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Sustainability is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

- Brundtland Commission (United Nations), 1987

UW Food Services is at the forefront of developing and implementing environmental initiatives that leave a smaller carbon footprint on our planet. Of course this isn’t easy when we’re feeding so many people, but with the help of services developed by UW students and faculty, we’re making a big difference one lug-a-mug at a time.

Sustainability report coverThe following report is a response to the uWaterloo Buy Local project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, (OMAFRA) and administered under the stewardship of the Greenbelt Foundation.

The program focuses on two key activities:

  1. funding of Broader Public Sector local food efforts
  2. promotion of local food to support and build momentum in the sector

Our top 10 sustainability projects

  1. We're committed to buy local food and support our local economy whenever possible
  2. UW Farm Market - a seasonal, on campus market providing fresh, local produce, honey and baked goods to students, staff, and faculty
  3. In 2017, we launched an Eco-Container program at The Market in UWP.  In 2018, it will be expanded through residences and the SLC! 
  4. We have partnered with the Sustainability Office to achieve the goal of becoming a Fair Trade Certified campus in 2018
  5. New environmentally friendly take out containerWe have switched all our take-out packaging to eco-friendly, compostable containers or PET recyclable friendly containers.
  6.  blue=We recycle our glass, tin, cardboard and cooking oil - diverting over 4 tonnes of material going to the landfill each year
  7. Recycling containers are available at every UW Food Services location
  8. New cafeteria trays are made from recycled material
  9. We've switched to bulk condiments at most eateries
  10. Our "lug-a-mug" program provides discount coffee prices if you bring in your own reusable coffee mug to any of our outlets.

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Eat Local

Watch a video on eating local.

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UW Farm Market

UW Farm Market logoImagine wandering across campus and finding a farm market boasting a fresh harvest of tomatoes, squash, beans and apples picked fresh from a local farm. At Waterloo, we’ve made this dream a reality.

It’s been over four years since UW Food Services opened its very own farm market right here on campus and students, faculty and Waterloo residents are flocking to it ready to forage through baskets of 100% local produce as well as other products like preserves, honey and UW Village Bakery bread and treats.

Student volunteers help to operate the not-for-profit market while UW Food Services handles purchasing and the short-distance shipping. The market allows students to purchase fresh, nutritious foods without leaving campus.

You can pay with cash or Watcard (Flex Dollars) at our Farm Market! 

 Fresh, local produce can be found seasonally, right here on campus at our own UW Farm Market"

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Fair Trade Overview

Fair Trade Certified logoFair Trade Certification empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace. Fair Trade is much more than a fair price! Fair Trade principles include:

  • Fair price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
  • Fair labor conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
  • Direct trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
  • Democratic and transparent organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
  • Community development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement trainings, and organic certification.
  • Environmental sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and <abbr title="genetically modified organisms>GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable  coffee=farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.

Reprinted from Fair Trade Certified webpage

All of our Baden Coffee & Planet Bean Coffee is Fair Trade Certified! We also carry Four O'Clock, a Fair Trade certified tea in all locations offering tea. 

Get your Fair Trade Certified beverage at one of our units:

  • East End Café
  • Browsers 
  • H³ Café 
  • CEIT Café
  • South Side Marketplace
  • Eye Opener
  • LA Café
  • REVelation at REV 
  • Mudie's at V1
  • The Market at UWP 

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