Transforming catering and food procurement

With nearly 50% of all food eaten outside the home, catering and procurement offers one of the most effective ways to drive large scale changes in healthy and sustainable food. Below and in the drop down menu on the right are some practical suggestions for transforming your catering and procurement, including inspiring city initiatives and resources.

What you can do

1. Establish a food procurement working group

… network or equivalent forum, to bring together procurement officers, caterers, suppliers and other decision-makers.

2. Adopt a city-wide Sustainable Food Procurement policy

… that incorporates specific commitments on a range of health, sustainability and/or ethical issues.

3. Persuade individual public sector organisations

… to adopt specific food policies e.g. nutrition standards, healthy catering and vending, ‘tap water only’ and ethical standards such as cage-free and Fairtrade.

4. Encourage public and private caterers

… to achieve accreditation on quality, health, sustainability and/or ethical food criteria such as the Food for Life Catering Mark, Sustainable Fish City and Good Egg Award.

5. Track healthy and sustainable catering accreditation

… and communicate this to others to promote further uptake across all key settings, including nurseries, schools, colleges, hospitals, care homes and workplace canteens.

6. Help procurement officers source more local food

… by linking them with producers and processors through local supplier directories and ‘meet the supplier’ events.

7. Help small food businesses access procurement

… via on-line tendering databases and cooperative marketing and supply initiatives.

8. Work with restaurants and other catering businesses

… to help them source more healthy, sustainable, ethical and locally produced ingredients.


Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities

Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme run by

Soil Association

Food Matters

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation 

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