter draws on our leading food and nutrition research to do something about this.
*Global Obesity Centre research
Our approach to food – including our prices – reflects our commitment to great service all year round, award wages for student employees, quality ingredients and items that cater to a range of dietary requirements.
Balance is important in all aspects of life, which is why this Charter doesn’t only focus on healthy food. It brings together a range of perspectives to improve our food environments in terms of experience, nutrition, variety, convenience and sustainability.
Self-catering facilities like fridges and microwaves are always available, regardless of whether you’re an early riser or a night owl. We also provide purchased food options all day, every day via our snack and drink vending machines.
When we talk about food, sustainability means more environmentally friendly packaging, composted food waste and sustainable sourcing.
In particular, we’re fighting waste to reduce Deakin’s contribution to landfill. It started with the introduction of discounts for people who chose reusable cups for their takeaway drinks, and in early 2020 we rolled out the Skip Zero returnable cup scheme to further reduce the use of disposable cups on Deakin's campuses.
Not so long ago, 42% of our waste was made up of food scraps. This is why we have established a organic waste stream in our cafe kitchens, where food scraps are composted rather than sent to landfill. By changing the way we dispose of these organics, we're making a huge impact; on average, we divert 865kg of food scraps from landfill every week!
Additionally, worked to ensure that no Deakin food venue uses unsustainable palm oil. An edible vegetable oil, palm oil is found in a range of Australia’s food products. While the oil itself isn’t bad, the industry is linked to major issues such as deforestation, animal cruelty and climate change. A large proportion of palm oil expansion occurs at the expense of biodiversity and wildlife. But we can do something about this, by finding alternatives, or using palm oil that we are confident has been sourced sustainably.