17 June 2016

Sustainable Catering takes centre stage in Ghent

Public procurers, local and regional governments, caterers, producers and suppliers from across Europe came together in Ghent (Belgium) to exchange experiences, form partnerships, and discuss the economic, social and environmental challenges facing food systems in Europe at INNOCAT’s Sustainable Catering Forum. The event, which took place on 9 June, looked at practical examples of eco-innovative procurement in catering and considered what the future of sustainable food might look like.

Host city Ghent is a firm believer that local governments, by using their substantial buying power, can have a significant leverage to push the market towards innovation for more sustainable products and services. In terms of food and catering, the City of Ghent faces similar difficulties to those experienced in many cities across Europe. Ghent does not have the possibility to prepare meals from scratch and so it is necessary to procure a full catering service including food sourcing, preparation and delivery.

This has not prevented the City from taking a strong stance in terms of sustainability. The city’s most recent school catering contract included requirements for recyclable packaging, different portion sizes to keep food waste under control, “meatless Thursdays”, and as little transport as possible when delivering meals.

For more information on the INNOCAT project, visit