Olivier de Schutter highlights impact of sustainable public procurement in international food systems
Olivier de Schutter, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and current Chair of the International Panel of Experts on Food Systems, opened a recent catering conference in Helsinki (Finland). In a speech delivered by video link, Mr de Schutter applauded initiatives which work to build more socially equitable, nutritionally balanced and environmentally sustainable food systems.
The catering sector is responsible for a high percentage of emissions in Europe. It is a large consumer of water and energy, and creates a significant amount of food waste. The speech underlined the importance of public procurement in reducing these impacts and highlighted recent legislation which allows the inclusion of social and environmental criteria in public sector tenders. Projects such as INNOCAT look improve sustainability within the catering sector, using public procurement to promote eco-innovative catering solutions.
The Nordic Seminar followed an INNOCAT meeting where project partners presented the latest news on their upcoming catering tenders. INNOCAT partner Resah has since published the first invitation to tender under the auspices of the project. This focuses on reducing waste by the procurement of biodegradable food packaging, to be used in hospitals and care homes in the Ile-de-France region (France).