eNewsletter not displaying correctly? View it in your browser

INNOCAT - eNewsletter
ISSUE #3 March 2015

Dear colleague,

We are pleased to send you the third edition of the INNOCAT e-newsletter, bringing you the latest updates on project news and other interesting initiatives in the world of sustainable catering.

Happy reading,

Your INNOCAT team

To read more about the topics below, visit the INNOCAT website at www.sustainable-catering.eu.

In this issue

Project News

INNOCAT Partners in GPP News Alert Food Special

Ghent shares catering best practice in promotional video

Have Your Say - Buying Local: What's the big deal?

Project News

Tender update: biodegradable packaging

INNOCAT partner Resah-IDF launched two invitations to tender in Autumn 2014. The first call included two lots for recyclable and biodegradable packaging, whilst the second covered a service to ensure the waste was appropriately sorted and managed.

The tender was run using an online platform and a Supplier Helpdesk was launched to guide bidders through the process. Help sheets covered topics including how to register on the platform, how to bid for a tender and how to ask a question. A question and answer document was made available to all bidders and updated regularly.

Offers have now been received and the tender is due to be awarded in March 2015.

For more information on this tender, please visit the food containers tender page.

SCHOOL CATERING: Carbon footprint analysis

The City of Turin (Italy), an INNOCAT partner, has recently published results of a monitoring exercise to establish the size of the city catering contract’s carbon footprint. Using a life cycle analysis approach which considered emissions from field to plate, they measured the carbon footprints of the five most commonly consumed food products (potatoes, carrots, apples, pears and peaches).

Results were interesting and, in some cases, surprising. It was discovered, for example, that transportation within the city accounted for just 25 percent of the overall carbon footprint while production processes for the product groups measured amounted to between 50 and 75 percent of the total.

Turin is currently considering whether to apply this model more widely and calculate the entire environmental footprint (including ecological, carbon and water) of the catering service. A report is also being prepared which looks at broader sustainability issues and draws together eco-innovative solutions which are being implemented in school catering services across Europe.

For more information, visit the school catering tender page.

Suppliers warm up to eco-innovative vending machines

An extensive period of market engagement in the upcoming tender for eco-innovative vending machines has just come to an end. This followed a PIN published by the University of Sheffield in March 2014 and consisted of two main activities: a market sounding questionnaire and a supplier workshop.

The consultation has proved very useful, with both sides learning a great deal. The university now has a much better idea of what technologies are available or under development and has heard directly from the market how best to boost development of the eco-innovative solutions it requires.

Suppliers, on the other hand, have been given a clear idea of what is being sought as well as the opportunity to state their own needs and opinions. As one supplier remarked after the workshop, “This is exactly what suppliers need – clear and early notification of a customer’s needs.”

A pre-qualification questionnaire for suppliers is now online and can be filled out until 23 March.

For more information on this tender, please visit the vending machines tender page.

Office Catering Audit highlights

The Piedmont Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment (ARPA Piemonte) has been working with INNOCAT partner Envipark to improve its in-house staff catering service.

Following an in-depth audit, carried out in November 2014, ARPA Piemonte has identified two priority areas: waste reduction and energy saving through the procurement of more energy efficient catering equipment. These will provide both financial benefits and impact in terms of improved sustainability.

A PIN is due to be released later this year to inform the market of the specific eco-inovative elements required in the upcoming tender.

For more information, please visit the office catering tender page.

INNOCAT partners in GPP News Alert food special

The December edition of the European Commission’s GPP News Alert was published on Thursday 18 December. The bumper issue, which featured four case studies, was the first News Alert to be dedicated to a specific theme. Food production is responsible for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions and this issue looked in detail at what European cities are doing to green their public food procurement.

INNOCAT partners Resah and the City of Turin were both featured for the work they have been doing on eco-innovative catering practices as part of the INNOCAT project. Other contributors included the city of Helsinki (Finland), Barcelona (Spain), Copenhagen (Denmark) and an interview with Gunilla Andersson, who is responsible for the sustainability of food delivered to schools and care homes in the City of Malmö (Sweden).

For more information on GPP best practice and criteria, visit the EU GPP Helpdesk.

Ghent shares catering best practice in promotional video

The Belgian city of Ghent has produced a fascinating 3 minute video documenting sustainable catering practices across the city.

Ghent currently avoids non-sustainable foods, such as tuna or unethical fish, focuses on minimal transport levels, food safety, recycling of packaging and professional monitoring. The Ghent catering services include hybrid Volvo trucks and electric cars as part of the delivery fleet.

Other initiatives, including a weekly Veggie Day on Thursdays, raise awareness of the implications diet can have on carbon dioxide levels and other greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information, watch the Ghent catering video.

Have Your Say - Buying Local: What’s the big deal?

There’s a commonly held belief that sourcing food locally must be a good thing. The logic behind this idea is relatively straightforward: local food doesn’t have to travel very far between the farm and your plate and therefore its carbon footprint must be low. Furthermore, it helps to boost the local economy and the food is fresher. What could be simpler?

Sadly, the reality is a little more complex.

Firstly, the European Union is a free trade area. This is a founding principle of the EU and means that specifying goods must be locally sourced is illegal, as it discriminates unfairly against suppliers from other nation states that should be given an equal opportunity to bid for public contracts.

Secondly, recent analysis by the cities of Helsinki (Finland) and Turin (Italy) into the carbon footprint of their catering services has shown that transport plays a relatively minor role when it comes to food-related emissions.

The majority of emissions are released during the production process rather than transportation, meaning that cutting down on meat and switching to organic produce could have a far greater impact than sourcing locally.

So why are so many of us getting stuck on the local issue? And are there better criteria that could be used to encourage sustainability in the food chain?

Please share your thoughts on this and much more in the Sustainable Catering Forum

INNOCAT - partners