Sustainable Institutional Food Procurement Insights, lessons, and recommendations from a Churchill Fellowship (2022)

Governments have few sources of leverage over increasingly globalized food systems – but public procurement is one of them. When sourcing food for schools, hospitals and public administrations, Governments have a rare opportunity to support more nutritious diets and more sustainable food systems in one fell swoop,” – Olivier De Schutter United Nations Special Rapporteur On The Right To Food (2014)

In May and June of 2022, the author of the report on Sustainable Institutional Procurement, Leah Galvin attended meetings and site visits in the USA, Canada, England, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland where the was researching models and approaches that increase the procurement by public institutions of local, healthy and/ or sustainable food. Public food can create public good – economically, environmentally, socially and for our health. Public (government funded) food procurement by institutions can be driven by a range of values: the kind of food purchased, from whom it is purchased and the production method. Institutions include – hospitals, universities, aged care, preschools, schools, prisons, workplace canteens/catering and community meal programs such as meals on wheels.

Author Leah Galvin, recipient of the 2019 Churchill Fellow explains: In writing this report I have had practitioners, government policymakers, food systems advocates, philanthropic investors, and food service and institutional procurement professionals in mind. You can read it all or just cherry-pick parts which are most helpful to you. Much of it is practical, and translatable to the Australian context and I hope affirming for those keen to values-based procurement widely practiced. If you have a sustainability mindset, this report can provide you with a new way to think about how our food system is part of the emissions reduction solution, because sustainable institutional food procurement in Australia, remains the sleeping giant of food systems transformation.

Also see Leah’s infographic on the same topic at this link in this #ICDAsfsToolkit.

View/download the resource

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