RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2019

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388 Public food procurement – promoting population health, food security and ecosystem resilience (2)
Affiliation Food Geographies Working Group
Convenor(s) Mark Stein (University of Salford, UK)
Chair(s) Mark Stein (University of Salford, UK)
Timetable Friday 30 August 2019, Session 4 (16:50 - 18:30)
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 (1)
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2019@rgs.org
Food for Life Served Here: Ten years of encouraging and enabling change in public procurement
Catriona Dickie (Soil Association Food for Life, UK)
Caron Longden (Soil Association Food for Life, UK)
Clare Clark (Soil Association Food for Life, UK)
A presentation on the impact of Food for Life Served Here in the ten years since the launch of the award. We will outline what the original standards aimed to achieve and how the standards have developed and adapted over the years to further incentivise caterers to take step changes to serve fresh, sustainable and healthy food. Have the original aims of launching the accreditation been compromised for the sake of increasing licensees and meal numbers or have they stayed true to the
vision?

We will provide an overall view of meal numbers and reach from launch to our ten-year mark, coupling this with more specific examples of change from our early adopters of the award and how this has had an impact on ingredients purchased and used in dishes – for example the rise in purchases of organic and farm assured produce and the reduction of sugar. What have been the major challenges for our licensees in achieving and sustaining the award over the passage of time. Is the accreditation still relevant and valued in today’s policy arena?

To finish we will look to the future with an overview of how we will continue to push the boundaries in terms of public sector procurement and raise the bar whilst still staying achievable. What’s on the horizon and how can we best relay the message around what Food for Life Served Here means to consumers.
The Path Towards Hope: It takes empathy to enforce even a good policy. Lessons from Rio
Juliana M Tangari (Instituto Comida do Amanha, Brazil)
School feeding in all Brazilian public schools is free of charge and is mostly funded by federal government. The National School Feeding is a well-scored food policy, praised by FAO and object of policy transfers to Africa. Since 2009, the program rules that each of Brazilian public school must spend at least 30% of the transferred federal cash on purchasing food directly from family farmers, preferentially local ones. Not complying with such rule risks losing the federal funding. Experience showed that its implementation requires engagement from several actors among education offices, farmers’ cooperatives, agencies for technical assistance and civil society organizations working on family and local farming issues.

In the city of Rio, not even one banana consumed in municipal public schools until 2016 was supplied directly by family farmers, local or not. The food supply of more than 1,500 schools came from no more than five wholesalers. Rio’s government officials were aware of the policy but were not enthusiastic of it. There was sound belief that either there were no local food producers able to supply municipal schools’ food demand within the needed logistics, or local producers were not able to comply with Rio’s regulation on food safety. Changing that vision and gaining empathy from public officials was a herculean deed. Rio’s Food Council and the Public Prosecutor joint work to overcome the difficulties of this top-down policy was key to success, which finally seemed to arrive in 2017, giving hope for tireless urban farmers in and around Rio.
Mainstreaming biodiversity into institutional food procurement programs in Brazil: promoting healthy eating and family farmers
Daniela M. de Oliveira Beltrame (Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project, Brazil)
Camila Oliveira (Ministry of Environment, Brazil)
Teresa Borelli (Bioversity International, Rome, Italy)
Lidio Coradin (Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project, Brazil)
Danny Hunter (Bioversity International, Rome, Italy)
A well-established political and regulatory framework promoting food and nutritional security exists in Brazil. Among its key elements are the Food Acquisition Program (PAA) and the National School Meals Program (PNAE), institutional food procurement programs, which provide equitable support to family farming by acquiring their products at a fair price and directing them to public schools, public programs and social organisations. Both the PNAE and PAA were identified by the GEF-funded Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project (BFN) as entry-points for potentially improving nutrition and livelihoods with links to native biodiversity and its conservation. At least 30% of food purchased with federal funds through PNAE must be bought directly from family farmers. Both PNAE and PAA include ethical standards and incentives of up to 30% in the price for organic or agroecological produce, while also supporting family agriculture organizations to rescue, produce, store, and distribute seeds of local or traditional varieties. These mechanisms create incentives for the use of resources from Brazilian ecosystems by promoting institutional markets for biodiversity products. To take advantage of these opportunities, BFN has engaged with Federal Universities in research partnerships and activities to conduct analysis on the nutritional composition of 70 prioritized native fruit species, put in place a federal policy ordinance that formally recognizes the nutritional value of these species and increased awareness on the importance and nutritional value of native biodiversity species through advocacy workshops, capacity building, and strategic alliances and partnerships with key actors involved in the PNAE and PAA and related policies.
Public procurement for a 1.5 degree world: de-corporatising the food sector and adopting planet-healthy diets
Dan Woolley (Feedback, UK)
Jessica Sinclair-Taylor (Feedback, UK)
Lucy Antal (Feedback, UK)
Daniel Jones (Feedback, UK)
The corporatisation of the food system has resulted in huge externalised environmental costs. Under the dominance of profit-seeking multinational companies, our food systems are now responsible for approximately 60% of global terrestrial biodiversity loss, 24% of greenhouse gas emissions and 33% of degraded soils. Yet not only do current public procurement frameworks fail to hold businesses accountable for the environmental costs of their activities – they are actively weighted in favour of these globalised shareholder-owned companies which draw prosperity away from the local communities that major anchor institutions serve. In addition, public procurement has so far failed to deliver the plant-based and planet-healthy diets needed to promote public health and deliver a net zero agricultural sector. Through rebalancing procurement frameworks in favour of cooperatives, community-interest companies and other local enterprises which are not motivated by profit-above-all, our anchor institutions can support the growth – and increase the proportionate representation within local and national food economies – of organisations that seek to replenish, rather than degrade the environment, through their activities, ownership structure and community-anchored networks and markets.

Feedback brings a unique perspective to how procurement can be used as a tool to implement a public money for public good approach: to regenerate nature, strengthen local economies and promote improved health and wellbeing through the de-corporatisation of our food system.
Assessing the social-ecological resilience of UK fruit and vegetable production: The case of Brexit
Giles O'Donovan (University of Aberdeen, UK)
Obesity in the UK remains a significant issue, affecting population health and the National Health Service. A key strategy in tacking this is improving Fruit and vegetable consumption as it is associated with improved dietary health and reduced mortality. As public procurement provides food for a wide range of groups, it is a key factor in facilitating improved fruit and vegetable consumption. This facilitation requires that UK fruit and vegetable production is resilient to shocks. Problematically, the majority of agricultural resilience studies have taken place during times of stability or growth, meaning their assessment of resilience is based on past shocksfrom which they have since recovered. This approach neglects assessing resilience during a time of disturbance, where the capacity to deal with shocks is really tested. As Brexit is already affecting UK fruit and vegetable production through challenges such as reduced labour supply and currency fluctuation, it is necessary to assess the resilience of UK fruit and vegetable production and how Brexit is impacting it. This research addresses this through interviewing key informants in the UK horticulture sector to understand the health of the sector prior to Brexit and the current impacts of the Brexit process. Findings demonstrate that the UK fruit and vegetable production is heavily orientated towards resilience due to a competitive environment with little subsidy, but this approach is challenged by the uncertainties of the Brexit. This indicates that Brexit challenges traditional approaches to resilience due to its complex and multifaceted nature.