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Sectoral social dialogue - Contract catering

Social partners

Employees' organisations Employers' organisations

European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions

European Federation of Contract Catering Organisations

Social dialogue in this sector covers:

  • contract catering and canteens.

The contract catering sector employs 600,000 people all over Europe and has an annual turnover of €22 billion. It delivers around 6 billion meals each year.

Key challenges for the sector arise from the specificities of the contract catering sector, which is governed by a three party relationship between the contract catering operator, the client organization and the consumer. Companies often rely on contracts with clients of limited duration, requiring tailor-made solutions to which operators and their work force need to adapt. Being a labour intensive sector, contract catering companies depend on their work force to provide quality services and, accordingly, a key priority for the sector is also to invest in developing their human resources. The industry also acknowledges its role in promoting healthy eating and fighting obesity. Since 2005, the contract catering industry has actively participated in the EU Platform on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.

Focus areas

The Committee is currently focusing on:

  • public procurement
  • corporate social responsibility
  • vocational training
  • fighting obesity.

Activities and meetings

Check the library entries for this sectoral social dialogue committee


  • an agreement on corporate social responsibility (2007)
  • a joint declaration on food hygiene and safety (2000)
  • an agreement on employment and training (1999)

See also "European sectoral social dialogue – recent developments" (2010 brochure).