Read our interview with sustainable food expert Roberta Sonnino
In an interview for the INNOCAT project, Prof. Roberta Sonnino draws on her extensive research and work with cities in Europe and the USA to provide practical advice for all local authorities grappling with sustainable food procurement.
Ms Sonnino is a Professor in the School of Planning and Geography at Cardiff University, where she directs the Research Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Food and the MSc course Food, Space and Society. We asked her to to share some insights on the biggest current issues facing local authorities when procuring food and catering services: in the face of ever smaller budgets and an increasing pressure to 'buy local', how can public authorities work within the EU legal framework to procure affordable, nutritious and sustainable meals?
The interview gives suggestions for procuring creatively in order to achieve broader policy aims. It also highlights the importance of a supportive legislative framework to ensure public procurement can be leveraged in support of sustainability. “Cities all over Europe are realising the importance of public procurement as a tool to improve food security and sustainability, but evidence from my research suggests that urban policies flourish especially in countries with a national legislation that supports local action. It is crucial that we harmonise policy goals across different levels of governance and create an enabling environment for local governments that are striving to realise the enormous sustainability potential of public food procurement” said Prof. Sonnino.