22 December 2021

Stratkit develops recommendations on Sustainable and Healthy School Food Procurement

The StratKIT project has developed eight recommendations on Sustainable and Healthy School Food Procurement for national and EU policy makers as part of the Procura+ City Interest Group on School Food Procurement. These recommendations support the EU Farm to Fork Strategy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The recommendations are based on the views and experiences of a number of local and national experts, the policy advocacy work of the EU Food Policy Council and further research. ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is the main author.

Food is a central element in our lives and it plays an especially crucial role in the quality of our children’s lives and their growth. As kids spend most of their time at school, school food procurement should be at the top of the priority lists for policy making. Healthy and sustainable diets and lifestyles should be rights granted to every child to reach their full potential. However, most European schools base their purchasing decisions on the cheapest price only, leaving limited margin for environmental and social sustainability.

Considering that today’s food systems account for 21-37% of total greenhouse gases (IPCCC, 2019) and are a primary cause of environmental degradation, socio-economic and health inequalities, it is the policy makers’ duty to address this issue. The EU’s position of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy recognizes the relevant role of public food procurement can play in supporting a food systems transition. The Stratkit project has developed its recommendations within this context. Their core elements are:

  1. Establishing a favourable policy framework
  2. Integrating national health/nutrition dietary guidelines
  3. Creating minimum mandatory public procurement criteria for school food embracing sustainability and health
  4. Restructuring public procurement to create and maximising synergies
  5. Fostering cooperation from farm to fork with and among small-scale farmers and social economy enterprises
  6. Boosting local and regional development through sustainable and healthy food procurement
  7. Encouraging and enabling education about food systems and healthy diets to be included in school curricula
  8. Channeling resources to help bridge gaps

The Recommendations on Sustainable and Healthy School Food Procurement can be downloaded here