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25 November 2014  

Invitation to tender published for biodegradable packaging

As part of the INNOCAT - Procurement of Eco-innovative catering project, project partner Resah-idf (Réseau des acheteurs hospitaliers de l’ile de France) the French purchasing group, has published a tender for a framework agreement for biodegradable packaging for hospitals and nursing homes in the Ile-de-France region in France.

The tender was published on 31 October and follows a PIN which was released in October, which provided details of their upcoming tender for eco-innovative food containers and associated recycling services. Two lots will be included in the tender, one of which is for ‘biodegradable and compostable dishes’. The containers will be required to meet EU standard EN13432 and must be able to be disposed of as organic waste.

EN13432 is designed to provide proof of a product’s compostability. It states that after 3 months composting, no more than 10 percent of the original mass may be left as residue having been passed through a 2mm sieve. The standard also requires products to comply with heavy metals thresholds. The tender forms part of Resah’s plan to reduce the environmental impact of consumption, while meeting the current budgetary constraints of its 130 members

A second INNOCAT tender covering a service to organise the organic waste was launched on Friday 14 November.

Further information on Resah-idfs role in the INNOCAT project, visit the upcoming tenders page.

17 November 2014  

Schools across Europe increasingly growing their own food

In recent years, many schools in Europe have begun growing their own fruit and vegetables in an effort to teach students more about where their food comes from and the processes involved. The idea is that by growing their own food students will develop a better understanding of what they eat, motivating them to eat healthier and to live a healthier lifestyle.

GIY International is an emerging global network of people who grow a portion of their food. Founded in Ireland in 2009, the GIY movement runs events and campaigns to build awareness and knowledge, and is made up of over 50,000 people and community groups. Campaigns include The Living Classroom and the Sow & Grow Schools Campaign, both of which encourage children to cultivate their own food both at home and at school. Mama Terra - a similar campaign in Spain - aims to promote organic school gardens and develop educational tools relating to the work carried out in the school garden.

In the UK, the Food for Life project has a Get Growing campaign, while the Food Growing Schools programme brings together the very best of London’s food growing expertise, information and support, with the ambition to inspire and equip every school in the British capital to grow their own produce. In Germany many States, such as Baden-Württemberg have similar initiatives.

For more information, click here.

10 November 2014  

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).

For more information on the INNOCAT tenders, visit the upcoming tenders page.

3 November 2014  

ARCA Lombardia joins interest group for eco-innovative vending machines

ARCA Lombardia, the regional buyers group for the Lombardia region (Italy) has joined the INNOCAT interest group for low-carbon vending machines. The group, led by INNOCAT project partner Johnson Matthey and the University of Sheffield, is exploring the possibilities for increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions from vending operations.

A supplier meeting will be held at the University of Sheffield (UK) on 6 November to discuss the upcoming tender. This follows on from a PIN published in March 2014, intended to find out what options are available or under development before beginning the formal tender process.

The buyers group are interested in hearing from companies at all stages of the supply chain with ideas that could contribute to improving energy efficiency or reducing emissions, deliver incremental improvements over the period of a contract, contribute to a total solution or provide a total solution.

For more information or to join the interest group, visit the INNOCAT website or email innocat@iclei.org.