Organic agriculture is considered a forerunner to a sustainable food system. Organic farmers use only natural substances and comply with natural processes when they produce food. Consequently, they preserve ecological balances, enhance soil fertility and carbon sequestration, and maintain biodiversity, as well as water quality.
They are also required to meet certain animal welfare standards; the use of antibiotics is heavily regulated, and the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) is forbidden. There is even evidence that organic products may have health benefits compared to non-organic products. The European Commission's Farm to Fork Strategy, which is part of the European Green Deal, prioritises the development of organic farming. The plan is for organic land to account for 25% of EU agricultural land by 2030. To boost the consumer demand for organic food, the EU’s Organic Action Plan aims to promote organic canteens and increase the use of green public procurement as well as reinforce organic school food schemes.
Some of the tools presented here comprise new procurement criteria alongside explorative and supportive measures for the organic market and its farmers. Others target caterers by providing organic labelling and guidance on how to document organic food shares. Most of the tools recommend training for kitchen professionals, education in schools, and raising awareness of the benefits of organic food in organisations as inspiration as well as for contextually adapted implementation.