Sustainable Food Procurement in London's Public Sector

In 2004, Sustain was commissioned by the London Development Agency food programme (now run by the Greater London Authority) to help one Greater London Authority (GLA) catering team to integrate healthy and sustainable food procurement into their policies and catering operations. This report gives an account of how this work was undertaken, the results and recommendations for sustainable food procurement by London's statutory bodies.


Sustainable food procurement in London's public sector: Report on sustainable food procurement in GLA Family cateringIn 2004, Sustain was commissioned by the London Development Agency food programme (now run by the Greater London Authority) to help one Greater London Authority (GLA) catering team to integrate healthy and sustainable food procurement into their policies and catering operations. This report gives an account of how this work was undertaken, the results and recommendations for sustainable food procurement by London's statutory bodies.

Further, Sustain was asked to collect data on current purchasing patterns and to produce a report on the sustainable development benefits of more sustainable food procurement across the ‘GLA family’, consisting  of the catering operations of the London Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, London Fire Brigade and City Hall.

The special value of working with ‘GLA family’ catering operations to increase their sustainable food procurement is that they can demonstrate good practice for London, and highlight the opportunities and barriers to the use of sustainable food supplies in catering paid for by the public purse. The catering operations of the GLA (along with catering operations that serve London’s schools) are highlighted in the draft London Food Strategy as an opportunity to ‘lever the power of procurement’, ‘offering enormous potential for transforming markets and driving innovation and behaviour for sustainability.’ As the draft strategy points out, ‘Providing appropriate services to increase opportunities for domestic producers to compete for business has the potential to support London’s food economy, to reduce the environmental impact of London and, both directly and indirectly, contribute to the improved health of Londoners’.

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 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 has launched the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, for compulsory health and sustainabillity standards for food served in hospitals.

Report contents

Recommendations

  • Raise awareness and set the agenda
  • Employ a sustainable food procurement team to take the work forward
  • Develop a sustainable food procurement toolkit
  • Improve the sustainable food supply capacity and infrastructure
  • Influence relevant standards de velopment procedures
  • Continue support for the Metropolitan Police Service
  • Develop further work with Transport for London

Section 1: Seminars and guidance for one Greater London Authority catering team

  • Choosing a partner
  • Work with the Metropolitan Police Authority
  • Work with Transport for London
  • Seminars on sustainable food procurement for ‘GLA family’ organisations
  • Work with GLA catering
  • Work with London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (Fire Brigade)
  • Additional consultative work, meetings and connections

Section 2: Costs & benefits of sustainable food procurement for ‘GLA family’

Appendices

  • Data collection questionnaire for ‘GLA family’
  • Contacts in the ‘GLA family’ of catering organisations
  • Supporting materials for the first Police Service seminar
  • Supporting materials for the first Police Service seminar
  • Supporting materials for the first Police Service seminar
  • Data sets – Transport for London (Sodexho catering)
  • Data sets – Fire Brigade (Autograph catering)

30/06/2005
Good Food on the Public Plate

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