Manifesto for Good, Clear and Honest Meals in EU Public Canteens

Manifesto for Good, Clear and Honest Meals in EU Public Canteens

Meals in European public canteens is neither notably wholesome nor sustainable. As sustainable public meals procurement is a “low hanging fruit”, a number of organisations, Sluggish Meals included, printed a Manifesto for establishing minimal requirements for public canteens throughout the EU. 

Manifesto for Good, Clear and Honest Meals in EU Public Canteens

When US First Girl Michelle Obama launched her “Let’s Transfer” initiative to assist kids turn into more healthy again in 2010, she put a robust concentrate on enhancing the standard of the meals served in public faculty canteens. And he or she was proper: with the intention to promote wholesome meals and wholesome diets in the direction of youth, begin the place they spend most of their time: in school.  In addition to in america, a overwhelming majority of European youngsters get their lunch in school, which is usually the one full, balanced meal of the day for some college students. On a much bigger scale, thousands and thousands of Europeans eat a number of occasions per week in a public canteen, thus counting on public meals procurement. 

Public meals procurement – an advanced phrase that merely means the method by which public authorities buy meals and catering providers from firms to organize, cook dinner, and serve meals in public canteens. It is a strategic device to advertise well being, environmental, socio-economic, animal welfare and different meals coverage goals by way of folks’s plates.

Why is it such a scorching subject in the intervening time? As a result of it determines what hundreds of individuals eat on daily basis. Think about all the general public canteens in Europe: from faculties to hospitals, prisons to universities. It’s a lot, proper? Now think about all of them serving wholesome and engaging meals sustainably sourced from agroecological and native producers. Looks as if a dream, however it’s one at hand.

Positively altering the meals served in these public canteens is feasible and would have such large transformational energy – not solely over the well being of residents but in addition over the entire meals provide chain revolving round it. Plus, given the truth that these diets are usually dearer, having them served in public canteens would contribute to making sure equal entry to all residents to wholesome and sustainable diets

Subsequently, European public canteens, and specifically faculty meals, can immensely contribute to attaining the targets set by the EU Farm to Fork Technique, and the Sustainable Improvement Targets (SDGs). That’s why we all the time say that public procurement is a “low-hanging fruit” as a result of by merely altering or adapting some present guidelines, public procurement can have an immensely constructive influence on the entire meals system. 

In the meanwhile, EU guidelines for public procurement are weak, which implies the meals we discover in public canteens is neither notably wholesome nor sustainable. Subsequently, we’d like stricter guidelines and targets in order that we have now good, clear, and truthful meals in canteens – contributing not solely to making sure folks’s well being but in addition selling a meals system that’s sustainable in a holistic manner. 

At Sluggish Meals, we attempt for the ambition that each one meals served in European public canteens turn into wholesome and climate-friendly, partly sourced from natural and agroecological farms, whereas supporting small-scale farmers, and guaranteeing labour rights, animal welfare, and truthful commerce

All of those essential elements are outlined within the EU Meals Coverage Coalition’s latest Manifesto on sustainable public procurement that requires establishing minimal requirements for public canteens throughout the EU, to which Sluggish Meals contributed. 

Our aim?  To encourage the European Fee to develop complete, bold, and obligatory standards for all public canteens round 7 targets. We describe them in our Manifesto (see image beneath) because the 7 “actionable propositions”, every with its personal outlined goal and guiding directions on how one can assess the goal achievement. 

Because the above image reveals, our 7 targets contact upon many various areas from  well being, power, setting, procurement, schooling, and waste to social welfare, as a result of coherence in meals coverage is vital. To cite the Manifesto, “taking a systemic method to meals techniques transformation requires cooperation throughout totally different departments, to keep away from the creation of contradictory forces within the transformation in the direction of sustainable meals techniques”. 

This 12 months is a strategic second to debate public procurement since the EU is revising its guidelines as a part of the Sustainable Meals Programs Legislation, with a proposal anticipated for the top of 2023. With this in thoughts, the Manifesto was formally handed over to the European Fee final October by ICLEI Europe – the group that led the work on the Manifesto, in the course of the European Week of Areas and Cities, calling for the EU Farm to Fork technique to ambitiously advance sustainable meals transformation.

However we didn’t cease there, as Sluggish Meals, along with different civil society organisations from the EU Meals Coverage Coalition, met on December 16 with the Cupboard of Frans Timmermans (Vice-President of the European Fee) and the cupboard of Stella Kyriakides (Commissioner for Well being and Meals Security) to current our Manifesto and its 7 targets.

 It  was very nicely obtained, and the European Fee welcomed it as foundation to pave the best way for the work that needs to be achieved in 2023.

Throughout the assembly,  they confirmed their will to ascertain minimal standards for public procurement, however have but to  resolve if they are going to be voluntary or obligatory. The working course of to outline these standards – essential however difficult, will begin early 2023, and the Public Procurement Process Power of the EU Meals Coverage Coalition will probably be consulted to make clear the totally different standards identified within the Manifesto. 

We have been additionally requested to provide extra examples of fine practices and examples of cities which are already implementing strategic public procurement with good outcomes. From Mouans Sartoux to Copenhagen, from Torres Vedras to Milan, we have now loads of good examples of cities dedicated to creating a change of their meals system by means of bold and strategic public procurement. 


If this subject pursuits you, don’t hesitate to seek the advice of our newest papers:  

  1. Coverage paper Sustainable Public Procurement of Meals: A Objective inside Attain
  2. Coverage paper on coverage suggestions for utilizing sustainable meals procurement for a systemic meals transformation


And study extra about how Sluggish Meals helps sustainable public meals procurement turn into a actuality: 

  1. Try our case research of Qualitá & Servizi – a public firm that produces the mealsl for varsity canteens in Tuscany and utterly modified its very badly scored catering service into , wholesome, sustainable and academic one, related to the territory whose growth it promotes.  
  2. Uncover the “Meals Trails” mission, which is a four-year mission launched in October 2020, with the goal to stimulate the event of sustainable city meals insurance policies in 11 European cities (Bergamo, Birmingham, Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Funchal, Grenoble, Groningen, Milan, Tirana, Thessaloniki, and Warsaw). Cities are supported by totally different companions, together with Sluggish Meals, who has been enabling the collaboration between cities and their residents to design meals insurance policies that empower their neighborhood, make the farm-to-fork journey sustainable, promote a zero-waste use of assets, encourage environmentally pleasant habits change and guarantee folks have wholesome and safe diets.
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