Vienna’s public institutions buying more sustainably produced food
Vienna’s public institutions – kindergartens, schools and elderly care-homes alike – are increasingly buying organic food. This change in purchasing behavior is the result of the pilot project ‘natürlich gut Teller’ [naturally good plate] initiated by the city of Vienna to reduce greenhouse gases by encouraging public institutions to make more sustainable food choices.
The level of CO2 emissions of canteen kitchens depends on food production methods, as well as seasonality and origin of food. Through the use of organic-food labels, regional products and reduction of meat and fish, greenhouse gas emissions levels from field to plate can be significantly reduced. Ökokauf Wien [in German] is overseeing the project and has tasked the environmental consultancy die umweltberatung [in German] with developing criteria for particularly eco-friendly meals, labelling them as ‘naturally good plates’ and training staff in participating public institutions.
A ‘naturally good plate’ must fulfill the following four criteria: the food has to be partially organic, the vegetables have to be seasonal, and meat and fish should be organic and served less frequently. In addition, participating institutions have to comply with two of the following criteria: food is from vegetable origin, regionally produced, fairly produced, self-prepared, using less packaging, or following an eco-innovative approach.