Fircroft College of Adult Education


Catering function migration – From meat to wheat

Fircroft is an adult residential college who work with some of the most disadvantaged individuals in society. The college offers breakfast, lunch, and evening meal as part of its provision offer to individuals who usually are lucky to receive one meal a day.

The college has focused in the last 12 months to move from a meat focused menu to a vegan, locally produced menu. Previously options included 2 or 3 meat meals with 1 vegetarian option.

The college now operates predominantly vegan or vegetarian options with occasional meat options, it is a plant focused menu.

The impact of such a change has been impressive, learner response has been predominantly positive with afternoon productivity noticeably increased.

The college grows 20% of its food on site with plans to increase this volume. Approximately 15% sourced within 10 miles and are part of Birmingham City Council project to improve local procurement.

All meals are pre ordered online to reduce waste and raw kitchen waste is composted.  

What the Judges Thought

Judges stated that this application should be looked at enviously, as the whole approach to sustainability from a college starting their journey, was impressive.  With an application that was holistic in nature supported by evidence/stats.  Judges noted the educational aspect, the high levels of engagement and the wider positive impact on society.

What it Means to Win

"Though one of the smallest colleges in the UK, we are ambitious in our strategic focus on climate and environmental justice. Winning this award would help us to demonstrate that any organisation, even the smallest, can achieve transformative organisational change through commitment and support in every part of the college."

Melanie Lenehan, Principal & CEO    

Top 3 Learnings

  1. We learnt that people surprise you, we achieved the unachievable!
  2. We learnt that meat substitutes make a vegan menu more accessible.
  3. We learnt that changing behaviours when disposing, recycling waste is far more difficult than the actual action.
2- Zero Hunger 3 - Good Health and Well-Being 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production 15 - Life on Land
Fircroft College of Adult Education image #1 Fircroft College of Adult Education image #1