KNOWLEDGE MAP Back to overview

An overview of insights on the (un)sustainability of the international food system.

Food & Sustainability

…as caterer or hospitality company?

Caterers and hospitality companies are also directly in contact with consumers. By reducing water and energy consumption, and reducing food waste they can significantly contribute to sustainability.

Sustainability themes

Food that is not bought in the supermarket is often consumed in company canteens and in the hospitality sector. In addition to offering a sustainable menu (such as with organic and fair trade products), caterers and hospitality entrepreneurs can optimise their water and energy use and waste streams. The hospitality industry experiences a growing demand for honest and recognizable products and have found that energy and water consumption can be reduced by more than 30%. In catering, consumers often have limited choices and therefore (unwittingly) come into contact with sustainable food, discovering that it can be tasty as well as healthy. Therefore, caterers can accomplish much with sustainable procurement, and the (company) cook can play an important role in stimulating a sustainable offering.

Website of Veneca.

Website of KHN.

Reduction of food waste in contract catering

In 2010, Veneca members collectively decided to measure food waste in their canteens, a unique form of cooperation in a highly competitive market. The overall wastage was measured at five million kilograms per year – relatively small compared to total food losses in the Netherlands: between eight and nine billion kilograms. The main way to avoid waste is to figure out in advance how many customers will visit mealtimes. Other options include a cycle menu based on local consumer preferences, gradually restocking during lunch and processing leftovers in other products such as soup.

Soethoudt, H. (2012), p. 3-4.

Case study: Albron sustainable recycling

At more than 500 Dutch and Belgian Albron locations, the waste management company Rotie collects food scraps and residue cooking oil. It recycles cooking oil into “second generation” biodiesel. Biodiesel imposes fewer burdens on the environment and reduces CO2 emissions by more than 85% compared to the use of fossil fuels. The biogas plant ferments food waste into biogas as a fuel for gas engines. These engines power a green energy generator, supplying 20,000 homes annually in Amsterdam.

Website Albron.