Our regional partners and products
At this point, we would like to inform you about who is behind the products that are made for our guests every day in the refectory.
First, a quick question: What does regional actually mean?
We hear and see this term more and more often: when shopping, in advertising or when talking to friends. However, what does it actually mean? Law does not protect the term „region“. Therefore, if you want to know more precisely, where the goods on offer come from, you can also look at product labels such as "Gutes aus Hessen" or ask directly at the local market stall.
What is the point of buying regional products?
These foods are not necessarily of higher quality than products that come from further away. Nevertheless, it has certain advantages to buy regional products:
• Strengthening of the regional economy
• Short transport routes = less harmful emissions (ecological)
• Intense flavour due to optimal harvest time
• Quality and control through direct contact between producer &consumer
• Less stress for the animal due to short transport routes to slaughter and thus more aromatic meat
The Studierendenwerk would like to offer more Darmstadt-related products in its canteens and bistros in order to reduce its carbon footprint. However, it is hardly possible to offer a 100% "regional" dish in the everyday life of the refectory.
What many people do not know is that we produce most of our baked goods ourselves - and have been doing so for over 40 years! This means that our baked goods have the shortest route to our bistros. Somewhat hidden away in the Mensa Lichtwiese, two pastry chefs and two bakers prepare all kinds of delicacies for students and guests early in the morning. From 2 a.m. onwards, they knead and bake pomegranates, nut buns, almond sticks and various cakes and pastries every day. They also make the cake of the month, which is available in the bistros for just €1.60. Every year, our bakers produce around 27,000 Nussecken and 23,000 Rüblischnitten - because these classics are always in great demand.
However, new creations also make it into the cake showcases. Our staff and students also have a say in this: from time to time we incorporate their ideas and wishes into the recipe selection. Do you miss a special delicacy in the display? Feel free to give feedback!
Odenwälder Meat Products GmbH
We get our meat products from the Odenwälder Metzgerei, a butcher's shop in the immediate vicinity. Keeping to our philosophy, they place particular emphasis on freshness and quality, which gives our products their great taste. The animals also come from the Odenwald.
The following example illustrates the ecological benefit of regional sourcing: considerable amounts of approx. 35 tonnes of fresh meat as well as 30 tonnes of sausage and cold cuts are delivered to our refectories from a maximum distance of 25 km. This includes, for example:
- 3,000 kg Bratwurst (25,000 pieces)
- 1,800 kg Bockwurst (15,000 pieces)
- 2,700 kg beef sausage (22,000 pcs.)
- 3120 kg turkey salami (208,000 slices)
Only the switch from frozen schnitzel to the local supplier reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 15.11 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year.
The Odenwälder Metzgerei promises: "You will experience quality and the special taste with our products because we only use the best meat and produce our Odenwälder sausage and meat products according to traditional butchery and old recipes. In doing so, we not only pay attention to the competence of our employees, but also to the traditional as well as creative recipes and the most modern hygiene standards."
You can find more information at https://odenwaelder-metzgerei.de/
Sonnenhof / Mühltal
Since 1st of August 2018, our university catering has been purchasing organic potatoes and milk from the "Sonnenhof" farm of the Nieder-Ramstädter Diakonie Foundation in Mühltal. We are thus expanding our regional organic offerings in the dining halls and moving closer to our goal of sustainable catering.
The "Sonnenhof" is part of the three recognised workshops for people with disabilities (WfbM) of the Nieder-Ramstädter Diakonie Foundation and carries the certification of an organic farm according to Naturland guidelines. Here, around 40 people with learning difficulties manage the "Sonnenhof" together with the Diakonie's specialist staff, producing milk, flour and potatoes all year round. The employees' activities include work in the barn as well as in milk production and potato processing. On 160 hectares of arable land, they grow cereals, field beans and fodder for the dairy herd. The team at the "Sonnenhof" produces a total of about 200 tonnes of peeled potatoes and 610,000 litres of milk in the best organic quality every year for its bulk buyers: inside. The Studierendenwerk takes about 70 tonnes of organic potatoes and about 50,000 litres of organic milk.
In March 2019, eight employees of the Studierendenwerk got the opportunity to visit the Sonnenhof for the first time and gain an insight into the workshops. The employees were very interested in the processes on the farm and above all extremely impressed by the atmosphere on site. An employee of the Studierendenwerk commented: "It was impressive to see, and when meeting the people working there also clearly felt, how the "Sonnenhof" team successfully combines the professionalism and economic efficiency of a certified eco-company with the claim to provide jobs for people with disabilities and to support the employees according to their needs."
The Studierendenwerk is delighted about this great cooperation!
You can find more information about the work of Sonnenhof on their website.
The traditional Pfungstädter brewery, located in the neighbouring town of the same name, has been in the brewing business since it was founded in 1831. Over the years, a diverse selection of beer specialities has been established, which, according to the company, "are brewed using only the best ingredients. For us, this means: Odenwald spring water from the Bergstrasse-Odenwald UNESCO Geopark, malting barley from 100% Hessian agriculture certified with the "Geprüfte Qualität - HESSEN" seal of quality and origin, beer yeast grown in-house and the finest natural hops from the Hallertau- region."
With the "Pfungstädter", we have a beer in our range brewed in the region and which is a big hit at the annual Welcome Party (Darmstadt's biggest student party). You can also taste the "Pfungstädter" in our bistros.