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Realignment of our food offer 2022

On this page, we'll keep you updated over the coming year on the individual steps we're taking in the realignment. Check back soon!

More vegetables and fruit, less meat; regional, seasonal, sustainable - that's what many students want from their canteen food. We have already done a lot in recent years to make the canteens more sustainable. So far, changes have been implemented step by step, always oriented towards the needs of the students and our social mission to offer affordable food for all students. The pandemic and current climate disasters have made us rethink values and priorities. We are now convinced that bigger steps are needed to make a sustainable contribution. To this end, we have defined four points on how we want to realign our refectories and the food on offer there within 2022.

1. A new food offer

Vegetarian and vegan food should become the rule, meat the exception. The meat we buy should come from organic or species-appropriate animal husbandry. When buying fish, we will continue to follow the WWF's fish guide. Otherwise, we will maintain the existing menu lines such as the "Klimaessen" and standards such as TransFair coffee in organic quality. When purchasing other components such as vegetables, salads and starch side dishes, regionality and seasonality are very important to us, but these criteria must be set in relation to the requirements of a healthy and varied diet.

2. Reasonable prices

Sustainable food does not have to be expensive. Regionality and seasonality can have a positive effect on the cost of goods. Where costs increase, however, we will have to pass them on to our customers. For example, the reorientation of the menus means that meat dishes will become more expensive. At the same time, we have the social function of the refectory in mind: There will still be at least one inexpensive meal in the canteen, but it will usually be vegetarian or vegan.

3. Too good for the bin

Food that ends up in the bin - even if the waste is composted - is not sustainable. We consistently rely on components that we continuously reproduce in small quantities during operation. This way we ensure that there are hardly any leftovers at the end of the day. Where possible, we offer different portion sizes. When the stricter Corona hygiene conditions have been reduced again, sales via buffets or invoicing via scales can also help to ensure that suitable portion sizes are chosen.

4. Efficient use of buildings and technology

The operation of catering facilities means energy consumption for buildings and technology. We therefore also pay attention to sustainability when it comes to equipment and the design of our opening hours. At the same time, we have our supply mandate firmly in mind. We have learned from the pandemic how to adapt to demand. There is not only the option open or closed. In recent months, we have developed numerous intermediate solutions, from supplying individual facilities from a central kitchen to to-go offers to selling from food trucks. In the future, we will make targeted use of this broad spectrum to supply our guests sustainably and efficiently.

We began preparations for the realignment of university catering in spring 2021 and presented the concept to our committees at the end of August. With their approval, the various working groups from the areas of purchasing, ecotrophology, quality management and, of course, the cooks are now starting to implement the concept. In doing so, we are building on successful projects that have already been tried and tested in previous years. With the mensaVital and "Klimaessen" menu lines, we have already developed a considerable number of dishes that provide a balanced diet with a high vegetarian content. In addition, the recipes of the "Klimaessen" already take the sustainability aspect into account; for the others, this can be pushed further - also through the purchasing policy. However, it is not only recipes that need to be redeveloped, but also many processes that need to be restructured and reorganised, as well as discussions with suppliers and service providers. This cannot be done overnight. Therefore, these four points formulated by us are to be successively implemented in 2022 with the return of the refectories to normal operation.