Buyer group nutrition in healthcare: getting started with the protein transition

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    Meatballs, chicken fillets, and soup meat: in the healthcare sector, patients, residents, employees, and visitors consume a lot of meat. We now know that the environmental impact of these animal products is enormous. As more attention is being paid to the environmental impact of meat and more alternatives are becoming available on the market, consumers are eating less meat. It’s time to explore how this can be done more sustainably in the healthcare sector as well.

    Healthcare institutions are increasingly looking to serve fewer animal proteins. To do this, they need to change their food offerings and purchase differently. It’s time for a transition. The buyer group nutrition in healthcare took on this challenge, aiming to help purchasers make more sustainable choices when procuring food.

    In the buyer group nutrition in healthcare, healthcare providers who purchase food and their suppliers worked on a market vision, setting out an ambition for employees, visitors, patients, and residents concerning the protein transition. The protein transition refers to the shift from animal proteins to more plant-based proteins.

    Protein transition in healthcare

    The ambitions for visitors, employees, patients, and clients have been translated into procurement criteria that healthcare institutions can include in their procurement or tender documents. In addition, there are general principles that may be relevant to incorporate in the procurement process. These are distinguished in four themes: health, circular procurement, dialogue and collaboration, and the environment.

    Parallel to the buyer group, CE Delft conducted research into the costs of food in a hospital, including the environmental impact in the price. They also investigated the gains that can be achieved by purchasing alternative animal and more plant-based proteins. This analysis was used as input for the market vision.

    Market vision

    The results of the research and an overview of the requirements and award criteria have been recorded in the market vision, which is now available. The buyer group will continue to work with healthcare providers and other organizations that purchase food to guide them in implementing the market vision in upcoming procurement processes and/or tenders.

    Interested in joining this group?

    The buyer group is of interest to healthcare providers and organizations that purchase food and for whom health is an important theme. Contact us at

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