Dietary and food policy

To enhance your ability to stipulate effective quality requirements, environmental requirements and animal-protection requirements on the food, it is important to have the political support necessary to procure these products.

Accordingly, contracting authorities should consider adopting a procurement policy, and if one is already available, it may be a good idea to update it to include a dietary and food policy that focuses on the procurement of food.

A dietary and food policy should include a list of the fundamentals that are to apply when procuring food.

Setting goals on organic food

The government aimed for 25 per cent of public food to consist of organic products by 2010. In 2012, the government reviewed its organic production objectives for the coming years. The Swedish Board of Agriculture and been tasked with analysing the need and formulation of new organic production objectives for its forthcoming rural development programme for 2014-2020.

Objectives on the procurement of organic food should be included in the dietary/food policy. Under this policy, the contracting authority can establish political objectives and any independent goals they may have on what percentage of procured products their organic food selection should amount to.

Follow-ups and control

All requirements that are stipulated in a procurement contract must be verifiable and followed up. The tender documents must include a description of how these follow-ups will be conducted. It is also a good idea for the dietary/food policy to address follow-up procedures and how these will be conducted (their scope and focus, etc.).

This makes matters easier for both the contracting entity and for the supplier, since this makes it easier for them to anticipate how the follow up will be conducted. If follow-up procedures have already been outlined in a broader policy, the stipulation of requirements that cannot be followed up or that entail substantial costs of supervision is avoided.

Information regarding the procurement of food

A dietary/food policy can include clauses stating that the contracting authority intends to inform potential suppliers well in advance about the environmental and quality objectives that will be stipulated in forthcoming food procurement rounds.

This increases the transparency of the procurement process and gives suppliers greater ability to adapt their products to the requirements and thus be able to submit tenders in forthcoming procurement rounds. This is important, particularly for small local businesses.

Remember that:

  • Since there are no universal templates on how to structure the policy, your organisation must establish the guidelines for its food policy itself.
  • The major advantage of having a food policy is that it sets a clear path toward achieving the environmental and quality objectives, and simplifies follow-up procedures since you have a document that you can always refer back to.

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