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Food is one of the industries whose sales to the public sector have a major impact on the environment, e.g., in terms of emissions of greenhouse gases. The kind of raw materials used to produce food has a significant impact on overall carbon emissions, but also on biodiversity. The foods currently available on the market differ both in terms of production method and climate impact and there is therefore great potential for procuring authorities to choose an alternative with better environmental benefits. Animal foods can have different obligations regarding animal welfare depending on how the specific livestock farming is carried out. The contracting authority can choose an alternative that involves higher requirements on animal welfare.

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Out of all the foodstuffs, meat has the highest climate impact. Meat production accounts for almost one fifth of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions. Cattle and sheep, which are ruminant animals, cause particularly large greenhouse gas emissions due to their feed digestion (15-40 kg of greenhouse gases/1 kg of meat). Pigs and chickens produce significantly lower emissions (respectively, approximately 5 and 2 kg of greenhouse gases/1 kg of meat).

Although meat production is negative for the climate, it can contribute to fulfilling environmental objectives regarding biodiversity through animals keeping land open by grazing. Procuring organic alternatives and meat from animals grazed on semi-natural pastures contributes to a non-toxic environment.

There are big differences in what impacts most on the climate - the feed cultivation or livestock farming - depending on the type of meat involved. However, common to all kinds of meat is that emissions coming from transports are comparatively low.


Subject of procurement

Raw material of meat with environmental and animal protection requirements

Application instructions

Use the criterion or criteria which best suits your organization’s needs, goals and capacity to monitor compliance. Indicate in the document specifically which products are to fulfil the requirement and be sure to inform yourself of market access. It is also important to state how the tenderer should respond to the criteria and what verification (means of evidence) is to be provided.  

Criteria work

Apr 2019
Referral start
Referral end
Nov 2019