Sustainable Food Case Studies


The 18 hospitals of the Vienna Hospitals Association are serving up a 32% organic menu, and between 80 and 90 percent of the food comes from Austrian producers. Patients enjoy the new meals, which use a lot more fresh produce and fewer processed foods.


The Hospital de la Citadelle in Liege sources 95% of its food from Belgian producers – 100% in the case of meat. Salads are now crisp and freshly prepared in-house, while fruit is mainly local and seasonal, supplemented by Fairtrade bananas. Catering spending has been cut by 12% in two years – a saving achieved by using more fresh produce; doing more in-house catering and direct procurement instead of using sub-contractors; and using local suppliers as much as possible.


Half the food served in three hospitals in Zealand is organic, a landmark achieved without an increase in the catering budget. New menus and the use of organic ingredients have made hospital food more appealing to patients, reducing waste in hospitals where €470,000 worth of food used to be left uneaten each year.


Seventy per cent of food served to children at the New Meyer Hospital in Florence is organically produced. Each patient has an individual food regime, and the hospital’s dieticians have worked in consultation with children and their families to develop menus that are both nutritious and appetising. The children have welcomed the changes, expressing appreciation for improvements in taste, quality and variety.


All the milk used at Stockholm’s Karolinska University Hospital is organic, and all the coffee served on the wards and in the canteen is Fairtrade-certified. The hospital’s hamburgers are made in the hospital kitchens using organic minced beef, and locally produced organic fruit is available in fruit bowls on the wards. The hospital has increased its organic sourcing from under 1% to 4% in the first year of its pursuit of a 25% target by the end of 2011.

United Kingdom

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) is spending 41% of its food budget for three hospitals on local produce, and has cut food miles by 67%. London’s Royal Brompton Hospital has a menu that is 18% local or organic. In Cornwall the new menus incorporate a lot more fresh vegetables. New, locally-produced ice cream is doing the job of high-energy powdered drinks, saving the RCHT money.