Sustainable School Food Procurement

All children and young people go to school. It is the place where they usually spend much of their time. They need good food to grow, concentrate and stay healthy. They also have the right to healthy, adequate, safe and sustainably produced food and good health in order to reach their full potential.

School food is an essential service provided by local governments in many countries. School catering represents a significant share of the procurement budget of many local governments. For example, the Municipality of Copenhagen (Denmark) has 80 large kitchens (with an average budget of €70,000 per year) and serves 20,000 meals a day to its schools. Today’s food systems account for 21-37% of total greenhouse gas emissions and are a primary cause of environmental degradation, socioeconomic and health inequalities. Still, governments rarely link food systems, and in particular food consumption emissions, to their climate action targets.

The City Interest Group on Sustainable School Food Procurement has been set up to enable cities to share their experiences on the topic and work towards achieving greater results for their sustainability goals.

The Group is coordinated by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and has been formed as part of the European project StratKIT, funded by the EU Interreg Baltic Sea Region (BSR) programme.

In a series of online meetings, the members discuss their achievements, goals and the challenges they face as they strive to procure sustainable food and catering services. More specifically, the Group aims to:

  • Share lessons from those with practical experience
  • Provide support to group members to develop tangible sustainable procurement actions and criteria
  • Inform the StratKIT procurement recommendations for policy makers
  • Link up with European and global developments

Interest Group Participants

Belgium: City of Ghent

Denmark: City of Aarhus, City of Copenhagen

Estonia: City of Tallinn

Finland: City of Helsinki

Lithuania: City of Ladzijai

Lativa: City of Riga

Poland: City of Rybnik

Russian Federation: Lyceum No. 126, St. Petersburg 

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The Procura+ Sustainable School Food Procurement Interest Group has received funding from the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) under the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014–2020. The content of this website and other outputs reflect the author’s/partner’s views. The EU Commission and the Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat are not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. All images are copyrighted and property of their respective owners.