School meals as a model for a sustainable food system
To achieve the global sustainability goals Agenda 2030, we need to produce, buy and eat food that benefits both health and the environment. The project "A new recipe for school meals" explores what such a sustainable system can look like - socially, environmentally and financially. The idea is that school meals can form a model for how the entire food system can be adjusted.
Ideas about sustainable meals are tested in practice
During the past year, several authorities have together identified important areas to address in order to make the system around school meals more sustainable. Now those thoughts will be tested in practice in the four municipalities. These include smarter procurement of sustainable food, increasing competence in sustainable food at all levels - from politicians to educators - and involving students more.
- It will be very exciting to follow the four development environments! They will be spearheads for sustainable school meals and our hope is that all municipalities in Sweden will be able to benefit from their experiences, says the National Food Administration's project coordinator Ulrika Backlund.
25 applied - four were selected
Despite a short application period, as many as 25 municipalities have applied. Both municipalities that have already come a long way in their work with sustainable school meals and municipalities that are more in the starting blocks.
The four municipalities that were selected are judged to have good conditions to be able to change their school meal system and to work across administrative boundaries and organizational boundaries. But above all, they are judged to be able to represent more municipalities in Sweden. Factors such as geographical location, type of municipality and municipality size have also played a role.
Efforts at both local and national level
The municipalities participating in the project must have a regular dialogue with national authorities, for example if they discover obstacles to innovation and development in national governance and regulations.
- The challenges in the food system cannot be solved one at a time, we must turn on several parameters at the same time. With the efforts around school meals, we are testing a new way of working where authorities, municipalities, schools and the business community collaborate and test new solutions together, says Joanna Franzén, area manager for Sustainable Food Systems at Vinnova.