German government | Decision

20 percent organic food in federal canteens

Julia Klöckner raises sustainability standards in federal canteens.
IMAGO / photothek
Julia Klöckner raises sustainability standards in federal canteens.

By 2025, the proportion of organic food in federal canteens is to be increased to 20 percent. This was recently decided by the German legislators. However, this is only one of four measures that will affect the operators.

An overview of the points decided on:

  • Organic products. The share of organic food is to be increased to 20 percent by 2025.
  • Fair trade. Coffee, tea, cocoa, cocoa products and bananas are to be sourced exclusively from sustainable cultivation and fair trade by the end of 2025 at the latest.
  • Animal welfare. Wherever possible, meat should come from livestock farming that is particularly humane to animals, and fish from sustainable and stock-preserving fisheries or sustainably operated aquaculture.
  • Sustainability criteria catalogue. Specific sustainability requirements for canteens will be developed by the end of 2022.

The background to this is the further development of the so-called sustainability programme of measures. This is about how sustainability can be implemented concretely in administrative action. The programme applies to all authorities and institutions of the federal administration and specifies concrete steps to achieve more sustainability in various areas.

The measures in the area of canteens and communal catering are the responsibility of Federal Minister of Food Julia Klöckner, who expressed her satisfaction with the steps taken and emphasised the role model and multiplier function of the Federal Government in terms of sustainability.

The CDU politician said: "As a federal government, we are focusing on more organic products, more animal welfare and fair trade. We also want to set an example for the economy. At the same time, we want to show how more sustainability and organic food can be offered affordably to all." Coffee in the canteens of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture already comes 100 percent from fair trade, the ministry also announced.

More money for operators?

With the decided measures it remains however open, what is to be understood in practice by particularly animal welfare-fair keeping of farm animals. Which animal welfare standard must be met, which label is acceptable? This also applies to coffee, tea, cocoa, cocoa products and bananas. Here, too, the minister leaves open what is meant by sustainable cultivation. And it remains open whether, at the end of the day, the budgets for canteen operators will be increased accordingly or whether the cost corset will remain in place. For many years, there have been calls for a new version of the outdated canteen directive. So far without success.