This practice is regarding a public authority that changed procurement rules in order to ensure her canteen to be stocked for 25% regionally produced food.
The Twente Canteen (TC) aims to persuade government agencies such as municipalities, healthcare institutions and university, to promote the consumption of locally produced food in their canteen. The municipality of Almelo has taken action to promote regionally produced food by taking up the condition in the procurement, that a minimum of 25% of the food offer in the canteens should be produced in the region of Twente. This revision was desired by the public authority as it wanted to adhere to the slowly increasing amount of people who pays atttention to sustainability and also in order to set an example for other governmental bodies.
This new procurement rule has resulted in the obligation for the caterer to ensure that 25% of the canteen range is from regional producers. This means that the logistic is still the responsibility of the caterer. Also, it doesn't mention a minimum amount of regional producers so the caterer is allowed to contract only one regional producer in order to have achieved the condition. In that case, it would mean that the full potential of a local authority supporting numerous regional producers by stocking the canteen largely with their products, in reality is not being used.
To further stimulate consumption of regional produced food, we have developed the project “The Seasoning of Twente”. This is an expansion of the Twente Canteen, an addition of two distribution channels (webhop and physical shop) and a coordinator.
For the current programme the budget is €26.000 euro. The origin of the fund is from Province of Overijssel. That was needed for advisement and the research for a business and steppingstone plan for the Twente Canteen.
Evidence of success
Two Twente Canteens are realised: one in the municipality of Almelo and one in the University of Twente. The municipality changed their procurement rules and the university and her caterer made agreements. Furthermore, there is set up a leading group of local producers to lead the initiative and we have confirmed that 50 producers want to cooperate with this project. Developed the concept of Seasonings of Twente to scale up the original Twente Canteen.
Scale up the supply and demand of local food. There are a lot of small activities but these are not profitable enough and do not cooperate sufficiently. And the current market systems and regulations puts merchants in the lead, this hampers the development of small local producers.
Potential for learning or transfer
The bottom up approach of the TC, i.e. the identification of local needs and development of ideas in close cooperation with the stakeholders of the region, could be transferred to other regional contexts in Europe. This is particularly true for regions, where there is a strong commitment to address the recognized need for better promotion of regionally produced food. Furthermore, a successful implementation of the TC requires an independent person who connects all different project partners. Because, we noticed that arranging, managing and monitoring a short foodchain like the TC requires time, managing, monitoring and priority. And a party who has an own business or a fulltime job, has no time and gives no priority to the TC. The role of Groene Kennispoort was project leader and researcher into the potential of a local food system in Twente. After that, GKT would have the knowledge how a short local foodsystem must look like to be succesful and wants to set this up and scale up.
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