StratKIT - Increasing action on sustainable and healthy school food procurement in the EU. Recommendations for national and EU policy makers
All children and young people go to school. It is the place where they usually spend most of their time. They need good food to grow, concentrate and stay healthy. They also have the right to healthy, adequate, safe, and sustainably produced food and good health in order to reach their full potential. However, despite favourable EU Procurement legislation, an EU school fruit, vegetables and milk scheme and numerous supportive studies and policies as well as a growing number of good practices, most European schools base their purchasing decisions on the cheapest price only, leaving limited margin for environmental and social sustainability.
Also, 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. Still, governments of all levels rarely link food systems, and in particular food consumption emissions, to their climate action targets (e.g. nationally determined contributions on climate).
The current EU Farm to Fork Strategy offers an extraordinary opportunity to recognise and enhance the positive role public food procurement can play in supporting a food systems transition.
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, we present the following eight recommendations to the European Commission and EU Member State governments in support of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These recommendations have been prepared as part of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme funded StratKIT project with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability as the main author.