RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2019

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357 Public food procurement – promoting population health, food security and ecosystem resilience (1)
Affiliation Food Geographies Working Group
Convenor(s) Mark Stein (University of Salford, UK)
Chair(s) Mark Stein (University of Salford, UK)
Angela Tregear (The University of Edinburgh, UK)
Timetable Friday 30 August 2019, Session 3 (14:40 - 16:20)
Room Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Room 119
Session abstract Public food procurement is a significant part of overall food consumption in many countries – buying food for schools nurseries, hospitals and elderly care. The session will discuss sustainable food procurement policies aimed at:

• Encouraging healthy eating
• Minimising global warming
• Promoting animal welfare and biodiversity
• Reducing food waste and meat usage
• Supporting local and regional food producers – thus safeguarding food security

This year's session follows a well attended and successful session at the 2018 annual conference in Cardiff
Linked Sessions Public food procurement – promoting population health, food security and ecosystem resilience (2)
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2019@rgs.org
Sustainability on the plate?: assessing the impacts of different models of school meals procurement
Angela Tregear (The University of Edinburgh, UK)
Maysara Sayed (The University of Edinburgh, UK)
Mary Brennan (The University of Edinburgh, UK)
Whilst research in public food procurement has shown how institutions are changing policies and practices to further their sustainability goals, to date relatively few studies have sought to measure empirically the impacts of such changes. Within the European Union funded project Strength2Food (www.strength2food.org), the current study aimed to address this gap, by assessing the environmental, economic, social and nutritional outcomes of different procurement models used in primary school meals services. In five countries (Croatia, Greece, Italy, Serbia and the UK), two contrasting models of meals procurement (one with a localisation emphasis, and one without) were investigated and compared in terms of sustainability impacts. Drawing in particular from the results of the environmental impact analysis, this presentation reveals the size and composition of the carbon footprints of the case models, and offers explanation of the contribution that different features of the school meals services make to total carbon emissions, including the types of foods on the menu, how far those foods are transported, and the levels and handling of waste. Across the case models, the research finds that although the distance between suppliers and schools plays a role in the environmental impact of a school meals service, other features have more significance, such as the amount of meat on the menu and the choice of waste disposal method. The presentation also reflects on how the environmental impacts of school meals services are linked to economic, social and nutritional benefits. The research was funded under H2020 grand agreement 678024.
Schools as platforms to improve healthy eating and diets, enhance livelihoods and environmental sustainability in Kenya
Aurillia Marjella (Bioversity International, Rome, Italy)
Victor Wasike (Genetic Resources Research Centre, Kenya)
Lusike Wasilwa (Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Kenya)
Teresa Borelli (Bioversity International, Rome, Italy)
Danny Hunter (Bioversity International, Rome, Italy)
The aim of this pilot study in Kenya was to demonstrate that local food biodiversity has the potential to address poor diets and healthy eating challenges as well as improve local smallholder livelihoods and contribute to enhanced environmental sustainability. While African leafy vegetables (ALVs) are a significant source of food in Kenya, their production and consumption is declining due in part to low awareness of their nutritional value, negative perceptions and poorly developed markets.

