Sustainable Sourcing

SUBWAY® restaurants are known for serving fresh, great tasting food and good nutritional choices to millions of customers around the world every day. The franchisee-owned European Independent Purchasing Company Ltd (EIPC) is responsible for procuring our delicious products and ingredients as well as the equipment, supplies and services used in our stores. 


Together with EIPC, we are dedicated to supporting SUBWAY® franchisees to operate in the most environmentally sustainable manner possible. From streamlining our supply chains, using sustainable sourcing practices to ensuring our high food quality and food safety standards are met, we not only help reduce energy, water usage and waste but we’re taking care of the environment too. Ultimately the health of our population depends on the health of the planet.

We focus on five key areas:


Food Quality & Food Safety

Food safety and food quality are our top priorities. Our goal is to serve food that consistently meets the highest quality and safety standards - from the time it is grown, harvested or caught, to when it is put into a Sub or salad in our stores. 

We have stringent audit processes that we enforce throughout our supply chain. We also require that all our suppliers' employment practices meet our Vendor Code of Conduct.Our high standards for food safety ensure that our customers are getting the quality they expect from the SUBWAY® brand. We begin with setting detailed product specifications followed by inspection of samples pulled from the supply chain to ensure that our requirements are being met. All approved facilities that supply food to SUBWAY® stores undergo a third-party audit for food safety that includes HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) on at least an annual basis, if not more frequently. In the UK and Ireland, we use a widely known and respected food assurance brand, NSF-CMi, to audit to this standard.The SUBWAY® brand's Office of Food Safety and Quality Enhancement team meets quarterly to review all our food safety and quality programmes and recommends improvements as needed. This team works together with our vendors to achieve our food safety and quality improvement goals.

Food safety is of paramount importance in our stores too! Sandwich Artists™ are required to always follow strict hand-washing procedures and proper glove usage for all food handling processes. All products are monitored throughout the day to ensure products are kept at the correct temperature. To further ensure quality, all prepared food is managed via strict shelf life dating procedures. Our stores must always follow the most stringent policy towards food safety. We continuously provide training for franchisees and their staff on the importance of food safety and every store is evaluated for compliance with policies and procedures every month. Franchisees need to remain diligent in adhering to these policies because if they are not adhered to at store level, it is grounds for Franchise termination.


Sustainable Sourcing


All vegetable suppliers are required to have a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) system, and third party certification (e.g. BRC or ISO) in place and source product from EurepGAP or GlobalGAP certified growers, a voluntary scheme that aims at setting a standard for good agricultural practices worldwide.

Many of our suppliers are responsible stewards of the land and share our commitment to social responsibility and sustainability. They use sustainable agricultural practices such as cover cropping and crop rotation to restore nutrients to the soil and help maintain local ecosystems, and establish annual crop protection plans for good plant protection practices. For instance, they use integrated pest management practices like non-chemical crop protection, cultivation measures and advisory systems to minimise pesticide and fertilizer use, and employ irrigation practices that reduce electricity and water use.

• Our cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers are grown in greenhouses. To conserve fossil fuel, some of our growers use combined heat systems which produce electricity for the grid and use the excess heat for their greenhouse productions. Some of our growers are using geothermal energy. Almost all our greenhouse growers use soil and water management practices. 


Meat and Poultry

Not only do our vendors work to improve the nutritional aspect of our food, but they are committed to putting processes in place that improve the sustainability of our supply chain. For example:
  • Both UK and overseas suppliers comply with EU legal requirements as a minimum. In addition, we are working closely with them to ensure that in the long term they source from farms that adhere to the national farm assurance schemes applicable to each meat species to ensure the health and welfare of animals throughout our supply chain. These schemes are independently audited and verified by recognised certification accredited to a national standard.
  • Our suppliers who carry out further processing are required to comply with quality assurance and integrated processing schemes which set out the highest standards of food processing and manufacturing practices. These schemes are also independently audited and verified by recognised certification bodies, accredited to a national standard.
  • In addition, around half of the turkey sold in our British stores is sourced from British farms and is produced to the Quality British Turkey standard which is part of the Assured Food Standards Red Tractor scheme. Where we have to source from other countries, the turkey is sourced from suppliers and farms where good animal welfare practice complies with EU legislation and upholds the principles of the globally recognised Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) Five Freedoms which is a framework to safeguard and continually improve animal welfare.



