27 | 04 | 2021

Favour local European products in your collective restaurant

The arrival of the EGalim Law and the French public's strong demand to consume better, greener, and organic reveal some pitfalls regarding the production of local products. Indeed, for your collective restaurant to respect the rules and be labeled Ecocert En Cuisine, it must be able to offer in its menus seasonal, sustainable products and for a certain share of them from organic farming.

Unfortunately, this rule does not always marry with local production. A new horizon is therefore emerging: make Europe the local circuit of France, the playground of local collective catering.

The limits of the short circuit, and the solution of the European local

While it is always interesting to propose a cuisine from the short circuit, with products coming from producers of the department, it is difficult at the moment to envisage food autonomy in the largest cities of France. Indeed, the number of meals to be produced is far too high compared to the local production offer. How to conceive that the Gironde alone can feed the Bordeaux metropolis? It is therefore necessary to go and get supplies outside a 100km radius.

A European need highlighted by the sanitary crisis

The difficulties imposed by the Covid-19 sanitary crisis reveal that a food program solely based on local agriculture and short circuits is complicated to implement in the long term. Indeed, this crisis has highlighted the growing impoverishment of biodiversity and the available food supply in France, revealing the need for a collective European food system. Many food sectors cannot be produced locally. We must therefore turn to other exporting countries. Therein lies the whole point of favouring a European agriculture, a CAP.

Putting European local in your collective restaurant

As the French are becoming more and more observant of the provenance of the products they consume, they are more vigilant about the quality and traceability of the ingredients that make up the menus in their collective restaurants. School, college and university canteens, company restaurants, or even hospital services must meet these expectations. This need for traceability is accompanied by the implementation of the Loi EGalim, which promotes the use of organic and seasonal products. Unfortunately, it is often complicated to combine short circuit, local producer and organic products.

According to several studies, there is a decline in the share of national organic products compared to European organic products.

And for good reason, regional supply is not progressing, an insufficient response to a demand that is soaring. This is therefore where the idea of the European collective food program comes into its own, making it possible both to know the origin of the product, to turn to organic, and to benefit a European farmer.

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