Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Society/BusinessInternal Support ServicesFood & DrinksInterestingSustainability

Food & Drinks contributes to sustainability!

Food & Drinks contributes to sustainability!

We all think throwing food away is a waste: a waste of the nutrients the food contains, a waste of the money spent on it and a waste of all the work put into it by the farmer and the rest of the supply chain. Food & Drinks is committed to reducing the amount of food wasted in the University's restaurants and other catering facilities. To this end we are working together with the Green Office .

We limit food waste by:

  • Using leftover products to make new products (leftover fruit and dairy products are used to make smoothies, one-day-old bread is turned into croutons, etc.).
  • Placing new orders three times a week so that we can keep stocks to a minimum and so limit produce decay during storage.
  • Arranging smaller orders (e.g. instead of ten litres, only one litre of a product, if that is all we need) and faster delivery times with our suppliers. This means the products spend less time with the suppliers, allowing more efficient use-by date management.
  • Offering hot lunches in various size and price categories, which prevents unnecessary waste.
  • Working with menu cycles and purchasing ingredients on the basis of carefully worked out recipes.
  • Offering perishable products for reduced prices (30% off) at the end of the day.
  • Offering combi deals (coffee and cake, sandwiches and dairy drinks) to move slow selling perishables more quickly.
  • Stimulating our staff to base the amount of food they prepare on the expected customer numbers.
  • Using deep-frozen products where this is suitable. These products last for a long time without losing their nutritional value and can be thawed and used when needed throughout the day.
  • Serving lunch reservations (and particularly the perishable products) in phases instead of laying everything out at once.
  • Working according to the first in, first out (FIFO) principle, whereby products are sold as much as possible in the order of their use-by date.
  • Registering product losses via the checkout and using this information to fine-tune purchasing even more and foster awareness among our staff.
Food & Drinks contributes to sustainability!


All these measures lead to a minimum of food waste. Our achievements in this area to date have been excellent. For example, in 2014 product losses were a mere 1% of the annual turnover. Every day we try to reduce these losses even further and we want you to be involved! To this end we have set ourselves the following objectives in addition to the existing measures:

  • We will compare the performance of the University of Groningen with other universities and learn from those with the lowest losses.
  • We will provide more information on how we try to limit food waste and involve our customers more in this objective. The more awareness there is, the more input we can expect to receive on this subject.
  • We will publish an annual monitoring report that describes our progress in reducing losses.

Help us to be a more sustainable catering services provider! Thank you.

Last modified:08 December 2015 10.03 a.m.
printAlso available in: Nederlands