Good Food on the Public Plate Evaluation Report

This report details the outcome of the evaluation of phase two of the Good Food on the Public Plate project. This evaluation was run by F3: The local food consultants and found that without exception, participants welcomed the support the project provided. They also found that the project targets were very challenging but that there has undoubtedly been a positive, tangible contribution to increasing the level of sustainable consumption by target public sector organisations.


Good Food on the Public Plate evaluation report 2008This report contains the 2008 evaluation of the Good Food on the Public Plate project, undertaken by F3: The local food consultants. The project worked to increase the purchase and use of healthy and sustainable food in public sector institutions. In its most recent phase, Good Food on the Public Plate worked to improve food in London's public sector institutions, as a major part of implementation of the Mayor's London Food Strategy.

The evaluation of this phase of the Good Food on the Public Plate project found that without exception, participants welcomed the support the project provided. They also found that the project targets were very challenging but that there has undoubtedly been a positive, tangible contribution to increasing the level of sustainable consumption by target public sector organisations.

The objectives of this phase of the Good Food on the Public Plate project were to:

  • Work with at least twenty hospitals, five schools and five care/nursing homes in London and the South East to increase the amount of sustainable food being served as part of their routine catering;
  • Improve the health of patients, pupils and residents, as well as staff and visitors, as a result of providing more fresh and healthy food; and
  • Improve the viability of local economies by ensuring that small and medium sized enterprises have opportunities to supply to the public sector, including by developing shorter supply chains and linking producers and the public sector.

The project’s influence is now widely recognised, contributing to the sustainable sourcing standards adopted by the organisers of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and leading to a host of campaigns seeking to make sustainable food and farming the norm.

PROGRESS UPDATE (2012): Since this report, Sustain has supported the Greater London Authority and local authorities in London Boroughs to increase their use of healthy and sustainable food. This work has been undertaken as part of Good Food on the Public Plate project and the Good Food Training for London project.

In 2010, we are proud to report that the Greater London Authority family of statutory organisations (police, fire brigade, transport and City Hall) committed to adopting a sustainable food policy in line with the London 2012 Food Vision, to which Sustain also contributed extensively.

Sustain was also invited to help design and support implementation of food standards for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For background, see: www.sustainweb.org/olympicfood - and for the Food Legacy project, inspired by the London 2012 Food Vision, see: www.foodlegacy.org.

In addition, millions of pounds of local authority food buying is now spent on sustainable food due to the work of Good Food on the Public Plate, Sustainable Fish City and the Food for Life Partnership. The increase in uptake of healthy and sustainable food by London's local authority procurement is tracked in London Food Link's Good Food for London report.
In 2012, Sustain launched the Campaign for Better Hospital Food. Please get involved to help win compulsory health and sustainability standards for food served in hospitals!

Report contents

  1. Foreword from Sustain
  2. Summary
  3. Objectives of the evaluation
  4. Achievements
  5. How embedded is sustainable food?
  6. Limitations on achieving sustainable food
  7. Conclusions and recommendations
"Wherever money is spent on food in the public sector, it should be supporting sustainability, not contributing to further damage to the environment and human health. We believe that a mandatory commitment on public sector organisations now needs to be instigated, to require management and catering staff to implement the necessary changes to ensure sustainable food procurement. This needs to be put in place and kept in focus by enforceable measures, with clear targets and monitoring of progress over time. This should also be embedded into the performance indicators of public sector institutions and backed up with training, and additional funding where necessary.
Kath Dalmeny, Policy Director of Sustain, in the foreword to the Good Food on the Public Plate report

01/12/2008
Good Food on the Public Plate

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