The LEADER region Weinviertel-Donauraum was established back in 2007 and is located in the district of Korneuburg just outside the city of Vienna. It encompasses a total of 18 municipalities, with an estimated population of about 88,000 inhabitants, of which 20 % are under 19 years of age.
Within our Living Lab initiative, our aim is to enhance the the food options provided at the canteens of manufacturing and service companies, specifically those situated within industrial zones. By working collaboratively with all relevant stakeholders, including workers, administrative personnel, canteen operators and suppliers, company management, company doctors, kitchen and cleaning staff, andlocal farmers, we intnd to assess and test various options to improve the quality of the available food choices.
Who we would like to support
Our focus is on a specific group of people who are employed in large companies located in industrial zones. This group comprises both workers and administrative personnel, who have different job responsibilities, and, therefore, varying dietary needs. Because they often work in shifts, they may not have access to alternative dining options besides the canteen. As such, their situation can be described as vulnerable in terms of availability, access, and control of their food choices, as well as sustainability of their diet.
What’s coming next
In the design phase of our project, we will utilize various methods to gather information and input from stakeholders. These methods will include informal discussions and expert interviews with key stakeholders, such as company management, employees, the canteen operator, kitchen and cleaning staff, to gain a better understanding of the framework conditions for company canteens. Additionally, we will conduct an expert interview with the company doctor to obtain insights into the aggregated health challenges faced by employees.
Get to know the region
Established in 2007, the LEADER region Weinviertel-Donauraum is located in the district of Korneuburg, just outside the city of Vienna. It encompasses 18 municipalities and is home to approximately 88,000 inhabitants, with 20 % of the population being under 19 years old. The southern part of the region is economically prosperous and easily accessible by both public transportation and private vehicles. In contrast, the northern part of the region is predominantly rural and agriculturally focused.
Local Food Challenges
The demanding nature of shift work in manufacturing companies often limits employees' access to alternative food options beyond the company canteen. This issue is especially acute for those working in business parks located outside the city center, where other food options are often unavailable during breaks. This may be due to factors such as distance or opening hours that do not align with (shift) workers' schedules. Consequently, these employees may find themselves in a vulnerable position in terms of the availability, access, and agency dimensions of food, as well as the sustainability of their diet.
Living Lab Activities
Our objective is to establish a community of practice by collaborating with all stakeholder representatives on site, including farmers from the region. Our goal is to develop ways to improve the freshness, healthiness, and regional diversity of food options in the company canteens, while reducing food waste.
In the design phase, we will conduct informal conversations and expert interviews with the company management, employees, the canteen operator, and kitchen and cleaning staff, to gain a better understanding of the framework conditions for company canteens. Additionally, we will carry out an expert interview with the company doctor to gain insights into the aggregated health challenges of the employees.
Based on the insights gained from the interviews, we will build a community of practice. We will organize on-site workshops with stakeholder representatives, including workers, administrative personnel, canteen operator, canteen supplier, company management, company doctor, kitchen and cleaning staff, and local farmers). The workshops will enable us to gather the desires and needs of all stakeholders and work collaboratively on ways to improve the canteen's food choices. We will also conduct a questionnaire survey to gather additional insights.
Based on the insights gained, we will establish a community of practice. We will hold on-site workshops with stakeholder representatives, including workers, administrative personnel, canteen supplier, local farmers, company management, company doctor, kitchen and cleaning staff, to gather feedback and collaborate on ways to improve the canteen's food options. To supplement this process, we will also conduct a questionnaire survey to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the wants and needs of all involved stakeholders.