BIOFAIR – Economical and environmental evaluation of the preparation of meals

BIOFAIR – Economical and environmental evaluation of the preparation of meals using fresh organic products and finished products, based on the example of a Viennese canteen. (Comparison between organic fresh products and finished products)
2003 - 2004
Ressourcen Management Agentur (RMA)
Unterstützt durch: 
City of Vienna, INITIATIVE „Waste Prevention Vienna“, Magistrate Department of Vienna 48 (MA 48) – Waste Management

Project goal

The project goal is the assessment of using fresh organic products in comparison with conventionally produced finished products.



The BIOFAIR project is based on the thesis that organic food freshly cooked in canteens is rentable if certain boundary conditions are considered. The project concentrates on investigating, by means of using concrete examples, if selected organic food – purchased as raw material and then processed in the canteen – indeed proves an economic advantage along with its ecological and quality properties when compared with convenience products.

Applying the experience made in the canteens of two Viennese hospitals, a decision-making base is developed that promotes the use of organic food freshly cooked in the canteens. This way, the project supports the goals of the „Waste Prevention in Vienna“ Initiative by strengthening the sustainable production and consumption patterns. By purchasing organic food raised in the surrounding regions, local agriculture is supported, and thus new jobs in both the agricultural sector and the canteens are created, respectively, kept. At the same time, a contribution to the promotion of the Viennese Climate Protection Programme is achieved, in terms of considering the increase of the organic food ratio from at least 30 % until 2005.
The value-related ratio of organic food amounted in 2003 to 21 % in the Rudolfstiftung Hospital, and to 29 % in the Kaiser-Franz-Joseph Hospital. In cooperation with the two canteens, three food types are selected that are available both as fresh organic products and conventional finished products. These are iceberg lettuce, apple sauce and curd cheese dumplings. By means of this selection, an economic, an ecological and a qualitative assessment are performed, so to that the initially postulated thesis is either supported or to rejected.
The base for the ecological assessment is the eco-balance method. The environmental impacts of the selected foods are examined by means of an eco-balance. The potential environmental impacts are researched that occur through the entire life cycle beginning with the raw material extraction over the production up to the final dish for the patient.
The economic assessment is performed by means of a cost analysis comparing purchase costs, salary costs and corporate costs for the canteens spent on the organic food product, including its processing, with the corresponding costs for the conventionally produced finished product. By means of a time demand estimation in the canteens, the work time is assessed, and thus in the following, the salary costs are calculated. The corporate costs are estimated over the water and electrical energy consumption. Investment costs for acquiring of machinery equipment are not considered.
The qualitative assessment is performed by an analysis of the ingredients by means of a literature research, of a taste sampling, self decomposition tests and of an analysis of the heart frequency variability.




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