Sustainability plays a crucial role in the choice of caterer at Wageningen University & Research. The current caterers meet the sustainable procurement guidelines issued by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland/RVO) and purchase more than 50% of their product range from sustainable sources.

Emphasis on healthy food; 75% of range consists of very healthy and moderately healthy products

Wageningen UR has ten staff restaurants and countless vending machines where people can buy beverages and snacks. We all need to eat, but it’s good to think about the consequences of our food choices.

Wageningen University & Research complies with the sustainable procurement guidelines of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency for the catering sector. Wageningen UR and the caterers have set themselves a goal: to sell only sustainably produced and healthy products in the restaurants and vending machines. It is clear from the sustainability policy, the annual health & safety and environmental audits and the satisfaction surveys that the caterers take sustainability very seriously and do everything possible to make it visible. More than 40% of the purchases are guaranteed organic, free of pesticides, artificial fertilisers and genetic manipulation, and produced with close attention to animal welfare. The Fairtrade products carry an extra logo. The coffee and tea served at Wageningen University & Research are sustainably farmed by Max Havelaar Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance.

The caterers showed at the Sustainable Roadshow 2014 that they attach great importance to sustainability. Their commitment is illustrated by, for example, the locally-sourced products, the vegetarian croquettes made from mushrooms cultivated in coffee grounds, and the sale of refillable bottles that can actually be topped up by the caterer. Food waste – with awareness high on the agenda – is an important theme in the education and research programmes and the operational management at Wageningen University & Research.

Wageningen University & Research used to throw away almost three million plastic coffee cups a year. Recently, environmentally-friendly cups – the Cup2Paper cup – have been available in the offices. These cups are collected separately and recycled along with other paper.