In 2003, the Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) took initiative to change the way food is produced and supplied by specifying new ethical and sustainable standards for their suppliers.

NUH is the fourth biggest Trusts in the country, and its Catering Manager realised the impact its purchasing power can have on more ethical procurement. Despite experiencing initial challenges and setbacks, the Catering Manager continued to believe that this was the right thing to do. Eight years later, Nottingham University Hospitals has managed to implement ethical trade at the core of its catering operations. At the same time, cost savings could be achieved and it also fits in well with wider EU regulations. The Catering Manager urges to put aside preconceptions regarding ethical procurement and says: “If we can do it, everyone can do it”. From the start, he received support from across the organisation. The board took on a leadership role and acted on their vision of integrating sustainability throughout the entire organisation. The Trust developed the Good Corporate Citizenship initiative, including ethical food procurement. The NUH also appointed a Sustainability Development Manager and all projects get signed off by the board.

Today, NUH is recognized as an innovative Trust and has received several awards for their ethical and sustainable practices.

Further case studies

Calderside Medical Practice

Welsh Health Supplies – National Uniform Contract

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