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French cuisine in 2022: 50% of food in canteens must be sustainable

3 May 2019

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food” – this well-known quote by Hippocrates seems to become reality in France. Earlier this year, the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food has announced that 50% of food served in canteens must be organic, sustainable, or of a specific quality by 2022.

Reaching the 50% mark by 2022 on a national level is ambitious. Together with a few other countries such as Italy, France is a frontrunner in Europe with regards to commitments made towards sustainable food.

What does this mean for public procurement? Focusing on nutritional quality of meals the national target implies a shift on how food for canteens is purchased. A challenge will be to translate the national target into local action, e.g. enabling resource-strained schools to seize the opportunity to familiarise the youth with healthy eating habits.

Therefore, learning from existing good practice is key. ICLEI’s work on sustainable public procurement spans across sectors, part of which is sustainable food procurement. With projects such as INNOCAT the wider aim is to encourage the uptake of local, seasonal, organic and nutritious food through support for local public procurers. For guidance on how to realise sustainable food procurement consult the Procura+ Manual as well as the Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre on the topic of food and catering.

Read more about France’s target here.