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Quality Food and Sustainable Development: The Power of the Public Sector: 

Quality Food and Sustainable Development: The Power of the Public Sector Dr Roberta Sonnino School of City and Regional Planning Cardiff University

The Global Environmental Crisis: 

The Global Environmental Crisis

The Economic Impacts of the Global Environmental Crisis: 

The Economic Impacts of the Global Environmental Crisis According to the Stern Report (2006), climate change could push the global economy into the worst recession in recent history It will cost the world ca. € 800 for every person on the planet, unless it is tackled within a decade Dealing with the problem now would cost just 1% of the world’s GDP

Food and the Global Environmental Crisis: 

Food and the Global Environmental Crisis More than 100 billion gallons of oil used every year to manufacture food in the US The average food item in the UK travels 5,000 miles (Pretty et al., 2005)

Food and the Global Environmental Crisis: 

Food and the Global Environmental Crisis Expansion of “food deserts” Food and public health In the US, the public health costs associated with malnutrition have reached $ 10 billion/year In the UK, obesity and overweight cost some £ 7 billion/year Need for a radical shift in existing patterns of production and consumption

Sustainable Development: Key Principles: 

Sustainable Development: Key Principles Equity and justice Attempt to meet the basic needs of all human beings while also recognizing the potential for imposing costs onto future generations Democracy and participation Emerging vision of interconnected highly participatory and low-impact communities Integration of environmental concerns into our development strategies Effective environmental protection and successful economic development are interdependent

Public Procurement and Sustainable Development: 

Public Procurement and Sustainable Development Enormous untapped potential of creative public procurement in fashioning sustainable economies in the EU, the public procurement spend amounts to ca. 16% of the gross domestic product; in the UK, the public sector spends ca. € 200 billion/year Sustainable school meal systems can reduce diet-related health problems empower consumers create new markets for quality food provide environmental benefits

School Meals and Sustainable Development in the EU: The Context: 

School Meals and Sustainable Development in the EU: The Context There are some restrictions at the EU level principle of “non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality” European regulations are NOT a barrier Contracting authorities may lay down special conditions relating to the performance of a contract…The conditions governing the performance of a contract may, in particular, concern social and environmental considerations Art. 26 of the Public Sector Directive If it is set out in a non-discriminatory way, there’s no doubt whatsoever that you can use as your technical specification that all foodstuff must be organic, full stop. […] It is legitimate to say “we want foodstuff that is not older than”, it’s a legitimate idea…If that means in practice that it will have to be locally-grown, so be it! It remains a legitimate criterion, but it is not a legitimate criterion if you say that it has to be produced within 10 kilometres from the school. Interview at DG INTERNAL MARKET

School Meals and Sustainable Development in the EU: The Context: 

School Meals and Sustainable Development in the EU: The Context UK system obsessed with perceived cost-effectiveness and “value for money” Gershon review of the public sector (1999) called for reform to secure better value for money and said we should not accept a “green premium” while greening public procurement In Italy, creative procurement policies shape and re-shape sustainable models of food consumption Finance Law 488/99: To guarantee the promotion of organic agricultural production of ‘quality’ food products, public institutions that operate school and hospital canteens will provide in the daily diet the use of organic, typical and traditional products as well as those from denominated areas, taking into account the guidelines and other recommendations of the National Institute of Nutrition

The School Food Revolution in the UK: 

The School Food Revolution in the UK The powerful forces of a cheap food culture and a neo-liberal ideology transformed what should be considered as a public health service into a commercial venture Abolition of nutritional standards and Compulsory Competitive Tendering in the 1980s Lower quality school food Loss of kitchen infrastructure in schools Reduction in the numbers and skill levels of catering staff

The School Food Revolution: Hungry for Success in Scotland (2002): 

The School Food Revolution: Hungry for Success in Scotland (2002) New vision for school meals: Promoting the “whole school approach” Raising the quality and nutritional standards of the meals Re-imagining school meals as an educational and health service Significant financial investment: £ 63.5 million (€ 95 million) for the years 2003-2006

The School Food Revolution in East Ayrshire: 

