UN News Centre - Public procurement can contribute to making food systems more fair and sustainable, and help realize the human right to adequate food, according to a United Nations independent expert.
“When sourcing food for schools, hospitals and public administrations, Governments have a rare opportunity to support more nutritious diets and more sustainable food systems in one fell swoop,” Olivier De Schutter said in his final publication to the UN Human Rights Council as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food.
“Governments have few sources of leverage over increasingly globalized food systems – but public procurement is one of them,” he concluded, adding that Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries spend an average of 12 per cent of their Gross Domestic Products (GDP) on public procurement.
In his report, Mr. De Schutter identified five principles for how Governments should use their public procurement.
He recommends buying locally, and ideally, from small-scale food producers, guaranteeing living wages and fair prices. In addition, he highlights setting specific requirements for adequate food diets, and increasing participation and accountability in the food system.
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