Student - October 8, 2009

Grab a sustainable bite and study

A sustainable student restaurant? That would be the dream of many a green student in Wageningen. Student organization SIFE, which aims to have sustainable entrepreneurship, and students examine the possibility of turning this into reality.

Loet Rammelsberg, board member of Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE): 'There's no place currently where Wageningen students can get a quick, cheap and, at the same time, tasty and healthy bite. A survey carried out a few years ago by the university showed that many students need cheap and, at the same time, sustainable food', adds Rammelsberg. 'Sustainable in this case implies that if we were to cater to the needs of the target group, we will have to involve as many regional companies as possible in the process. We would, for example, prefer regional food products.'
Since the start of this academic year, SIFE has been working together with MSc students who take the subject Academic Consultancy Training (ACT). They examine the possibility of starting a sustainable student restaurant in Wageningen. Rammelsberg: 'The students come from various disciplines and can bring knowledge from the lecture room to bear on a very practical issue. ACT wants students to work on an issue together with counterparts from other disciplines and backgrounds. In addition, the students also come into contact with regional entrepreneurs. Currently, the project group is carrying out a market analysis in which we look at who we could possibly work with and what has been done around us.' The project will be evaluated by a new ACT group in period 3 this year. The student restaurant idea will also compete in a national competition, against SIFE departments country-wide. The winning idea will afterwards be presented to an  international platform.
SIFE is an international non-profit organization set up by big companies such as Philips, KPMG and Unilever. The organization is active in student towns all over the world, and since early 2007, also in Wageningen. Currently, this has active members who, besides being engaged in designing and setting up a sustainable student restaurant, are working on other ideas, such as a project to enable jobless women in China to set up internet companies. /Amrish Baidjoe

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