Call for papers on “Sustainable Food in Public Catering”

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Cardiff, 2018   

Session sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group

Session Convenor: Mark Stein (PhD candidate  University of Salford, Manchester)

Public catering is a significant part of the overall food scene in the UK and many other countries in Europe and further afield.  There have many attempts to make food in schools, nurseries, hospitals and elderly care healthier. And also to make it more “sustainable” – more environmentally friendly and more supportive of the local/regional economy  (Caputo et al, 2017; Goggins & Rau, 2016; Mikkelsen & Sylvest, 2012; Morgan & Sonnino, 2008; Pitt & Jones, 2016)

The Session will provide an opportunity for researchers to present their work relating to sustainability in public procurement for catering in schools, nurseries hospitals and elderly care.  It will examine policy and practice in such matters as:

  • Sourcing organic and/or local and regional food for public kitchens
  • Reducing food waste, meat usage and carbon footprint
  • Public procurement law – how people have worked within this up till now and how we might envisage it changing with BREXIT
  • Different ways of organising kitchens and mealtimes
  • Links between public catering and food education, promoting awareness of healthy and sustainable food

There is a wide variety of different practices in different regions and countries and it is hoped that the Session will give us an opportunity to consider different approaches.

Each speaker will give a presentation for fifteen minutes about their research, using powerpoint, to be followed by questions and discussion.

Please send abstracts of a maximum of 250 words plus your name institutional affiliation and email address to Mark Stein Email:   by 4pm on Tuesday  13th February 2018.   Where several authors have produced a piece of joint research, it would be helpful if you could mention which of them is likely to give the presentation.

The abstracts will form the basis of a Session Proposal Form which will be submitted for approval by the conference organising committee.  By the end of March 2018 we should know whether the conference committee has accepted our Session Proposal.


Caputo, P., Clementi, M., Ducoli, C., Corsi, S., & Scudo, G. (2017). Food Chain Evaluator, a tool for analyzing the impacts and designing scenarios for the institutional catering in Lombardy (Italy). Journal of Cleaner Production,140, pp. 1014-1026.

Goggins, G., & Rau, H. (2016). Beyond calorie counting: Assessing the sustainability of food provided for public consumption. Journal of Cleaner Production, 112, pp. 257-266.

Mikkelsen, B.E. and Sylvest, J., 2012. Organic foods on the public plate: technical challenge or organizational change?. Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 15(1), pp.64-83.

Morgan, K. and  Sonnino, R. ( 2008).   The school food revolution: public food and the challenge of sustainable development, London: Earthscan.

Pitt, H., & Jones, M. (2016). Scaling up and out as a Pathway for Food System Transitions. Sustainability, 8(10), pp. 1025-1041

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