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Elaborating the Baltic Sea Region principles of sustainability in public catering: a case study of the third most polluted city in Poland and the impact of its participation in the Interreg-BSR project StratKIT

This abstract emerged as one of the outstanding research within the oral Session on Sustainable food systems and quality at the CASEE Scientific conference 2021. YPARD held a scientific competition that was tagged "Empowering young researchers of the Danube region in sustainable food systems" within the CASEE conference 2021.

The competition aimed to support the continued professional and personal growth of young professionals attending the CASEE Conference. The top three posters and the top three oral presentations related to sustainable food systems were selected. 

Enjoy reading the abstract!

Authors: R. Góralska-Walczak, E. Rembiałkowska, R. Kazimierczak - Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland, Warsaw, Poland. 

The aim of this paper is to present the European principles of the sustainability in public catering, developed  during an Interreg project StartKIT due to the knowledge and experience exchanged, innovative co workshops, conferences and collaboration between six Baltic Sea Region (BSR) countries. First step of the  research has been the evaluation of the city of Rybnik situation in the field of sustainability in public  procurement and catering services. Rybnik, one of the Polish project partners, is situated in the south of  Poland, in Silesia Province. This region is highly polluted due to hard coal mining and heavy industry, and  the public catering answers to the customs of its citizens: heavy Silesian cuisine, rich in meat and the  skepticism for modern plant-based meals connected to the evident lack of the food and environmental  education and misunderstanding of the sustainable actions for change.After describing the issues of the  local and national public catering services, it outlines the number of the possibilities for the city to follow the  direction of the sustainability, reaching to the successful examples of a greener, Baltic Sea Region partner  countries.This case study analyses the results of the partners collaboration in the project, all of the co 

innovative workshops and conferences findings, successful good practices and growing network of local,  national and European stakeholders. In the next stage, based on all of this input, the principles of the  sustainability in the Baltic Sea Region public catering are being elaborated. This case study identifies  universal tools and a framework for sustainable diet introduction, increasing sustainable and organic food  and, at the same time, diminishing food waste in public catering.The common principles are defined from  the BSR tree-shaped framework models, displaying through growing roots, trunk and branches, the national  situations of the sustainability in public procurement and catering services. Through the work and  development of the project, the trees are being modified and they are becoming illustrations for the  sustainability options and a transferable framework for similar units to copy.The Rybnik case shows how in  the city where children's exposure to black carbon is over four times higher than their European peers, the  BSR harmonised voluntary sustainable procurement and catering service principles are being gradually  introduced. Starting from environmental education, supporting sustainable meals, organic farming,  motivating the implementation of Green Public Procurement criteria, training and encouraging canteen  personnel to serve real, nutritious, organic and tasty meals while consequently limiting food waste. The  implementation of the project BSR principles is presented during Rybnik’s pilot activities - in the social care  home, and in the primary schools where food waste measurement, culinary workshop and sustainability  lectures have been taking place.The research conducted in the StratKIT project has been very promising,  both on local and national and international level and can complement the European policy for a greener  planet and healthier society.

If you are captured by this research topic and would like to discover more, please contact Rita Góralska-Walczak via rita_goralska_walczak@sggw.edu.pl .

Picture credit: Rita Góralska-Walczak