Dietary diversity in school meals could be improved through better utilization of commonly grown nutrient-dense African leafy vegetables. To address this challenge, a farmer business school model was used to train 25 farmer groups, across seven sub-counties in Busia county, on the sustainable production of African leafy vegetables, organic farming, post-harvest handling, contract farming, nutrition education and value addition. A food procurement model was tested supporting market linkages between farmers and local institutions and nutrition education activities carried out to improve the capacity of schools and clinics to incorporate ALVs into institutional meals. One farmer group has been sustainably supplying indigenous vegetables to a school four days per week since 2016 and the school has created a special tender for the supply of ALVs. Almost 500 students are eating indigenous leafy vegetables at meals four times a week. Farmer groups are now able to find markets for their produce nationally (schools, eateries, hospitals). Thirteen farmer groups are currently involved in negotiating or discharging their tenders to various.
No Rest for the Weary: K-12 Values-Based Food Purchasing Initiatives and their Impacts on Cafeteria Staff
Amy Rosenthal (Rutgers University, USA)
Christine Caruso (University of St. Joseph, USA)
Current research examining public food procurement motivated by values such as sustainability, healthfulness, or other social and environmental considerations tends to neglect the workers tasked with preparing these foods for consumers. However, the kitchen staff in schools, nurseries, hospitals, and other institutions are key to the success of initiatives to change what is served in these places, as they ultimately deliver the meals that must be eaten if such programs are to continue. This paper explores the impact of procurement initiatives on the daily activities and attitudes of front-line workers in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in six US school districts which prioritize serving healthful and local foods. Using interviews with cafeteria managers and district-level staff, as well as surveys of cafeteria employees, we describe workers’ experience of integrating healthy and local purchases into their activities and their reactions to new responsibilities for food preparation. For example, a major unintended consequence of these procurement changes has been to produce additional workload that is not accounted for in the planning and implementation process. We offer recommendations for stakeholders seeking to institute values-based procurement changes in institutional food service environments, including measures to both enhance success of these initiatives and improve the quality of cafeteria staff jobs
Sweden – Sustainable Public Food Procurement
Elvira Molin (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden)
Michael Martin (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden)
Anna Björklund (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)
Sven-Olof Ryding (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden)
Population growth and urbanization has led to an increase in resource intensive and energy rich foods, where the public sector accounts for a large share of food consumption. This requires implementing measures across the food value chain. One such measure is the use of public procurement. However, there are many challenges to implement procurement criteria in the public sector to guide purchases, calling for an increased understanding of the criteria employed. This study aims at reviewing the use of sustainable public procurement (SPP) as a tool for more sustainable food production and consumption.

This study analyses the use of life cycle based criteria that can be used in public procurement within Sweden. A mapping of the use of the criteria nationally was performed to investigate how the sustainability aspects are represented within the available criteria for different food groups; conducted through the use of a survey and interviews with municipal procurers. The sustainability criteria at different levels were reviewed and categorized into social, economic and environmental sustainability criteria for the different foods.

The results point to an overwhelming number of criteria available for animal based foods. However, these cover only a limited set of sustainability criteria in the three pillars. Economic aspects are nearly absent in the current criteria used. Criteria relevant for social criteria are also relatively difficult to find, although many criteria for ethical handling of animals are available, which may fall outside the current guidelines and recommendations from the scientific community.
Public procurement as a booster of midscale food supply chains
Esther Sanz Sanz (INRA, France)
Claude Napoléone (INRA, France)
Aurélie Cardona (INRA, France)
This communication shows how public procurement can be a driver to improve the capacity of cities to re-localize their food system. We analyze a local study case of school food procurement in Avignon (France) focusing on actions to improve the quality of the food served by increasing the proportion of local fresh fruits and vegetables that are used in the school meals. We combine a comprehensive analysis and participative workshops with a spatial modelling approach to estimate from the agricultural census the existing production in a rayon of 30km around Avignon that is commercialized in short circuit, both organic and conventional. We found that only a particular profile of farmer corresponding to what other scholars called “agriculture of the middle” (Brives et al., 2017; Lev and Stevenson, 2011) is interested by public procurement. These midscale food chains operates at the territorial scales, “distribute profit margins equitably across the strategic partners” and are based on trust and shared values between the various actors of agri-food systems from production to consumption, including intermediaries (Lev and Stevenson, 2011, p. 120). This is an interesting finding for public action: the main constraint to public procurement with local fresh food is not the quantity of local production, but the configuration and assembling of the distribution and retailing network of this production, specially the cross-scalar translocal and collective agencies as other scholars highlighted (Moragues-Faus and Sonnino, 2018). In this sense, public demand can boost the development of midscale food supply chains.