Inspiration and networking for the public consumer

by Camilla Freitag, Naturbruksförvaltningen i Västra Götalandsregionen

How can a public consumer adapt to what local producers can supply? How can procurement requirements be formulated so that they are inclusive also for smaller producers? How do the rules and regulations differ between countries?

With an increasing demand from public organizations to purchase products from smaller and more local producers, new questions and challenges arise together with different approaches to tackle theses new challenges. Consequently, an increased need for benchmarking and networking have arisen among public procurers. To aid this process Naturbruksförvaltningen have arranged several theme days specially adapted for public procures interested in reaching smaller businesses.

The theme days were designed to facilitate interaction and knowledge transfer between the participants and offered farm visits, presentations from different experts and a requirement workshop. During the farm visits the procurers had the opportunity to meet different types of producers (e.g. egg, pig, piglets and milk), learn about their different production methods and get an insight into what conditions and requirements local farmers must adhere to. To further deepen the knowledge the events included lectures about the risks antibiotic use in meet production, different animal protection regulations around the world and handling local produce in a public kitchen. The workshop offered a chance to discuss and formulate new requirements together with the help of representatives from the national agency for public procurement and a trade organization focusing on Swedish birds. Some of the requirement categories discussed to create more locally inclusive procurement material was: 

  •      Animal welfare – e.guse of antibiotics, transport to slaughter and method of slaughter.
  •      Form of delivery– e.g. chilled instead of frozen, packaging and package size.
  •      Quality –e.g.less brine injected and “cost in use” value.
  •      Traceability–  e.g. how to simplify the process of tracing the produce from field to fork. 
  •      Control –e.g. how to ensure that the requirements are meet throughout the chain. 

So far, the theme days have resulted in a successful procurement of Swedish chicken by one of the participating municipalities. The municipality used their newfound knowledge and the requirements formulated during the workshop when creating the procurement material.

Contact information
Camilla Freitag
Naturbruksförvaltningen i Västra Götalandsregionen