Community catering / Switzerland

More regional! decreed by the State Council

The cantonal government in the Swiss Valais wants to see more regional products in communal kitchens.
imago images / photothek
The cantonal government in the Swiss Valais wants to see more regional products in communal kitchens.

The State Council in the Swiss canton of Valais is ordering more regional products in the pots of the communal kitchens. The "Regional Cooking" project has so far been an offer to interested parties and volunteers. Now subsidies are made dependent on participation.

At the start of the 2016 project, four companies were initially found to be eligible to participate. In the meantime, 20 partners have volunteered to participate. Together they provide around 6,730 meals a day, more than two million a year. The network includes more than 40 suppliers, whose products are thus given greater visibility among consumers.

Print from above

However, the Valais State Council does not have enough participants to adequately promote food from the region and is using financial leverage: All cantonal communal kitchens must join the "Regional Cooking" project if they receive at least half their budget from state subsidies or belong to state institutions, as decided by the Valais State Council on 26 June. The establishments concerned have twelve months to carry out a detailed analysis of the origin, seasonality, types of production (labels) and degree of processing of the food they use.

Since the beginning of 2020, "Regional Cooking" no longer only notes the origin of the products but also their seasonality and takes more aspects of a balanced diet into account. This development is reflected in a chapter of the Agenda 2030 of sustainable development of the Canton of Valais: "Sustainable development in community catering: balanced, local and seasonal food". Within this framework, cooperation with the Association "Fourchette verte". For more than 25 years, this organisation has been providing training and advice to promote healthier nutrition in canteens, schools and crèches. The association has now awarded its "Green Fork" label to over 1,600 businesses throughout Switzerland.

Regional online platform

In the future, producers and businesses are to be provided with a platform through which regional products can be ordered. This concept is still in progress. Logistics is also to be included in the concepts and increased efforts to implement Agenda 2030.