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The University of Southampton

Say HELO to a healthier way of eating

Published: 12 February 2008

The University of Southampton has introduced a new concept in healthy, ethical eating, with the added benefits of helping the local economy and reducing the University’s carbon footprint.

The Healthy Ethical Local Organic (HELO) brand was devised to provide healthy, ethical eating options for staff and students. The HELO concept aims to award its products as many letters from the HELO acronym as possible.


The University is the first in the higher education sector to combine healthier eating options, ethical purchasing, local business support and organic foods under one brand.

All HELO food is grilled, steamed or baked, with no unnecessary fats or salts. Salads have no dressing, with customers being able to add their own if they choose. Fresh juices and waters replace fizzy drinks.

Jon Beale, Assistant Director of Business and Community Services at the University, comments: ‘We are raising awareness of students and staff about the environment and social issues associated with the food they buy and eat. We are also increasing local purchasing to actively support local businesses and the local economy, while reducing the University’s food miles and carbon footprint.’

The HELO trademark was developed in association with Hampshire Fare, which is a consortium of local food and drink producers, who helped to source local food suppliers and the University’s sustainable procurement project team.

Tim Brock, Hampshire Fare Manager, says: ‘The University of Southampton must be applauded for its positive approach to sustainable sourcing and healthy eating. They have been great to work with and combined with the launch of the regular Student Union producer market, have set an excellent example for other institutions to follow.’

Since its launch from a single, dedicated area on the University’s Highfield campus, the HELO brand is now available in retail catering outlets across the University. In addition, the concept has been expanded into the portfolio of Catering and Conference and Hospitality services.

The University is also actively sharing its experience with other institutions and local organisations so they can achieve the same positive benefits.

A gala dinner is taking place at the University on Wednesday 13 February to celebrate the launch of the HELO brand and promote local food.

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