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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Dining Services uses on-campus flowers for catering jobs

In an effort to increase sustainability, UC Davis Dining Services has employed the help of UC Davis Grounds and Landscape Services to provide floral arrangements for their catering services.

The project falls under the guise of Campus Grown, a program that transforms unused assets on campus into retail products. Campus Grown was designed to support and promote university programs and sustainability goals on campus.

UC Davis Dining Services previously used outside vendors for their floral needs, but, as Robin Clement, marketing and project specialist with Dining Services explained, buying cut flowers from local vendors is both inefficient and environmentally harmful.

“Our campus has beautiful trees, plants and flowers that change with the season,” Clement said. “We wanted to become more sustainable and loved the partnership idea.”

According to a press release, Dining Services spent around $50-$75 for each traditional cut. Now, that money is being kept on campus and used to pay Grounds and Landscape Services for the collecting and delivering the trimmings to University Catering’s in-house floral design talent. 

“We’ve been fine tuning the process for the last six months, and we’re really happy about the work that’s been done so far, said Clement. “We’ve completely phased out cut florals from outside vendors.”

Dining services provide catering for numerous events on campus including the “Thank Goodness for Staff” event that drew over 5,000 people.

Campus Grown is involved in other projects on-campus such as salvaging wood from trees and harvesting olive oil from olive trees.

ANDY VERDEROSA can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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