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A “solutions conference” this Tuesday for more organic in collective catering

The Ministry of Agriculture is organizing a “conference on collective catering solutions” on Tuesday in Paris to accelerate the arrival of sustainable and organic food in canteens, while France is still far from the objectives it has set itself.

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A “solutions conference” this Tuesday for more organic in collective catering

The Ministry of Agriculture is organizing a “conference on collective catering solutions” on Tuesday in Paris to accelerate the arrival of sustainable and organic food in canteens, while France is still far from the objectives it has set itself. is fixed in this matter. The Egalim law in 2018, supplemented by the Climate and resilience law in 2021, set the objective of offering at least 50% of so-called “sustainable” and “quality” products, including at least 20% organic products, in meals served in collective catering. This measure has applied since January 1, 2022 to all public service collective restaurants (school and university, hospitals, medico-social, administrations, etc.) and since January 1, 2024 to private establishments.

Also read: What do we really eat in French canteens in 2024?

Achieving these objectives by all collective catering would represent a market of almost 2 billion additional euros for organic farming, according to the government. The assurance of a regular outlet is decisive for organic products, which over the last two years have seen a decline in demand from consumers affected by inflation. But in 2022, according to the latest purchasing census, established on the basis of voluntary declarations on the “ma cantine” platform, collective restaurant managers only devoted “27.5% of their purchases to sustainable and sustainable products. quality”, including “13% organic”.

It is “in progress”, argues the ministry, but still far from the mark, in particular due to a “lack of knowledge of the law” by the actors. This “solutions conference” will bring together around the ministers responsible for Agriculture (Marc Fesneau and Agnès Pannier-Runacher) their counterparts from the Civil Service (Stanislas Guerini) and Local Authorities and Rurality (Dominique Faure) and all stakeholders: representatives of communities, schools, hospitals or companies such as the catering giant Sodexo. Beyond respecting the law, the government underlines the “major challenge” of achieving the objectives set not only for farmers, but also in terms of public health and social justice.

Also read: What do we really eat in French canteens in 2024?

To accelerate the movement, the government is working on a charter with the main collective catering companies and large businesses, to encourage them to commit and register on the “my canteen” platform. Ideas and good practices will be discussed during several round tables, in particular to present social pricing in rural communities "which today allows meals to be reduced to 1 euro for the most disadvantaged children" or examples of canteens already 100% organic in the region.

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