Sustainable business is an important element of fairgourmet's company philosophy. As the top catering provider in Central Germany, it is important to us that we work sustainably along the entire value chain. In our daily dealings with customers and business partners as well as suppliers and employees, we are always aware of our social and ecological responsibilities and act accordingly.
For us at fairgourmet, sustainability is not just a marketing term. As early as 2001, we began to implement sustainable measures and have continued to further develop our company, products and services ever since.
Procurement and sourcing
fairgourmet selects its products and suppliers in accordance with ecological and social considerations.
- Our filter coffee and coffee beans have been organically certified since 2013.
- Furthermore, the coffee beans are from fair trade sources.
- We use organic and fair trade tea.
- We use organic and fair trade bananas and rice.
- We use organic vegetables and herbs supplied by "Herbarium" here in Leipzig.
- Our product range includes organic and fair trade lemonades from Lemonaid and ChariTea.
- The organic apple juice in our selection comes from a local fruit grower with whom we have been working for many years.
- We sell fair trade Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
Wherever possible, we purchase local foods:
- Bread and rolls are supplied by a bakery in Leipzig.
- A butcher in the Ore Mountains supplies our meat.
- Fruit and vegetables are grown in the countryside around Leipzig.
- We favour wines from vineyards in Germany as well as local brands of sparkling wine.
There is a time for everything. That's why we prefer to use seasonal ingredients in our dishes.
Logistics, storage and packaging
fairgourmet prefers to use local suppliers in order to reduce CO2 emissions while at the same time reducing transport costs. What else do we do to improve our carbon footprint?
- If we are catering for an external event, we organise car sharing for our staff.
- In addition, we take great care to optimise our plans for logistical processes and routes when supplying event venues for example.
- During periods of time with fewer events, we switch off the unused cold storage facilities to save energy and costs.
- We avoid unnecessary new purchases and carry out regular maintenance on our existing equipment.
- Should it no longer be possible to repair a device, we make sure the new one is a particularly energy-efficient model.
Quality of goods and products
For us, it is a matter of course to comply with food standards by applying strict quality controls according to the HACCP management system. All staff with direct contact to foods have a health certificate and are instructed in allergies, special types of food preparation, etc. Our procurement staff take care to ensure that our foods are free from antibiotics. Fish is purchased according to the regulations laid out in the MSC certification (Marine Stewardship Council).
fairgourmet is certified according to "Standard Q – Service-Qualität Deutschland". Our membership in the "Chaîne de Rotisseurs" underlines our commitment to quality. Continued successful recertification according to the Green Globe audit is further proof of our quality services.
Conscious use of resources and recycling
Crockery, cutlery, pots, containers
On principle, fairgourmet works with reusable dishes (porcelain) and cutlery (stainless steel). Drink bottles are mostly made of glass. Wherever practical, we use water carafes. Milk and cream are provided for our guests in dispensers or glass jugs.
If it is not possible to avoid the use of disposable tableware for logistical reasons or at large events, fairgourmet uses fully biodegradable materials that are climate neutral. Cups for hot and cold drinks as well as cutlery are made from cellulose. Trays for currywurst and soup tureens are produced using waste materials from sugarcane. This means materials can be used that would otherwise be discarded.
We serve our salads in bowls made from transparent bio-plastic (PLA – polyactide, produced from glucose). These materials are based on renewable resources and are biodegradable. They can easily be composted or used in biogas plants for energy production.
Aluminium production causes considerable environmental problems. Extremely large amounts of energy are needed: It takes 14 kWh of electricity to produce one kilogram of aluminium. That's ten times more electricity than it takes to produce the same amount of tin. Furthermore, aluminium production causes poisonous waste and air pollution. For these reasons, fairgourmet never uses aluminium foil in the kitchen. We also never use aluminium coffee capsules when renting out coffee machines. For catering services at exhibition stands, fairgourmet has replaced single-use aluminium trays with reusable trays for which customers pay a deposit.
Sorting rubbish, reusable instead of single-use, repairs
In fairgourmet's kitchens as well as all snack bars and fast food outlets at the Leipzig Exhibition Centre we always sort our rubbish.
Our range of drinks in plastic bottles has mostly been replaced with drinks in glass bottles. When catering for our own staff in places such as the Messecasino, we ask our colleagues to use their own cups for coffee-to-go whenever possible. This way, we can try to minimise the number of single-use cups. fairgourmet is currently considering the introduction of a fee for single-use cups.
For the last 20 years, fairgourmet has always tried to repair kitchen equipment rather than throwing it away and buying new devices. If the equipment cannot be repaired, we make sure the new purchases are energy-efficient models.
Staff and trainees
The most important asset of a company is its personnel. Therefore, fairgourmet supports and challenges its employees. Our principle is: "Leadership means supporting our employees in their work to shape a successful company". From 2011 to 2016, fairgourmet has trained 19 young people. Seven of them trained in service (restaurant management), three in the kitchen (cook) and nine in banquets (events management).
German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) quality certification
The successful careers of our qualified apprentices are not the only proof of the high quality of our training. In 2017, the Saxony branch of DEHOGA awarded fairgourmet the prestigious title of "Recommended Training Company". This title is awarded to hotels and restaurants that train their apprentices professionally and fairly as well as successfully completing a voluntary inspection. Furthermore, our fairgourmet trainee Marie-Luise Gatzsch won the DEHOGA Saxony state professional hospitality championships in 2015 and 2016. Today, Marie-Luise Gatzsch is working as a cook and Head of Kitchen at Leipziger Messe Casino.
Challenging trainee projects
fairgourmet initiates challenging trainee projects that offer apprentices the chance to learn additional skills and gain extra experience in projects and teamwork. One example of this is our regular participation in the "Top Tafel" (Top Table) national competition. As part of the "ISS GUT!" (eat well) trade fair, trade visitors and a jury decide which team of young catering professionals set the most original table. In 2015, our fairgourmet trainees won first prize. In 2011, they were awarded second place for their themed "pure nature" table with all tableware and decorations made from organic materials.
Customer and supplier relations
Mutual trust is the most highly valued attribute in fairgourmet's business partnerships. We believe that customers generally have a right to the highest possible quality of products and services as well as fairness and transparency.
Partnership with Sachsenobst®
Trust and respect in partnerships as well as transparency and fairness are also fairgourmet's motto when cooperating with suppliers and service providers. Whenever possible, we aim to work together in the interest of sustainability. For this reason, we entered into an intensive partnership with Sachsenobst® to develop local and organically-grown products and integrate them into the fairgourmet range. Customers can purchase the products in our online shop and the jams are also available in selected Konsum stores.
fairgourmet regularly supports charitable causes and projects. For example, we donate the proceeds from a Christmas tombola to local social projects every year – especially to homes and emergency services for children and youngsters. Furthermore, fairgourmet has been a sponsor of Bärenherz Leipzig e.V. for many years, supporting the work of a children's hospice.
fairgourmet played an active part in Leipzig's application to be the "Capital City of Fair Trade" (Hauptstadt des fairen Handels) and was involved in poster and public relations campaigns.
Fairtrade Town Leipzig
Our Director Detlef Knaack is additionally involved in committees such as the "Fairtrade Town Leipzig" steering group that coordinates activities to support fair trade in Leipzig.