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Malmo’s school lunches go organic

Malmö

Detailed description of the Good Practice

Malmo School Restaurants, in collaboration with the Services Department and the Environment Department of the City of Malmo, have been serving organic food in schools since 1996. At the same time, schools have taught children about the benefits of organic food for their health and how this could contribute to sustainable development, in a number of ways:
Reducing groundwater contamination by pesticides
Decreasing the risk of algal blooms as a result of the use of chemical fertilisers in farming
Supporting biodiversity
Minimizing the risk of children being exposed to pesticides from their food
Allowing animals to behave naturally – grazing, foraging etc…

By starting with the basics (milk, cabbage, and carrots, for example) and changing one product at a time, Malmo School Restaurants gradually increased the use of organic food in schools with the objective to serve 100% organic meals by 2012. The main idea behind this initiative was to provide children with organic food, whilst maintaining quality standards and within budget.

sustainable comsumption
awareness raising

Objectives of the Good Practice

The main idea behind this initiative was to provide children with organic food, whilst maintaining quality standards and within budget.

Participants of the Good Practice

Malmo School Restaurants, in collaboration with the Services Department and the Environment Department of the City of Malmo

Target group of the Good Practice

pupils, kitchen staff in Malmo School Restaurants

Funding of the Good Practice

City of Malmo

More Details of the Good Practice

The “Food & Climate” Initiative is a step further towards the organic food campaign carried out in Malmo’s schools. The project focuses on the relationship between our lifestyles,and especially our food consumption, and the environment. Its overall objective is to reduce the GHG emissions of the food sector in Malmo, by implementing the following activities:
A pilot project to analyse and reduce the climate impact of food at the local school of Djupadal
A training programme for the school’s kitchen staff
The production of a children’s book highlighting the climate-related issues concerning food consumption
The promotion of the regional farmers’ market in Malmo

To adapt the food served in Djupadal School, the menu was altered to incorporate a higher number of vegetarian dishes and organic food, as well as prioritising food grown in the region. The associated CO2 emissions before and after the pilot project were calculated and compared. Even though some challenges still exist, especially with regard to access of local and ecological meat, the pilot project was a great success and received very positive responses from the pupils.
The knowledge and experiences resulting from this pilot school are now being used to change the menu and the purchases of all schools in Malmo. To support this, the City of Malmo has designed a training programme for all kitchen staff in Malmo School Restaurants, which comprises about 1000 people.
As part of this initiative, the children’s book “Lotta Lotta and the Big Party”, aimed at children aged 6-10, is being distributed and discussed in primary schools across Malmo. The book is highly appreciated and used in several schools as an educational tool to teach about the relationship between food and climate.
Finally, a weekly farmer’s market has been set up in the centre of Malmo to support the local organic food supply. In the beginning, significant resources were needed to identify local food producers and engage them in a common marketing scheme for their products. Nowadays, the farmers’ market is a well-established institution which attracts more and more consumers and retailers interested in locally grown organic food.

Available files

Contact details

Contact: Gunilla Andersson
Project Coordinator, Malmo Environment Department
telephone: +46 40 34 22 29
gunilla.i.andersson@malmo.se

Data sources and references

Eurocities
www.eurocities.eu/main.php
(Accessed May 26, 2010)