Breakout Session 7


Sustainable from farm to fork: transforming catering and food procurement

The aim of this session is to plan a path for progressively mainstreaming sustainable food procurement – taking school meals as an example - across Europe, with participants identifying and discussing key actions which could advance this goal.

After energy and transport, food is the sector with the biggest impact on our climate – responsible for over 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. The way people eat is seen as a reflection of societal values, providing children with nutritional and social principles, which are believed to remain with them into their adult life. School meals are therefore an important issue within most European countries, as they cut to the heart of citizen’s values and family life.

Sustainable food procurement is politics. And if used strategically, it is one of the most powerful tools that governments (national, regional, municipal) have at their disposal to create more sustainable economies and address today’s major challenges.

If food is such a crucial part of our lives, why is it that some cities strive to reach a 100% target of serving organic food – and are on their way to reaching it – like the cities of Copenhagen and Malmo, and others struggle to fix any target? Why have some previous local champions significantly watered down their ambitious approaches in favour of cost cutting or other issues?

How can governments make the critical connections that a public food system has with the environment, the economy and society explicit so that public food procurement is framed for what it really is: an investment and not a cost?

Session Description 


Facilitator – Peter Defranceschi, Head of ICLEI Brussels Office, ICLEI

Betina Bergmann Madsen, Chief Procurement Officer, City of Copenhagen, Denmark

Annelies Balcaen, Head of Procurement, City of Ghent, Belgium

Maurizio Mariani, General Manager, Eating City

Nikolai Pushkarev, Policy Coordinator, EPHA

Francesco Ajena, Policy Advisor, IPES-Food

Thomas Mosor, Programme Manager ÖkoKauf Wien, City of Vienna, Austria

Dr Bernhard Kromp, Bio Forschung Austria, City of Vienna, Austria

Enrico Degiorgis, DG Environment, European Commission