Workshop on eco- innovation for school catering services in the City of Turin
INNOCAT project partner Turin is organising a workshop on eco-innovation in the school catering sector on April 30. As part of the INNOCAT project the City of Turin is committed to promote the procurement of eco-innovative catering services for schools. The workshop will focus on the following four topics in particular: the type and origin of food, the delivery and logistics of food, meal preparation and serving as well as waste management.
In the workshop, Turin will share its experience of implementing a procurement framework for eco-innovative catering solutions and how it intends to learn for and prepare its next tender, reshaping the entire service in order to reduce the environmental impacts and promote eco-innovation.
National and European catering experts will analyse Turin’s current tender with project partners to find new solutions which can be made into criteria, parameters and environmental indicators forTurin’s next tender.
Local food collectives: what role should public authorities play?
Local food systems (LFSs), such as vegetable box schemes or farmers’ markets, are good examples of environmental social innovation and can encourage sustainable consumption. However, a news study suggests that authorities must take care before becoming too involved in such citizen-led initiatives, because these collectives may be wary of government intervention.
The study explored the governance of LFSs, based on a case study of ‘Food Teams’ - groups of people buying fresh produce collectively from local farmers who use sustainable agricultural methods. The researchers focused on three regions of Belgium: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.
The researchers considered the relationships between public authorities and the collectives that make up the Belgian Food Teams. Their findings suggest that although there are clearly actions that public authorities can take to encourage these initiatives, some Food Teams might fear they are losing their independence if governance is overly proactive. This could lead to the breakdown of the schemes, they warn.
Free sustainable procurement e-learning for Catering and Food Services
WRAP, an organisation dedicated to improving the level of recycling in the UK and creating a market for recycled materials, has developed a free e-learning module for sustainable procurement of Catering and Food Services. The online module is part of a series designed to inform procurers how to sustainably procure products and services under key categories.
The e-learning module includes good practice examples, and aims to guide organisations to use sustainable procurement as a means to make cost savings, use fewer resources and send less waste to landfill.
The module for sustainable procurement of Catering and Food Services examines the opportunities for embedding sustainability within the procurement process. It is divided into sub-modules covering the procurement cycle from background and policy information, through to developing specifications, evaluation and contract management.
INNOCAT to set new standard for eco-innovative vending machines
The INNOCAT project aims to launch at least four tenders over the course of the project, to encourage eco-innovation in the catering sector. The first of these tenders was recently launched with the publication of a Prior Information Notice (PIN) for the procurement of Vending Machines.
The procurement is being lead by the University of Sheffield, England who together with INNOCAT partner Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells have brought on board a number of other universities and organisations interested in increasing energy efficiency and reducing the carbon emissions that arise from vending operations. This Buyers Group aim to set a new standard for Low Carbon Vending, and as the tender will be a public contract, the contracted solution will be accessible for all organisations participating in the Buyers Group.
A market sounding exercise will be carried out over the coming months to find out what new solutions are available on the market and to demonstrate that there is a growing demand for energy efficient, low carbon vending machines.
Public Health England publishes toolkit to make serving sustainable, healthy food easier
In February 2014 ‘Public Health England’ published a toolkit including useful information for organisations aiming to meet the UK Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services (GBSF). The publication is intended to support public authorities, voluntary and community organisations and businesses in the food industry to provide consumers with sustainable food choices.
In addition to information on the GBSF, which ensures food sold to consumers is produced to higher sustainability and nutritional standards, the toolkit provides a summary of nutrition principles, and outlines the government’s dietary recommendations.
Lastly, the publication contains a table which summarises information on food guidelines, making it easier for caterers to choose, cook and serve healthier food. It also includes support tools, such as a GBSF checklist and case studies to guide those responsible for food to achieve healthier, more sustainable meals.