Montpellier special mention 2019 on Food Supply & Distribution

Title: Structuring the territorial supply chains for sustainable nutrition
City: Montpellier
Country: France
Population: 285,000
Date of start: 06/2014
SDGs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17


Structuring the food supply chains initiated and managed by a multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary working group, bringing together institutional partners, local authorities, the Metropolitan Area and catering service providers on a single goal proves the innovative approach of this public policy. It led to the creation of a producer group at the Wholesale Trading Centre. This group allows restaurateurs and retailers to purchase local products with a single invoice and a single delivery. 

In addition, the City of Montpellier has been optimizing its school catering for 3 years in order to promote sustainable nutrition in the food supply for children. Built around 4 fundamental work lines interacting with each other, the project takes into account the entire food chain: gradually integrating products from short food supply chains and/or from organic farming; producing alternative eco-citizen meals without animal proteins; training of the agents in mealtime; fighting against food waste; recycling of bio-waste.

Montpellier is ahead of the objectives set by the French State in terms of mass catering, which establishes at least 50% the products that are organic or produced taking into account the preservation of the environment by 2022. At the pace Montpellier is working, it could be able to achieve these objectives by 2020.

Montpellier is the first city in France to replace plastic trays with bio-compostable trays that can be fully recycled in school canteens. The main objectives are to limit the risk of exposure of children to endocrine disruptors, but thanks to its composition, it will allow the City to achieve the objective of zero waste in the area.

About the environmental impact, the project cut 24% of food waste (compared to the 2016 inventory) and recycled 200 tons of bio-waste per year. In addition, we raise awareness of alternative eco-citizen meal among children about the impact of food consumption patterns on natural resources, climate and biodiversity.

From an economic perspective, the project create and consolidate relationships among farmers or food and agri-food companies of the area. 14,600 meals per day is provided by the City of Montpellier, that is more than 2 million meals served per year. To guarantee a good quality meal for children during lunch, the City of Montpellier has adapted its school canteens pricing system by adjusting it according to household income (CAF). As a consequence, 70% of households pay less than €2 per meal for lunch in school canteens.    

For its commitment to improve the sustainability of the whole food supply chain, by focusing on school canteens.
Its initiative reached 50% of organic products, replaced plastic trays with compostable ones, provided 14.600 meals per day to vulnerable groups and reduced food waste by 24%

Motivation of the MPA 2019 Evaluation Committee

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