Food system transformation:

Is public procurement the key to change?

September 25, 2023

Representatives of the Municipality of Torres Vedras (PT) - on the left, Inês Morais, Food Safety Superior Technician, and the City of Rybnik (PL) - on the right, Monika Kubisz, Public Officer, hand over the Sustainable Food Procurement Manifesto to Member of the European Parliament Karin Karlsbro - in the middle.

IMAGE: Buy Better Food

In order to fulfil its commitments to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the EU has to transform its food system. Public procurement presents an essential opportunity to kick off this change, and provides a meaningful framework for reaching shared goals on climate, health, food waste, social equity, and more.





93% of people agree that food offered in schools and hospitals should be healthy


Buy Better Food recently emphasised its message by conducting a poll1 in six European countries (France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain). The poll results underscore that the general public recognises the relevance of healthy (public) food: 92.8% of participants agree that food offered in schools and hospitals should be guaranteed to be healthy - with Italy, Spain and Poland having the highest approval rates. Along the same lines, when asked about government spending, 88% of people agree that guaranteeing healthy and sustainable food in public canteens (like schools and hospitals) is a good investment of public money.




IMAGE: Markus Spiske

Building bridges with civil society


The Buy Better Food coalition builds bridges with civil society, with the aim of advocating for the general public. This often requires working on two tracks: on the one hand, there is a need to bring the complex topic of procurement closer to society by highlighting the transformative power of procurement and providing people with an understanding of the food system.


On the other hand, coalition members must be careful to ensure the European Commission is aware of the coalition and its members’ work, by maintaining a continuous dialogue with Members of the European Parliament.





10 municipalities have already endorsed the Sustainable Food Procurement Manifesto.

IMAGE: Buy Better Food


  • Municipality of Nuoro, Italy
  • Municipality of Torres Vedras, Portugal
  • Valencia Municipal Food Council, Spain
  • Veneto Region, Italy
  • Autonomous Province of Bolzano – South Tyrol, Italy
  • City of Brasov, Romania
  • Municipality of Vicenza, Italy
  • City of Rybnik, Poland
  • Municipality of Mertola, Portugal
  • City of Montpellier, France


By harnessing public interest in sustainable, healthy school food, as well as outlining broader actions aimed at cultivating a more equitable and environmentally conscious food system, Buy Better Food is taking the first steps toward a better food future across Europe.











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