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Institutional Food Procurement and School Feeding Programmes: Exploring the Benefits, Challenges and Opportunities

  • Published on January 25, 2022

The workshop “Institutional Food Procurement and School Feeding Programmes: Exploring the Benefits, Challenges and Opportunities”, was organized in 2018 in the framework of the Third International Conference on Agriculture and Food in an Urbanizing Society, hosted by Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul - UFRGS in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

The first edition of the International Conference on Agriculture in an Urbanized Society was held in April 2012 at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The theme was Multifunctional Agriculture and Urban-Rural Relations, in which 253 participants from different countries attended the meeting and 19 working groups. The event aimed to bring together experts, academics, managers and organizations involved in agrifood issues interested in discussing new food production, distribution and consumption strategies for the 21st century.


In 2015, the second Conference was held at Roma Tre University, with the central theme: Reconnecting Agriculture and Food Chains to Societal Needs. The edition received 370 participants and had 24 thematic groups. During the Conference, the 4th edition of the “Social Innovations for Future Agriculture” award promoted by Icare recognized social innovations through agriculture and revolutionary best practices. This edition consolidated the international character of the event, encouraging the realization in other continents.


Brazil was chosen to host the third edition of the Conference. From that moment on, the Research Group on Family Agriculture and Rural Development (GEPAD) from The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) started to mobilize other actors to discuss how to organize the 3rd AgUrb.


The workshop brought together academics and practitioners with different areas of expertise and backgrounds to explore the multiple facets of PFP. The discussions brought to light the transdisciplinarity of the topic, the complementarity between practical experiences and academic analysis – and the absence of a comprehensive publication analysing the multifaceted nature and development potential of PFP from different perspectives.


Based on the papers presented during the workshop, in 2021 FAO published its “Public food procurement for sustainable food systems and healthy diets”. The document is the result of a 3 years process, and collaboration between FAO, Bioversity International, and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and of the contribution of over 100 authors, including academics, United Nations staff and practitioners. With two volumes and 36 chapters, brings for the first time multi-disciplinary analysis of public food procurement issues in over 32 countries.

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