University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 156/2023 of 13.11.2023
Better supply of regional products in gastronomy
The University of Bayreuth is developing logistics concepts at its Faculty of Life Sciences in Kulmbach together with the Nutrition Cluster at the Competence Centre for Nutrition (KErn) in order to increase the proportion of regional food in restaurants and communal catering. The aim of the project is to make the supply of regional products to canteens and restaurants easier and more efficient, initially in the Cham district and the Fichtelgebirge region.
Restaurants and communal catering are often part of sophisticated (inter)national supply chains simply because of the large quantities that are cooked there every day. However, hospitals, daycare centres, pubs and gourmet restaurants are also increasingly demanding regional food. However, this does not currently fit in with standard food logistics. "Food from the region" ("regional" means planted, reared or produced in the district or in directly neighbouring districts) must therefore become simpler and more efficient. Christine Mendoza Pardo, research associate at the Chair of Food Supply Chain Management at the University of Bayreuth, explains: "'Simple' here means that products from different producers are delivered to the recipients in a bundled form so that as few additional deliveries as possible have to be integrated into the operational process. 'Efficient' means that vehicle utilisation must be designed in such a way that no higher economic or ecological costs are incurred."
These could be special vans, bicycle couriers, a cooperative of producers who jointly afford a lorry and driver, or a traditional warehouse, transport service provider or wholesaler. Mendoza Pardo says: "It is precisely the task of the project to find out which concept is best suited to each region. It is important to promote cooperation between several companies."
In the project, the Food Cluster is focussing on networking and data collection from producers, farmers, restaurants and communal catering facilities. This involves collection and delivery addresses, type and quantity of products, order frequency, time slots for collection and delivery, and other product requirements such as organic, halal or kosher. At the Kulmbach campus, several possible logistics concepts are then analysed for their advantages and disadvantages using model-driven decision support systems. Prof Fikar and his team will use this to develop possible logistics concepts, e.g. direct collections and deliveries, and compare these with combined transport with an intermediate warehouse.
The model is to be trialled in the district of Cham (with the "Landgenuss Bayerwald" initiative) from April 2024. In the Fichtelgebirge (together with the "Marktgold" project), the results will be used to refine a planned logistics centre. The project is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry (StMELF) and the CSU and Freie Wähler parliamentary group reserves.