The School Food Revolution in East Ayrshire Deprived rural county of 120,000 6.1% of households have no adult in employment and dependent children 40% of households have one or more people with a long-term illness Far-sighted council working in the spirit of ‘joined-up thinking’ Goal of “environmental stewardship, connecting children with food and with where the food comes from” (R. Gourlay, Head of Catering)

The School Food Revolution in East Ayrshire: 

The School Food Revolution in East Ayrshire In 2005, school meals in 12 of the County’s 45 primary schools were reformed: Pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit and vegetables were increased to promote the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet Fat, sugar, and salt were reduced Added colorings, artificial flavorings and GM-foods were banned Fresh and unprocessed ingredients were prioritized

The School Food Revolution in East Ayrshire: 

The School Food Revolution in East Ayrshire Strict “straightness” guidelines for class 1 vegetables made more flexible to attract organic suppliers The bidding contract was divided into 9 lots Innovative award criteria were introduced: “ability to supply to deadlines” “quality and range of foods offered” “food handling arrangements and facilities” “proposed use of resources”

The School Food Revolution in East Ayrshire: Creating a Shared Vision: 

The School Food Revolution in East Ayrshire: Creating a Shared Vision I like the school [market], because […] if you educate them to good eating, then it starts to affect the whole structure of the economy. Later on, when they grow up and they have children, it gets passed on.

The School Food Revolution in East Ayrshire: Creating a Shared Vision: 

The School Food Revolution in East Ayrshire: Creating a Shared Vision The business we do with East Ayrshire is very important to us in terms of dealing with a local customer, we don’t want to lose that customer […]. We need to look over each other. Children are the future of any company. Children are the future.

The School Food Revolution in East Ayrshire: The Benefits: 

The School Food Revolution in East Ayrshire: The Benefits Costs of a two-course meal: £ 2.38 (ca. € 3) 6 p (10 cents) difference between buying off national contracts and buying locally But re-localizing the food chain means: Multiplier effect of £ 160,000 (€ 200,000) produced by 12 schools Reducing food miles by 70%! Less packaging waste Improving children’s knowledge of food Increasing users’ satisfaction with the service

The School Food Revolution in Rome: 

The School Food Revolution in Rome Rome’s “quality” revolution began in 2001 New requirements introduced in the tendering documents GM foods and most frozen vegetables banned Nutritionally-balanced meals Fresh, seasonal and organic fruit and vegetables

The School Food Revolution in Rome: 

The School Food Revolution in Rome Innovative award criteria introduced to further develop the socio-environmental quality of the products and services offered “organizational characteristics” of the service proposed “projects, interventions and services” to reduce noise and promote food education capacity to supply additional organic products

The School Food Revolution in Rome: 

The School Food Revolution in Rome New stage in the Roman quality revolution started in 2004 Conservation, handling, cooking and distribution of the food strictly regulated Mid-morning snacks introduced Menus diversified on the basis of children’s age Food seasonality and variety emphasized Special menus for children with special needs Fair Trade products introduced – 280,000 bananas and 140,000 chocolate bars/week Products from “bio-dedicated” food chains

Sustainable School Meals in Rome: The Process : 

Sustainable School Meals in Rome: The Process 2007-2012 tender School meals and social inclusion Ethnic menus Leftovers to charity associations and animal shelters Incentives to source products from social cooperatives School meals and environmental sustainability Recycling, low-impact detergents, bio-degradable plates “Guaranteed freshness” and food miles

The School Food Revolution in Rome: 

The School Food Revolution in Rome A meal cost € 5.23– parents pay on the basis of their income There is no real development without social quality […] No single action can meet its objectives unless it takes place within a context in which the priority is […] a strong sense of community, a type of development that becomes real because the level of social inclusion increases (Walter Veltroni, Mayor of Rome, 2006)

The School Food Revolution: Some Final Thoughts: 

The School Food Revolution: Some Final Thoughts The school food revolution is a dynamic and creative process of change that shapes new values, mobilizes new resources and builds new communities What we eat at school is a social, economic and environmental action that provides a unique opportunity to build our collective commitment to sustainable development

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