Empowering Public Food Procurement
Institut equalita has started together with seven partners in September 2017 the new European ERASMUS project “Empowering Public Food Procurement”. The aim of this project is to contribute to the empowerment of local players in the sustainable food procurement for the catering sector. The project brings together eight organizations in seven countries: France, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovenia and the Netherlands. At the end of the project, European common leading principles to perform more sustainable food procurement in the catering sector will be established.
Public procurement represents a decisive purchaser of food in Europe. Public authorities and local communities responsible for canteens and cafeterias in hospitals, schools etc. have into their hands a powerful opportunity to orientate food systems towards more sustainability, from the producer to the consumer.
Throughout Europe, innovative strategies are emerging at local and national scales in favor of a more sustainable public food procurement. A shift from “low cost” procurement schemes to environmentally and socially performed approaches is necessary, and for that shift to happen, numerous experiences have highlighted that support and training for staff members and representatives in local authorities is crucial. Indeed, it is a challenge for local players to develop the capacities to organize a “re-connexion” with food supply chains (especially local agriculture), to acquire new management methods of costs in food facilities and to design new procedures and tenders, among others.
The aim of the project “Empowering Public Food Procurement” is to contribute to the empowerment of local players in the catering sector, by:
- - putting together practical knowledge of trainers on how to build sustainable food procurement at local scale in different European countries;
- - pooling concrete examples of good practices and innovative approaches in Europe, that can be mobilized in training activities for local actors;
- - proposing concrete recommendations for representatives / chefs / managers of municipalities’ catering, and for trainers who support them;
- - laying the foundation of European common leading principles to perform more sustainable food procurement in the catering sector.
The project brings together eight organizations in seven countries: France, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovenia, Turkey and the Netherlands. The partner organizations all have competence in different areas of vocational education and training. They combine a broad spectrum of knowledge and practical know-how: consultancy and training skills for chefs, managers and municipalities’ representatives, expertise on sustainable food supply chains, experiences on designing transnational learning tools.
The geographical scope of the partners allows to juxtaposing contrasted national situations towards public procurement and food supply chains, for rich and valuable exchanges of practices. The partners will share summaries on the situation of training activities and initiatives supporting sustainability in food procurement, and will investigate case studies providing good practice examples in local communities in each project country.
Two collective training sessions will allow the group to share their own field-based experiences and to gather country information and examples, enabling to sketch a European view of sustainability in food procurement support and training initiatives.
Thanks to the partnership, the lessons learnt from the project will be widely disseminated to a diversity of target groups: chefs, managers and responsible representatives at local level; national and European professional and institutional networks, in the sustainable food sector, the catering sector, national and European associations / initiatives run by local authorities.
In a nutshell, the project will lead to enhance trainers’ skills and expertise to support local communities, to provide orientations and practical recommendations for actors on-the-ground in the catering and agro food sectors, and to raise awareness among decision makers for a switch to a more environmentally and socially performed food procurement in Europe.