A Selection of our regional suppliers:
Regional, regional, regional – we come across that word all the time when shopping and advertising. But what does it actually mean? The term "region" is not a protected label. So if you want to know more about where the goods on offer come from, you can check for labels such as "Gutes aus Hessen" (meaning “good things from Hesse”).
What's the point of consuming "regionally"?
The quality of regional foods is not inherently higher than products that come from farther away. However, some characteristics are additional quality features (e.g. social criteria that are met in the production process).
Products from the surrounding area offer the following benefits:
- Strengthening of the regional economy
- Short transport distances = less emissions
- Good taste (plants can mature and are sold freshly harvested)
- Quality and control (direct contact between producer/consumer)
- Animals produce fewer stress hormones when transport distances before slaughter are short. The meat is more tender and has more aroma.
The Studierendenwerk wants to offer more products sourced from the Darmstadt surrounding area in its canteens and bistros in order to gradually reduce its carbon footprint. However, offering a 100% "regional" dish is hardly possible in everyday canteen life, as a menu often consists of a multitude of different ingredients. In addition, as a large scale professional caterer we need huge quantities in order to be able to serve up to 10,000 meals a day. It is not easy to find local suppliers who are at all able to guarantee those quantities. But in order to achieve lasting effects, we start with precisely the ingredients that we purchase in large quantities.
For example, (almost) all potatoes – about 100,000 kg per year – are now supplied in organic quality by the Nieder-Ramstädter-Diakonie of Mühltal. A medium sized potato weighs about 90 gr. This means that we purchase approximately 1,111,111 potatoes directly from the Darmstadt region every year. Among the exceptions at this moment are the products that are served in the shape of French fries and croquettes in the canteen.
The majority of the processed meat products are supplied by the "Odenwälder" butcher's shop. Approximately 35 tons of fresh meat and 30 tons of sausage and cold cuts are delivered from Fränkisch-Crumbach to our canteens. The 30,000 kg sausage and cold cuts include: 3,000 kg of bratwurst (25,000 pieces), 1,800 kg of bockwurst (15,000 pcs), 2,700 kg of beef sausage (22,000 pcs) and 3120 kg of turkey salami (208,000 slices).
Most of the delicious baked goods in our bistros have travelled an even shorter way: they come from the Studierendenwerk's in-house bakery at the Lichtwiese canteen and are freshly baked every day. In 2017, 260,000 different items left the bakery, among them 27,000 nut triangles, 23,000 slices of vegan carrot cake, 18,000 slices of cheese cake, 13,000 raspberry slices and 13,000 slices of vegan chocolate cake.
And of course, the beer at the Welcome Party (Darmstadt's biggest student party), which we also offer in our bistros, is from the local "Pfungstädter" brewery.