UZEI in Praha conducts its first RMEs on 18 and 28 April 2016

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By Andrea Pekarkova & Pavel Sladek, UZEI

Regional Multiplier Events (RME) on April 18 and 28 2016 were held primarily for employees of school cafeterias, schools economists, directors, students, experts and other stakeholders.

44 participants attended the first seminar and the second seminar attended 88 participants. At the second seminar there was a wider group of audience, especially through the participation of students from Secondary Agricultural and Veterinary School and students of nutritional consultancy from Nursing School.

There were held nine presentations focusing on following topics:

  • Myths in catering
  • Use of a healthy school canteen in marketing schools
  • Potatoes in school meals
  • Healthy snacks and other projects to support healthy school nutrition
  • Local market in Brno
  • Practical aspects of school canteens
  • Product map of Southern Bohemia
  • Software for school canteens
  • Food in school meals (legislative framework – the consumer basket)
  • Discussion about disabling of wending machines with junk food
  • Subsidized healthy food into school canteens, which simultaneously promotes local manufacturers (milk, milk products, fruits)

One part of the seminars was realized in the form of a workshop, where participants answered questions based primarily on the SWOT analysis.

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SWOT analysis

Strengths 

In the Czech school canteens there is already the standard choice of two meals. This is perceived as positive and natural especially by students. In the case of other groups there are not such significant preferences.

In the second paragraph the experts and students appreciate modern and comfortable canteens, but by the school staff this enthusiasm is shared by only half number of respondents compared to the students and experts.

Modern and healthy menu is appreciated mainly by students and staff of the school canteen.

An interesting contradiction brings the response about a preparedness of personnel. Respondents from the school canteens staff are confident about their sufficient preparedness, the other groups quote it significantly lower.

Most respondents appreciated on the Czech school canteens system its tradition and sophistication.

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Weaknesses

As for As weaknesses of the Czech school canteens the majority of the public thinks that school cafeterias have outdated equipment and poorly trained staff. Cafeterias employees themselves have a different opinion.

Regarding the funding of the system of school meals, most of the respondents think that the Czech school canteens are underfinanced and staff  is badly paid.

According to the respondents, the system has too much regulation and bureaucracy.

 

Opportunities

Answers of respondents often differ depending on the group they belong. As regards the use of local foods, most supporters are the experts involved. On the other hand, local foods are less supported by the school employees, including those from the school canteen. The experts also recommended more training for employees of school canteens, while other groups disagree. Experts (and lesser of extent students) also call for creative ideas in the meal  recepies .

 

Threats

Experts believe that the biggest threat is usage of semi-finished products in school meals and quarrels within the professional community, unlike mainly from school canteens employees .

Those on the other hand, see the major threats in central purchasing, public procurement  of raw materials and especially in the lack of interest to work in a school canteens.

 

Conclusion

An important part of our RME was the issue of regional foods. In Czechia, the situation differs primarily from region to region. Important factors are mainly the number of potential suppliers and the ability to negotiate with individual suppliers.

Interesting experiences are from South Bohemia, where consumers can use the Product map created at the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice and in South Moravia, where 23 schools (77%) in Brno have already have had an experience with a local food.

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