Food and catering

In order to work and study hard, you need good nutrition. At UM, various services and facilities are available for food and beverages. These include two cafeterias, several catering outlets, meeting and event services, and coffee and snack vending machines. All of these facilities are provided by Facility Services in cooperation with external service providers.

Vision on food and beverages

When tendering for the main food and beverage contract, the primary focus was on customer satisfaction among students and employees. Internal research among the UM community shows that the main factors that influence customer satisfaction are the price-quality ratio, the promotion of healthy food and sustainability. Other issues that the UM community considers important are attention to local suppliers, diversity and innovation. With regard to sustainability, the tender chose a provider with the following spearheads:

  • reduce the carbon footprint by stimulating sustainable food choices (plant based and local seasonal products) and preventing food waste;
  • increase healthy food choices. With the help of students and UM experts, the caterer will investigate options for a labelling system for the assortment in UM’s outlets. This initiative is built on a proposal from the sustainability programme Green Impact;
  • implementing circular best practices, especially for disposables and packaging materials, but also for the use of coffee-grounds for growing culinary oyster mushrooms.

The transition from animal to plant-based protein 

The production of animal food products, such as meat and dairy, releases high levels of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide, all of which contribute to global warming. Promoting a plant-based diet is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change.  
UM's caterer, Eurest, supports the protein transition by continually expanding and improving its offerings of plant-based alternatives. Eurest contributes to awareness and behavioral change through promotions and campaigns, such as participation in the National Week Without Meat. Nudging also drives more plant-based choices: in the ordering system for meeting lunches, the plant-based option is presented first. At the Randwyck campus, Eurest also collaborates with students and employees of the faculties of FHML and FPN, such as the student group HUMMUS.  
Monitoring data* from Eurest show that at UM the animal/plant protein ratio has been around 25%/75% in recent years. The Dutch Health Council concludes that the shift to a diet with 60% vegetable and 40% animal protein is generally good for health. In the coming years, UM, together with the caterer,  will therefore take additional measures to accelerate the transition to a diet with more vegetables and less animal proteins.

*Click here to download the monitoring data of the caterer Eurest 'CO2 emissions food and beverage 2022 UM' (Pdf in Dutch). 

Less food waste

Food waste accounts for about 16% of total greenhouse gas emissions from the EU food system (see research). The main caterer takes several measures to reduce food waste. A lot of cooking is done with fresh produce, but it often has a shorter shelf life. Through clever combinations of ingredients for lunches and meals, there are fewer leftovers at the end of the day. 
Through the Too Good To Go app, tasty and good products are offered at the end of the day in a Magic Box at a reduced rate. In the coming period, Eurest will start working with Winnow's food monitors. By monitoring waste in kitchens, kitchen staff will be made aware and opportunities can be exploited for smart solutions to reduce waste.

WELL-Building at Tapijn

When redeveloping the Tapijnkazerne, UM chose to apply the WELL Building sustainability guideline. This also includes requirements for the supply of food and beverages. For example, there is more supply of fruits and vegetables and less sugary products, such as sweet soft drinks.

bring your own cup

Bring your own cup at UM

As of July 1, 2023, disposable cups are no longer offered at Maastricht University. This means that when visiting UM, you will have to bring your own cup or get the Billie Cup from one of Eurest's catering locations.

Bring your own favorite mug for your desk or bring a reusable cup that's light to carry. Faculties and service centres can decide for themselves how they want to apply the SUP directive. At most faculties and service centres, there's a small kitchenette where you can find mugs. If this is not the case, check with your own unit’s building manager to see if there is an alternative.

When you order a drink at Eurest Campus catering locations, you can receive your order in a Billie Cup by paying a deposit of 1 euro. If you return the Billie Cup, you will receive a 1-euro discount on your next purchase at Eurest Campus or you will receive a coin for a new Billie Cup. If your Billie Cup needs replacing, you can just exchange it for a new one. Take note: You can buy an additional lid for the Billie cup for 1 euro as well, but these are not refundable (due to hygiene reasons).

On UMployee (UM intranet for staff) you can find a page with frequently asked questions and answers. If your question is not listed, please forward it on to Facility Services

Coffee Machines

In 2020, the procurement of hot drinks (vending machines) took place. Again, the requirements for sustainable procurement (PIANOo) were followed, including exclusion of plastic coffee cups, minimum requirements for energy efficiency and sustainability requirements for coffee, tea and cocoa. In addition, tenderers were scored on circularity (revisable and recyclable equipment), CO2 footprint (including sustainable logistics), social return (deployment of employees with a distance to the labor market) and sustainable logistics. Furthermore, the vending machines are overhauled as much as possible after the contract period. Equipment that cannot be reconditioned is recycled, with 94% of the materials being suitable for recycling. The coffee has the Rainforest Alliance label and the cocoa has the Fairtrade label. The new supplier further offers carbon-neutral coffee through offset projects "improved wood furnaces in Uganda. Through Made Blue's "1 liter for 1 liter" program, an annual donation is made for clean drinking water in developing countries, based on the number of consumptions at UM.

Social return on investment

When it comes to food and beverage services, many people are involved. A number of activities lend themselves well to employing people with a distance to the labor market. Through the tender for coffee machines, UM created additional employment opportunities for people who need extra attention and guidance. The Facility Services unit set up a special Rapid Response Team for this purpose. This team ensures that on a daily basis the coffee machines in UM's buildings are cleaned and filled and that simple malfunctions are resolved. The main caterer Eurest also currently employs 5 employees with a distance to the labor market. 
Furthermore, since June 2023, UM's coffee machines are offering Heilige Boontjes coffee. The supplier of these coffee beans has a special program to reintegrate vulnerable and underprivileged young people and offer a new perspective on the labor market.