School canteens in València: a healthier, more eco-friendly and locally sourced offer
It is important for administrations to promote the consumption of healthier, more eco-friendly and locally sourced food, but it is an incomplete action if the institutions themselves are not involved in specific actions. In this regard, public procurement is key. That is why, recently, the city of València has taken a big step so that the menus of locally governed schools and nursery schools are added to this type of food considered to be of good quality.
A new menu set-up: healthier, more eco-friendly and locally sourced
The aim of the administration is to promote healthy eating and, therefore, improvements have been introduced in the specifications for the contracting of a canteen service to ensure that the food in public schools is healthier, more eco-friendly, balanced and uses local products.
The new tender is rigorous: school menus will include fresh and seasonal vegetables every day. Fish will be served 1 to 3 times per week and consumption of precooked products and fried foods will be reduced to a minimum.
Citrus fruits must be Valencian and 100% organic. Olive oil will be of Denomination of Origin of the Comunitat Valenciana and rice will be from València. In addition, at least 50% of the products offered must be of organic origin, which are key to achieving long-term sustainability.
Shorter supply chains
With the incorporation of locally sourced food, the schools opt for local and seasonal food from València. The benefits are obvious: more work for local farmers, a healthier menu for children, and savings of tons of CO2 that were previously spent on packaging, packing and distributing food.
“We will try to shorten the distribution channel so as not to make the products more expensive and improve their freshness, and the direct profit of the farmer will benefit from reducing intermediaries”, said the Councillor for Education, Maite Ibáñez.
What do you think of this big step towards more sustainable food models?
Photo credit: Irene Marsilla