Barcelona uses catering tender to promote organic produce
Barcelona City Council’s Municipal Education Institute (IMEB) has been gradually introducing sustainability criteria into its catering tenders since 2006. IMEB is responsible for more than 100 kindergartens, schools and other centres of education across the city. Its most recent tender aimed to promote the use of organic, seasonal produce and reduce the environmental impacts associated with cleaning products used in kitchens by awarding points to those bidders who would use non-toxic and non-hazardous chemicals in cleaning products.
Technical specifications included the provision of a waste management plan and a training programme for staff which covered areas including waste minimisation, selective waste collection, the environmental characteristics of food products and low environmental impact cleaning procedures and products used in the contract. All vegetables were required to be fresh, with fresh fish used at least 3 times every month. Organic fruit juices and yogurts were also required.
As well as including a number of green criteria, the tender was divided into six lots covering different geographic areas in order to stimulate competition and the inclusion of SMEs. At the award phase, 10 of the 20 points given were related to environmental quality aspects, with 9 of these given for using organic food in the daily menus. The final contract was divided amongst four of the eight suppliers who bid, with the successful bidders offering prices between 11 and 20 percent lower than IMEB’s estimate.