Good Food Project

The food we consume daily is one of the most crucial determinants of our health and wellbeing. UNSW is striving to be Australia's top tertiary institution in education, thought leadership, and social engagement, and as such has a responsibility to ensure our campus environment is designed to optimise healthy dietary choices as the default choice for students and staff. To achieve this positive change, the UNSW Good Food Project was set up in 2019 to bring the University community together around a well-defined common purpose and a set of principles in the form of a Food Charter.

The Good Food Charter encompasses a set of principles to enable and encourage the UNSW community of staff, students, retailers and catering services to select healthier food and drink options. The Food Charter has been collectively developed by the UNSW Health Promotions Unit, UNSW Wellbeing, The George Institute for Global Health, Estate Management and Arc Student Life. The principles of the Charter are guided by scientific evidence on how dietary choices are shaped by environmental factors such as food pricing, availability and promotion.

Good Food Charter Principles


  • UNSW food environment is in line with NSW Health facilities
  • Everyday food and drinks are prominent on retails shelves
  • Use healthy alternatives as the default, eg. wholegrain bread, brown rice
  • Offer smaller portions of occasional food and drinks
  • Eliminate sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Free water always available
  • Everyday food and drinks are provided at catered events
  • Marketing and promotion of everday food and drinks only
  • Everyday food and drinks account for the majority of what is for sale

Ethical and Sustainable

  • Contribute to the UNS Sustainable Development Goals - in particular SDG 3 and SDG 12
  • Use ethically sourced ingredients
  • Purchase local and seasonal fresh produce whenever possilble
  • Plastic-free dining and where possible eliminate single-use
  • Reduce food waste
  • Aim to use Fair Trade products (eg. coffee, tea and chocolate)
  • Reduce red meat offerings


  • Various dietary requirements are catered for
  • Small and large portion sizes are available
  • Diversity of cuisines are available
  • Vegan and vegetarian options are available


  • Everyone has a basic right to acces nutritious food
  • Use seasonal ingredients in meals
  • $5-$10 Healthy Meal Deal offered daily


  • Easy access to nutritional information
  • Education through campus events
  • Nutritional profile displayed on pre-packaged products and menus clearly display meals that are gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan

The Charter adopts elements from similar initiatives already implemented in other top global universities and local public institutions such as NSW Health facilities. Importantly, the Charter reflects student and staff feedback on the most significant changes they would like to see made to the campus food environment based on research conducted in a survey in 2021. The UNSW Food Charter principles are based on findings from this research and recommendations from the Healthy Food and Drink in NSW Health Facilities for Staff and Visitors Framework.

In December 2022, the Good Food Charter was approved by UNSW Management Board.