14th November 2016
South Devon College was crowned winner of the ‘Food and Drink’ Category at the annual national Green Gown Awards 2016 for their innovative project ‘Samphire- What a Pickle’.
Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sectors across the UK and Ireland as the education sector leads a path to efficiency, employability and better quality of life for us all.
In the South West there is an abundance of fresh fish and Samphire (Sea Asparagus) is the ultimate compliment to any fish dish. After identifying that Samphire was a difficult and expensive commodity to source, the team decided to take on the challenge of growing it themselves in order to produce a dynamic pickle recipe.
The students at South Devon College worked in collaboration on the project. Carpentry students built the plant beds, Horticulture students were responsible for sowing, growing and nurturing the Samphire and Business students were tasked with re-introducing the product to the local market. The Catering students worked hard on creating the pickle recipe to be used in the College training restaurant, Horizons which incorporates the Mitch Tonks Seafood Academy. The Digital Media team helped to create the project video and enabled a full promotion of the venture.
The Award Ceremony was held at the Athena in Leicester, in partnership with De Montfort University (DMU) and the University of Leicester. The evening saw 21 Winners and 26 highly commended entries from 115 finalists representing 1.5 million students and 240,000 staff. With an audience of 390 sustainability leaders applauding sustainability excellence within tertiary education, the Green Gown Awards celebrated those that are making a radical change. The evening was hosted by Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer.
Matt Green, Commercial Catering and Retail Services Manager at South Devon College said, “To be announced as the winner is a fantastic achievement. We were shortlisted alongside five Universities; Nottingham Trent, Sheffield, Cambridge, Chester and Greenwich, so it was a very competitive category. It has been a collaborative cross-college project and I’m delighted we have won.”
The judging panel included 80 representatives from the education sector and experts in the various fields, including Universities UK, Department of Energy and Climate Change, PwC, WWF and the United Nations Environment Programme. In reference to the project the judges said, “Samphire- What a Pickle is an inspirational project both in terms of what is possible to achieve across an organisation and how to preserve our heritage food” and “This is a winning entry not only for what has been achieved in terms of cross college work to make this project a success but in terms of how this project can be used to inspire the sector to launch similar projects”.
Laurence Frewin, Vice Principal Corporate Services and Deputy CEO at South Devon College, said “This is significant recognition for South Devon College as we were one of only three Colleges nationally to have been shortlisted as a finalist for an award. This recognises the aspiration and innovation of our students and staff and really shows how the College plays a part in developing new opportunities to support our students with real life experiences responding to a real demand.”
For more information email [email protected] or call 08000 380123 Alternatively, you may speak to the team at the next Open Evening on the 16th November at the Vantage Point campus in Paignton, 5pm-8pm. Register online: southdevon.ac.uk