In view of the inflation, suppliers of school and day-care center meals in Berlin and Brandenburg are finding it increasingly difficult to work economically. “Purchasing prices have risen by 20 to 35 percent over the past few months. That was not foreseeable at all when the tenders were closed,” said Ralf Blauert, chairman of the Association of German School and Day Care Center Teachers, the German Press Agency.

This Wednesday, association members from all over Germany will meet in Wildau (Dahme-Spreewald) to look for solutions to the crisis.

“We don’t want to go backwards with the high quality standard that we have achieved after years of painstaking work. Nobody wants to save on the quality of their food,” emphasized the Potsdam caterer Blauert. Chefs have to get creative, but the menu cannot be fundamentally changed. “We’re going to do it and forgo profit,” said the chairman.

In Berlin, the price for a school meal has been 4.36 euros since August 2021 and is fixed until the end of July 2024. The extraordinary circumstances caused by the war in Ukraine now required an adjustment of the contracts. It is still unclear how much additional money is needed. This must be discussed in discussions. Some caterers in Brandenburg and other federal states have already succeeded in renegotiating.

“The situation in Berlin is muddled. The Senate specifies and leaves implementation to the districts. This is not so helpful in problem situations. Everyone points fingers at each other. And we stand in between,” criticizes Blauert. Efforts are being made to get in touch with the district offices and senate administrations and to find solutions. Benevolent signals had come from some districts and a willingness to talk had been announced.

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“The contracts with the school caterers have been concluded by the individual districts as school authorities. That’s the norm in Berlin,” explains the spokesman for the school administration, Martin Klesmann. “We cannot publicly provide any information on the respective contract design because we are not the contractual partner. From our point of view, it would be advisable for the districts to act as one,” Klesmann continued.