SusCooks Training for Sustainable Cooking

Promoting sustainability within catering services could bring huge social, economic and environmental benefits from farm to fork. Building on a previous pan-European project* and following resulting recommendations, the Soil Association is involved in a new partnership to promote and encourage sustainability in professional cooking.

The partnership is currently developing country-specific e-learning courses for cooks and managers in the catering and gastronomy sectors. The course will be composed of five modules including: the role of cooks in the food system, sustainable planning, procurement, preparation and promotion. It will enable cooks to understand the need for more sustainability in professional cooking and open up new opportunities for their business.

The website, currently under construction, will host the learning tool - Moodle CMS software.

The project secured new funding from the Leonardo Da Vinci programme as part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme for a period of two years ending in September 2015.

Project partners

The partnership comprises 8 organisations including educational institutions and training providers, gastronomy and tourism consultants and practitioners, nutritionists, and experts in public procurement from seven European countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and the UK.

The partnership organisations involved are:

  • Centro Libero di Analisi e Ricerche-CLAR (Italy) offers vocational and educational training especially in tourism and agro-environmental fields.
  • The College of Business Administration (Bulgaria) provides training in Business Administration and Tourism Economics.
  • Erudio Educational Centre (Slovenia) is a private, not-for-profit organisation for adult education. It has several college programmes, the most important of which is tourism and catering.
  • Gutessen consulting (Autria) is a consultant and service-provider with a focus on sustainable nutrition and catering.
  • Institute equalita (Germany) is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation for qualifications and networking in Europe. It carries out projects, training and consultation for ecological and social institutions and business.
  • Ökomarkt e.V. (Germany) has an excellent knowledge on how to make the food supply systems for schools and kindergartens as well as for universities more sustainable.
  • Slow Food Brno (Czech Republic) produces educational and awareness-raising programs for entrepreneurs and the wider public to inform on the food culture, the importance of local food and their producers and the relationship between the food we eat and the state of the environment in which we live.
  • The Soil Association (UK) is the leading British organic organisation covering issues like education, policy, technical support and certification of organic food. It also has a great deal of experience in the area of procurement of food and improving meals for the public sector.

*Sustainability as a key competence of professional cooks is a previous two-year Leonardo Da Vinci funded project in which the Soil Association took part which formulated recommendations on the best way to establish training and qualification on sustainability issues for chefs and cooks.