The SUBWAY® brand recognises the vital importance, both commercially and ecologically, of sustainable fishing. Our long-term goal is to work with the industry to move to more sustainable practices worldwide including: sourcing our seafood from independently certified sustainable fisheries, supporting protected areas and changing our specifications. We have already taken significant steps toward achieving this goal and are working with our vendors and suppliers to source seafood as sustainably as possible today and into the future.  

In the UK and Ireland, we sell only skipjack tuna, considered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as a species of least concern. It is sourced from fisheries with non-threatened stock levels. Our approved tuna suppliers only purchase from certified non-IUU boats on the Earth Island Institute approved supplier list. 

In addition, we are working with our suppliers to source our tuna from fisheries that use responsible management practices based on independent scientific evidence. These practices include the enforcement of seasonal fish aggregating device (FAD) bans and using improved catch methods to reduce and eliminate juvenile catch and by-catch as well as improving the traceability and verification of our tuna supply. The SUBWAY® brand will continue to work with our suppliers and organisations such as the Earth Island Institute, the Blue Ocean Institute and the Institute for Sustainable Seafood to continually improve the sustainable sourcing of our seafood.


Bakery and Other products/ingredients

Our suppliers are committed to driving a more sustainable palm oil practice over time including the growing, processing and transportation processes that will stop deforestation while continuing to support the communities which rely on its production. We are working toward using only certified sustainable palm oil in our products by 2015.Our stores in the UK and Ireland serve only 100% Rainforest Alliance certified coffee.
Image showing coffee beans spilling out of bag

Local Sourcing

Consumers are increasingly interested in where their products come from, often with a preference for local sourcing. Our goal is to bring high quality, great tasting products to our stores, which often means sourcing locally, where feasible and cost-effective. We are aware that local sourcing can often not only ensure high quality produce but also reduce environmental impact and contribute to the local economy. As a result, we will try where possible to increase the amount of locally sourced produce. Currently, products that are locally sourced include:

  • In the UK, pork sausage sold is 100% British pork.
  • 50% of the turkey sold in our British stores is from Britain.
  • Lettuce and carrots are sourced from the UK and Ireland during the summer season and we continue to look for additional locally sourced products that meet our stringent specifications

Fun Facts About Tomatoes

  • Rich in vitamin A & C
  • They have antioxidants like beta carotene
  • Naturally low in sodium and cholesterol
  • Naturally fat free
  • Botanically a fruit, although almost always used like a vegetable
  • Once thought to be poisonous

Animal Welfare

We support the highest standards of animal welfare practices. The SUBWAY® brand recognises that animal health and welfare are closely linked, so our suppliers always provide animals with the appropriate veterinary care if needed. They only use EU approved antibiotics, under close veterinary supervision and control, if it is absolutely necessary to ensure good health and welfare. Working closely with experts, our suppliers are constantly monitoring the use of these products in their husbandry systems to reduce the amount of medicines used in the future. Growth promoting substances are not used in any of our products in the UK and Ireland. We are committed to continuing to work with our vendors to improve the animal welfare practices used in our supply chain, and some examples of our achievements include:

  • We are working closely with all of our meat suppliers to ensure that in the long term they source from farms which adhere to the national farm assurance schemes applicable to each species, to ensure the health and welfare of animals throughout our supply chain. These schemes are independently audited and verified by recognised certification bodies accredited to a national standard


Streamlining Supply Chain

With tens of thousands of stores worldwide, our supply chain needs to be as efficient and sustainable as possible. On a global basis, many of our vendors and suppliers have worked with us to add or move locations closer to our distributors and we have established re-distribution centres, thus reducing shipping costs and emissions. We are continually looking for ways to optimise the efficiency of our supply chain.


Our Customer Service team receives questions everyday from people like you all around the world. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular ones – perhaps these might have some of the answers you are looking for.

Contact Customer Service

Your feedback and questions are important to us so feel free to tell us about your SUBWAY experience. Click on the link below to contact our Customer Service team.