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Food & Drink



1. Give preference to regional & seasonal, ecological & fair

Particularly with food and drinks, you as the event organiser can exercise considerable influence on the environmental sustainability and fair production of the products you use. Try, as a general rule, to favour regional and seasonal products as well as vegetarian dishes. Be guided by food labels in purchasing products from certified organic production (e.g. Bio Knospe (Bio-Bud)), from fair trade (e.g. Max Havelaar, Gebana), or from certified fisheries (MSC). When working together with a caterer, take note of Measure 3 below to help you provide socially and ecologically sensitive catering.

Further Information

  • Label Guide for Food (in German) - The Label Guide of Consumer Protection Foundation, the Swiss Animal Protection SAP and WWF will help you in purchase decisions (also available as a smartphone app)
  • Labelinfo.ch (in German) - The Website provides information on which labels are fair trade or organic farming

2. Offer attractive vegetarian meals

Consider whether you might only offer very limited meat, fish and seafood, or if you would even prefer to provide entirely vegetarian meals. By limiting or forgoing animal food products you are significantly reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.

3. Select sustainable caterers

Select a caterer that follows sustainability principles and can put together an appropriate offer for you, or ask catering companies specifically about fulfilling such criteria. It is important that you convey to the catering company why significance is being placed on ecological and social quality and what this means to you. To help achieve this you can use the Catering Guide, which you can forward to a catering service in order to request an appropriate proposal. Amongst the links below, you will find several providers from Basel offering catering services based around sustainability criteria.

Further Information

  • Sustainable Catering Guide [PDF (103 KB)] - This list will help you to request sustainability criteria of catering companies.
  • Sustainable Catering of SV Group (in German) - The catering service of the SV Group at the University of Basel offers a sustainable catering service on request. Contact: catering.unimensa-at-sv-group.ch 
  • Captain Plant - Vegetarian catering from Basel. Contact: info-at-captainplant.com
  • Tibits Catering Basel - Vegetarian catering for 10 people or more.
  • Partyservice Jenzer (in German) - Meat only from ethical husbandry from the region (BIO, Agri-Natura, IP-Suisse, open land).

4. Less is more – avoid food waste

Make an effort – possibly in conjunction with your caterer – to realistically estimate the required quantities of food, so as to avoid discarding foodstuffs. In the case of buffet meals you can arrange that food is served in stages rather than everything right from the start. If there are leftovers, you can pass this surplus food on to your staff after the event. If a larger quantity of sandwiches is left over, you can have these collected by “Schweizer Tafel” in the Basel region for redistribution to the needy, provided sufficient notice is given (by early morning on the relevant day of collection). Other foods can unfortunately not be redistributed due to hygiene and logistical issues. 

Weitere Informationen

5. Choose reusable instead of disposable tableware

Wherever possible, use washable and reusable tableware or request this of your catering partner. If this is not feasible, then you can use unpackaged finger food (“wrap in bread”). Use fabric rather than paper table cloths and napkins to avoid disposable waste. If this is not possible, try to use napkins made from recycled paper.

Further Information

  • Information about borrowing or purchaising reusable uni cups in the mint-design.
  • Reusable in 7 Steps (in German) - On the online platform saubere-veranstaltung.ch you will find useful advice about reusable tableware and best events.
  • Refilller (in German) - Refilling instead of discarding is the motto of the association refiller. On the website you will find background information on the reduction of disposable packaging in the food area.
  • Cup Systems (In German) - Cup Systems from Münchenstein offers various reusable tableware systems for events.

6. Offer tap water

At your event, offer drinking water from the tap served in carafes or glass jugs, as the water quality in Basel is excellent. By doing so you not only save energy and resources (tap water is between 90 and 1000 times more ecological than consuming bottled water), but also money. Where applicable you can also ask your caterer to offer tap water for refilling. In doing this, the fresh filling of carafes and their regular clearing and washing needs to be ensured.

Further Information

  • LCA study of drinking water vs. Mineral (in German) - The SVWG study shows that consumption of tap water  is from 90 to 1000 times more ecological than the consumption of bottled water in the bottle.

7. Utilize reusable drinking bottles and cups

Often conference participants also wish to consume drinks during presentations and workshops, usually from PET bottles or disposable cups. Instead, you can offer resealable and reusable cups or bottles, which (in conjunction with a sponsoring partner, for example) can be given away to participants as a gift. At smaller events you can also provide felt pens and name stickers to encourage the marking of cups so people reuse their own cup rather than taking a new one.

Further Information

  • Refiller  (in German) - Refilling instead of discarding is the motto of the association refiller. On the website you will find background information on the reduction of disposable packaging in the food area.
  • rrrevolve - The online store offers many reusable bottles and cups.

8. Serve a range of foods appropriate to the target group

If you are expecting different target groups at your event, for example groups of people from widely differing national or cultural origins, you should make the effort to take their particular catering requirements into account and publicize this accordingly: e.g. indicate which foods are vegetarian, do not contain pork, are lactose or gluten free. When choosing tableware, you can check that it is also easy to use for people with a fine motor skills disability (e.g. cups with large handles, plates with a raised edge).

Further Information

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