Towards a more sustainable food supply in collective catering: Procurement

June 2021

Agence pour l’Environnement et la Maîtrise de l’Energie (ADEME)

Sustainable catering is possible! A source of pleasure and a response to vital needs, food is at the heart of environmental, health and economic issues. Present on a daily basis throughout the lives of citizens, collective catering is ready to take up the challenge: to offer as many people as possible healthy, quality meals that limit environmental impact and pressure on resources, and that are accessible, while allowing fair remuneration for the actors who have contributed to their preparation.

The guide published by ADEME has been designed to provide concrete elements to collective catering actors on the implementation of sustainable food in their structures, particularly in the context of the implementation of the objectives of the EGAlim Law.

National objective: - 50% waste in collective catering by 2025

To download : ademe-guide-bonnes-pratiques-egalim-2021.pdf (19 MiB)

Organic and quality for satisfied diners!

Procurement is a key lever for introducing quality food from sustainable production methods into the catering offer. At this stage, it is also possible to anchor food in the territory and to promote local products and actors. Combined with the know-how of the professional teams, this supply will make the difference in the service offer. In addition, it responds to a change in the expectations of diners.

Some figures

The main organic products purchased are fresh fruit and vegetables and dairy products. This development meets an expectation: 90% of French people say they are interested in meals with organic products at school.

Exhaustive list of sustainable and/or quality products « EGAlim » :

Good to know: European legislation requires the possible use of « equivalent products » in the drafting of public contracts. This equivalence remains the responsibility of the buyer, who determines it on the basis of evidence provided by the supplier. The purchaser may introduce a criterion for analysing tenders in its public contracts relating to the costs imputed to environmental externalities throughout the life cycle. There is no official benchmark or methodology for this calculation, which is the responsibility of the purchaser, and which allows, under certain conditions, for the inclusion of purchased products in the 50%.

What is a local product?

To facilitate identification from the fac- tures, a pragmatic approach is to identify food produced or processed in the administrative region and, if necessary, in neighbouring departments.

How to increase the share of sustainable and/or quality products?

1. Identify the existing offer and compare it with current purchases:

2. Analyse the contractual, financial and organisational issues In concessionary catering :

3. Draw up a short- and medium-term plan by grading the actions

Level 1: Substitution of a « conventional » product by a similar « EGAlim » product (e.g. introduction of bread from organic farming).

Level 2: Change your menu plan by taking into account the seasonality of products and the quality local resources available.

Level 3: rethink your organisation (delegation, vegetable shop, groupings, etc.) for a sustainable food transition.


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