The transnational research project iPOPY (innovative Public Organic food Procurement for Youth) has studied public food serving for young people in five European countries (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, and Norway). This has been done to reveal efficient strategies and policies for implementing organic food. In this way, the project would contribute to increase the consumption of organic products in Europe.
Selected main outccomes of iPOPY
Significant consumption of organic food among youth has been achieved especially in Italy, where 40 % (by weight) of organic school food is organic. Public regulations demanding that municipalities should prioritize organic and otherwise certified food (local, typical, fair trade) have been very useful in establishing this situation.
Organic in Italy due to public demand
Italy has successfully improved the quality of school meals over the last decade. Actors from policy and public administration put emphasis on the quality of the used products: they should, whenever possible, come from controlled and certified production.
Organic = sustainable in practice
The project has explored young people's perceptions, preferences, pracites and learning related to procurement and consumption of organic food. All the investigated countries have sustainable developement as a vital learning objective, and organic food is very suitable as a practical as well as theoretical example in teaching sustainablility.
Certification is required to protect consumers' interest and maintain a high credibility in (premium priced) organic food. A European survey with responsse from 17 countries showed that stakeholders involved in certification as well as those in close contact with mass catering practice were not satisfied with the current situation that certification of mass catering is not harmonized in the European Union.
Public food provision has received increased
attention over the past decades from policymakers, consumers and citizens. As an example
food at schools are increasingly coming into
focus of change and innovation agendas.
One of the most persistent agendas is the
call for more organic foods and organic
procurement schemes are developing as a
strategic part of policymaker’s tools.
"Increasing organic consumption by school meals – lessons learned in the iPOPY project"
This paper compares school food provision systems and their utilisation of organic food in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy and Norway, discussing how various strategies and instruments
used for organic food procurement in school meals may increase organic food consumption.
Social Dynamics for Sustainable Food Systems (2011)
Actor's orientations towards sustainability in primary production and public consumption. Doctoral dissertation by Minna Mikkola, 2011, Faculty of Agriculture and
Forestry of the University of Helsinki, Finland.