As part of the College’s commitment to sourcing foods locally to reduce transport miles, Queen’s is part of OxFarmtoFork, a short food supply chain initiative set up by Good Food Oxfordshire that brings sustainable local food to the heart of Oxford. 

Good Food Oxfordshire is a network of over 150 organisations, including local food businesses, farmers and growers, institutions, and community groups that work to promote a fairer, healthier and more sustainable food system for Oxfordshire.

Since July 2023, OxFarmtoFork has saved around 730,000 food miles compared to traditional suppliers, which is a saving of around 150 tonnes of carbon or 4,720 trees. We asked Head Chef Sean Ducie to tell us more.

What is the advantage of being part of OxFarmtoFork?

We can buy fantastic ingredients from local farms who care about the land and soil, as well as its impact on the world. We regularly meet and talk to the suppliers who actually grow the produce.  Their passion, as well as that of those who set up the initiative, is very clear.

As we eat seasonally at Queen’s, it means we get fantastic produce at the right times of the year. The produce is collected via electric vehicles to a central hub then biked into the kitchens of colleges.  It’s picked and then delivered straight away: the quality and freshness are second to none.

Everyone I speak to raves about the bread we buy from Proof Bakery.  Can you tell us about one or two of your favourite items of produce so far?

What’s exciting is that there are new suppliers coming on all the time.  Coffee from Missing Bean has just appeared on the list. I love the bread too – I think it’s really very good. I also like the herbs and flowers we get from Jamie at Blacklands a 10-acre organic market garden in South Oxford and from Harrison at Worthy Earth, a market garden and part of Worthy Earth group. The local raw honey from Forge Farm, a family-run organic farm, and the organic apple and pear vinegar they do is really special. Essentially, we have access to a fantastic local farmers’ market on a weekly basis.