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November 2020

Public food procurement as a key implementation tool for sustainable food systems: the example of sustainable school meals

30 November 2020

Public food procurement is one of the most powerful tools governments have at their disposal to help transform and build sustainable food systems. But there is one key condition that needs to be clearly prioritized in procurement purchases for this to happen: socio-culturally acceptable nutritious foods produced with sustainable practices.

This session will bring together concepts and showcase initiatives in Sustainable Public Procurement of Food, promoting sustainable school meals with a call for action. The session will showcase concrete examples of school food procurement practices that build food systems sustainability while generating health and nutrition benefits. The session will highlight the many synergistic benefits that can result from well-planned, multi-sectoral public procurement initiatives.

Emphasis will be placed on school food procurement initiatives which are proving to be an effective implementation tool for achieving many Sustainable Development Goals including ending malnutrition, improving education outcomes, alleviating poverty, achieving gender equality, strengthening local agriculture and proving a tangible example of sustainable food system transformation.



Erika Bozzay, Senior Adviser, Public Procurement, OECD

Florence Tartanac, ESN Senior Officer, FAO

Doris Yawa Gab

Peter Defranceschi, Global Food Program Coordinator, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability

Anne-Marie Saulnier, Executive Director, ECPAR


The session takes place in the context of the 3rd Global Conference of the Sustainable Food Systems Programme of the One Planet Network. Register here



Public food procurement holds huge potential for nurturing people and the planet by promoting sustainable and healthy dietary patterns. Public food procurement can ensure sustainable healthy diets are available and economically accessible to populations while supporting the livelihoods of producers adopting sustainable practices, especially small holders. Promoting the purchase of the right foods by public food procurement will decisively contribute to the achievement of several SDGs.

One expected outcome of the session is a series of key recommendations for policy makers and all food systems stakeholders to promote and use public food procurement as a transformative food systems tool. More specifically, the aim is to call for urgent action on sustainable school meals.  This call to action proposes that the 2021 UN Food System Summit includes among its key recommendations to the UN Secretary General, the development of a framework for action and its accompanying implementation plan to ensure sustainable and healthy school meals for all school age children, leaving no child behind.