Green F&B - How green do you want it?
When it comes to green and food & beverage, much has already been said and written. The Dutch are increasingly more taking green as a standard when it comes to providing food and drinks to meeting delegates.
Most venues offer a wide range of organic, biological and fair trade products and minimize transportation by working with local and fresh/seasonal products. In addition, they work closely together with the meeting planners to make sure well-balanced meals and quantities are served, to reduce waste. Surplus food is usually recycled. More and more suppliers can help you 'prove' the origin of products with certifications, and can assist you in calculating footprints and savings.
There is more, however, than meets the eye, and the Dutch are proud of some great initiatives and innovative ways to create memorable and sustainable experiences. Some examples:
Putting the tables out in the field and the field on the table!
A recent creation of renowned and creative catering company Grand Catering, ‘Buitengewoon in het land’ (extraordinary in the field) is a truly unique restaurant without walls, available only during summer months. In close cooperation with local farmers, landowners and chefs they find a common challenge to cook for groups in special locations with special products. In an orchard, a meadow, a vineyard or an ancient garden. With regional, artisan ingredients - lettuce and herbs that are picked literally hours before dinner, fresh fruit from the trees around you, oysters fresh from the sea, and meat or fish of good origins.
An endless dinner table for more than seventy guests is the central focus of your dinner. Your guests will experience a unique five-course meal with 'sharing food, wines, and, undoubtedly, inspiring conversations and encounters. Take it from us that it will be a memorable evening that your guests will not stop talking about. Imagine what such a unique experience will do for the overall effect of your event.
Downey’s makes you feel up
We are not referring to a state of mind, but to what may be some of the most passionate and dedicated staff you have ever seen. Restaurant Downey’s in Amersfoort is a great example of the People component in triple P. This lunchroom offers people with Down Syndrome a valued place in society. Almost the entire staff in front and back of the house are people with intellectual disabilities. Focusing on abilities rather than disabilities, a work environment is created that enables them to rise above themselves and develop.
Across Holland, more and more similar concepts are opening up and several of them can accommodate small groups in fully-equipped meeting rooms. Some, such as Hotel & Restaurant Abrona in Oudewater, even offer a three-star hotel with 24 rooms, while Abrona's Robberse Island venue is located on the waterfront in Loosdrecht and offers groups of up to 60 both meeting/event facilities and water sports opportunities. Your meeting at these venues will be a truly unique and incomparable experience.
De Kas - Dining in the greenhouse
How close can you get to the products on your plate? At De Kas (The Greenhouse) in Amsterdam you dine amidst herbs and vegetables. The founder and owner of De Kas, Gert Jan Hageman, firmly believes that food tastes best when it is prepared with the freshest ingredients, grown and harvested with respect for nature. De Kas has its own nursery and garden near the restaurant, where Mediterranean vegetables, herbs and edible flowers are grown. Other seasonal vegetables are transported ten kilometres max. from their fields.
De Kas’ chefs and waiting staff spend a lot of time in the greenhouse, and produce is harvested from the field at sunrise every day, in order that the guests can enjoy the freshest possible ingredients.
In addition to a great 'green' dining location, your delegates are welcome to tour the nursery and garden in Amsterdam or attend a workshop in the field in the Beemster.
Resto VanHarte brings people together
A great CSR initiative that demonstrates the effect of face-2-face meetings in an entirely different way is Resto VanHarte, a social-interest organisation devoted to increasing quality of life and dynamic community spirit. After all, when people in the community come together and get to know each other’s culture, isolation is nipped in the bud. The guiding principle of Resto VanHarte is to bring people into contact with one another, regardless of their background, age or religion. Resto VanHarte sets up community restaurants, known as Restos, of which there are currently over 20 throughout Holland, in which members of a community can meet while enjoying an affordable and healthy three-course meal. Key figures in the community, such as vicars, imams, community police officers and doctors, regularly come to eat at the Restos. Resto VanHarte also organises additional activities, in order to provide information and bring people together. This allows Resto VanHarte to offer people access to a social network via the dining table.