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A Local Gap in Sustainable Food Procurement: Organic Vegetables in Berlin’s School Meals

Charis Linda Braun (), Meike Rombach (), Anna Maria Häring () and Vera Bitsch ()
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Charis Linda Braun: Chair of Economics of Horticulture and Landscaping, School of Management and School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich, Alte Akademie 16, 85354 Freising, Germany
Meike Rombach: Chair of Economics of Horticulture and Landscaping, School of Management and School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich, Alte Akademie 16, 85354 Freising, Germany
Anna Maria Häring: Unit of Policy and Markets in the Agri-Food-Sector, University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde, Schicklerstr. 5, 16225 Eberswalde, Germany

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 11, 1-19

Abstract: Organic and local food plays an important role in the discussion of sustainable public procurement for school catering services. The present study investigates the value chain supplying school catering with organic produce, using the organic vegetable industry in the Berlin-Brandenburg region in Germany as an example. The qualitative case study employs a structuration theory approach to explore value chain actors’ perspectives and their practices. Data is collected by conducting 14 in-depth interviews with actors on different supply chain levels (farming, wholesale, and catering) and analyzed by means of qualitative content analysis. The results suggest that, while organic food is generally important in school catering in Berlin, locally produced organic vegetables play only a minor role. A constraining factor is the lack of incentives for the use of locally produced organic food in the procurement guidelines, combined with a very limited budget for sourcing. Also, there are no preprocessing facilities in the region, while work organization in school catering services depends heavily on preprocessed food. From a farmers’ perspective, focusing on process grade vegetables is rarely a common marketing strategy.

Keywords: sustainable public procurement; school catering services; agri-food value chains; structuration theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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