Learning dialogue for farmers and caterers

In a nutshell

This tool aims at creating new trade in food produce between farmers, small-scale processors, and catering companies through a series of dialogues. Topics discussed may include procurement bureaucracy for farmers, as well as availability, processing, and packaging issues of food items for caterers. To map the potential for improved trade, information about contract technicalities and integration into product development options often require clarification and prospective action surveys which can be developed in this forum. This kind of trading serves state and municipal policies for food security and regional development, and supports biodiversity policies through its potential to drive stakeholders towards organic farming options.

Necessary Steps

  • A series of dialogical meetings about potential and prospective trading in food items is organised with talks by all parties.
  • While catering organisations are few and often well-known, suppliers may not be; agricultural associations and other official sources may be able to help provide supplier contact details.
  • Share the invitations broadly and openly to enable as many participants as possible to enter into the dialogues.
  • Organisers can use a mix of approaches, such as free talks, topical workshops, expert lectures, and study visits.
  • Involving participants with specific expertise can help the group stay up to date with developments in other fields and find solutions in a range of problem areas.
  • Success can be measured most clearly by the impact on trade in food products within the group.
  • Dialogical meetings may not yield quick results, as both learning and implementing developments take time by all parties; therefore, a medium to long-term dialogue process should be anticipated.

More Issues To Consider

  • The most important issue is willingness: both farmers and caterers need to be interested, need to be open to listen to each other and be ready to cooperate.
  • Discussing trade often includes confidential or business-sensitive information. This should be borne in mind when thinking about the openness of the dialogues.
  • Sharing information about collaborative options, and emphasising that talks which may include competitors are taking place in a learning environment with the aim of improving overall trade, may help overcome some of these obstacles.


The information on this page about the use of the tool “Learning dialogue for farmers and caterers” is only provided as a general guide and is not intended as a substitute for the user to check the respective public procurement regulations. We compiled the content to the best of our knowledge, but do not assume any liability for completeness and correctness. We do not assume any liability for the user to verify the applicable procurement law provisions in the respective national state.

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