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Towards sustainable food systems through innovative networks in public catering

Risku-Norja, Helmi and Mikkola, Minna (2010) Towards sustainable food systems through innovative networks in public catering. Paper at: 9th European IFSA symposium, Vienna, 4-7 July, 2010.

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Summary

Sustainability of food systems inherently implies food security, but in search for cost savings, the
decision‐makers tend to belittle the significance of food security, to overlook the various aspects of
sustainability in statutory catering and to ignore the environmental, societal and cultural aspects of food. An
extensive survey on the present status of statutory public catering shows, that although the severe natural
circumstances present great challenges for food production in Finland, municipal public catering is still today
largely based on domestically produced food. Thus, even in extreme circumstances national food security is
possible. However, because food security is not seen as constituting an essential part of sustainable
development (SD), the situation may alter in future. There is also large variation among Finnish municipalities as
to how those involved in catering understand the concept SD, how SD has been accounted for and how it can be
promoted in practice. In addition, there is very little direct co‐operation between researchers, extension and
practical actors of municipal catering. The results imply that in order to encourage sustainable food
consumption, the concept of SD should be brought clearly into the context of public catering. The municipalities
differ as to the foci and development needs. Therefore, there are no universal solutions, but the solutions need
to be slotted to the prevailing local circumstances and reconciled in mutual understanding among the actors.
Innovative networks involving municipal actors, researchers and an expert as a broker provide one promising
channel for finding the local way to improve sustainability of public catering. This study aims at reconnecting
people to the origin of food in their own surroundings and encouraging them to actively promote sustainable
food systems and sustainability in public catering through empowerment of the actors within innovative local
networks. The presentation captures the results from the survey and discusses future perspectives of increasing
sustainability within public catering in light of first experiences from the actors’ innovative networks.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:municipal catering services, school catering, food education, education for sustainable development, contextualisation of sustainable development Introduction
Subjects: Food systems
Research affiliation: Finland > Univ. Helsinki
Finland > MTT Agrifood Research
Deposited By: Koistinen, Riitta
ID Code:17563
Deposited On:16 Sep 2010 11:04
Last Modified:16 Sep 2010 11:04
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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