EcoFoodCentre – Information Centre for Organic Products
Updated February 2013
EcoFoodCentre is a non-profit-making association with 450 members. The members are representatives from all parts of the food-chain. EkoFoodCentre works with information, education and counselling about sustainable organic food, mainly to the restaurant and catering sector.
Goals for organic food
Sweden has a national goal for organic production. It has been to reach 20 % certified organic field production 2013.
Sweden has also a national goal for organic consumption in public caterings. The goal was set by the government in maj 2006. It is 25 % organic food in public catering in 2013.
Many municipalities and local authorities have set their own goals ie: to serve 5%, 25%… or some products always organic in their canteens*. One city in Sweden , Malmö, has a vision to serve all organic food in 2020. They serve 35 000 schoolmeals five days a week. In december 2011 they reached 35 %. The average use of organic products in the catering sector in Sweden was approximately 18 % in 2011. The municipality of Lund reached 43 percent organic purchase in 2011 and. Also Södertälje passed 40 percent organic.
*In Sweden the municipality is obligated to serve free lunches in schools and preschools.
EkoFoodCentre has investigated the market regarding organic food in community catering every yea since 1999. The 25 best county councils and municipalities are yearly presented in a ranking list, the so called “Ekomatsligan”.
Organic food in catering
A short presentation of EcoFoodCentre work:
“Organic in public kitchen”
Organic food in public catering: community- and state-owned catering, ie: preschools, schools, hospitals. EkoFoodCentre has been running this project since 2002, with a minor change 2005.
The project consists of tree parts:
o Education mainly for kitchen-stuff: five half-days about sustainability, especially in their kitchens, and how to afford the often more expensive organic products. We cook organic dishes – and eat them. The participants make their own plan of action. The fifth day we discuss how to proceed.
o Counselling: EkoFoodCentre helps municipalities and kitchens to start with organic food and we help them to solve initial problems.
o Cooperation meetings: In close cooperation with involved stakeholders we help them to solve problems that are connected to organic food in public catering. We also arrange meetings with the stakeholders to discuss how to start or how to proceed with the organic food in the canteens and restaurants.
Ekomatsedeln – “Organic recipes and menus at the web”
Experiences from the project “Organic kitchen” led to a new project: www.ekomatsedeln.se . The website is built on an optimal model (the so called S.M.A.R.T.-model that has been developed by “Tillämpad Näringslära”, a division of the Stockholmcounty council) for nutritional balanced, aged adapted and sustainable diet in kindergartens, schools and caterings with incorporation of organic food.
The website offers four services:
- Chancing an ordinary recipe to at S.M.A.R.T.-recipe. I.e. less meat, more vegetables, and more beans. The suggested recipe is nutritional calculated and adapted to the target group. Presumably it will be the same cost for the recipe even if you change all the ingredients to organic.
- Nutritional calculation. You can make nutritional calculations on your own recipes.
- Suggestions of optimal week menues with recipes that are nutritional balanced, aged adapted and sustainable with incorporation of organic food for kindergartens, schools and caterings.
- A bank with lunch-recipes that are nutritional balanced, aged adapted and sustainable diet in kindergartens, schools and caterings with incorporation of organic food. For the moment we have 400 recipes. We are extending the amount and the aim is to continuate the process to continuously renew the recipes and keep the website alive.
Organic food in commercial restaurants
This project, called “Restaurang Eko”, started with an attitude research among the chefs. It points at: high-class restaurants are more interested in organic food – and local food – than ordinary restaurants.
EkoFoodCentre cooperates with some high-class restaurants that serve as models to others. The project also direct to the food service sector because it is important and run by a few, big companies.
We cooperate with a restaurant guide for gourmets. The book “White Guide” is a presentation of all restaurants for gourmets inSweden. We have a ranking list and a price for the best organic high-class restaurant.
Restaurants with organic ambitions are listed at a guide at the web, called www.ekokrogar.se.
We frequently write articles in the main professional journal.
Marketing of organic high quality products towards restaurants
EkoFoodCentre had been granted an EU-project. The aim was to market organic high quality products towards restaurants inSweden and also make the EU organic logo well known among restaurants in Sweden.
The project runed for two years and are now finished. The grand final took part during the autumn 2008. During two month EcoFoodCentre visited 10 towns in Sweden with an organic roadshow.
Organic assortment guide
EkoFoodCentre runs since many years an assortment guide for the catering sector “Ekomatguiden”, both in print and at the website.
It has been renewed and is now presented at a new website. It is divided regionally to suit the commercial restaurants.