EkoCentria is a nationwide development unit that functions within the Savo Consortium for Education. EkoCentria´s target is to promote sustainable food chain with projects and development services. Sustainable food chain has been chosen as one of the focuses of Savo Consortium for Education. EkoCentria acts in the food chain especially for development of sustainable choices of professional kitchens.
Food chain consists of operators who supply food from fields to our tables. Ecological, economic, social and cultural sustainable development can be promoted by the choices of food chain.
The idea of sustainable food chain is to guarantee well-being of environment, people and production animals. Nutritional quality of food, product safety and supporting of local well-being and economy also belong to the criteria of sustainability.
From these pages you can find information on projects in progress, our services and information about tools that EcoCentria has developed for implementation of sustainable choices.
LOCAL FOOD GUIDE. More local food for the customers of public-sector kitchens - grounds and guidelines for procurement (2015)
Do you want sustainably produced and safe food in the future? The decision must be made today!
Using of local and organic products in public food services must be everyday routine by 2020.
National and local decision-makers by their decisions are responsible for what, how and where the Finns eat. Strategic decision-making has an important effect on implementation of sustainable procurement of groceries. These kind of procurements must be considered in procurement strategy. Wider use of local products in region’s food services secures agriculture and extensioned refining of groceries. In addition directing to local production creates employment, develops trade and improves food safety and reliability of maintenance.
Daily about two million meals are eaten in public food services in Finland. This means it is not all the same where the raw material comes from. Because of their great volume public procurements have a significant role in promotion of well-being and environmental targets of their own economic region.
The Council of State and the Finnish Government have set targets to municipalities and local administrations:
Cleantech-solutions: by the decision in-principle 6/2013 the state and municipalities are obligated to consider solutions of green technology in all public purchases. In purchasing of groceries this means that in public kitchens 10 % of served food will be organic by 2015 and 20 % by 2020.
The government of Mr. Katainen has strongly committed to promote local and organic food in public food services. The Council of State accepted government’s Programme of Local Food and government’s development programme for organic trade in 16.5.2013. These programmes carry out the government’s targets in increasing the production of local food and in raising the level of refining of products.
EkoCentria offers support and specialist services for municipalities and other public procurement units in putting sustainable purchase of groceries into practise.
Professional kitchens as pioneers of sustainable development
Professional kitchens have an important role in the whole chain of groceries. In Finland professional kitchens are divided into private and public actors, which differ from each other especially in methods of purchasing groceries.
Professional kitchens provide over 890 million meals per year. A Finn eats approximately 165 meals a year made by professional kitchens in cafés, restaurants, canteens, nursing homes, schools, kindergartens and so on. The public sector – schools, hospitals, kindergartens, the armed forces and the offices and institutions of municipalities and the state – makes about 419 million meals per year, which means about 350 million euros of purchased raw material.
In professional kitchens environmental questions are related to everyday actions and development. They set example by producing their meal services sustainably and by informing their customers about this. Menu planning and planning of procurement are the most important ways to improve sustainable development. Vegetable-based, season-related and natural raw materials are sustainable food choices. Environmental questions must be considered in other processes as well, such as in cooking, distribution, storage, public sanitation, waste management and so on.
The decision in-principle of the Council of State and the programme of Finnish Government encourage public food services to act in accordance with sustainable development and to implement sustainable food purchasing.
EkoCentria supports public and private professional kitchens in carrying out sustainable food chain. We provide training and guidance and produce material for kitchens’ environmental work.
EkoCentria PO box 13 (Sammakkolammentie 2), 70201 Kuopio Finland ekocentria(at)sakky.fi