Lectures on benefits of organic food

In a nutshell

To promote the benefits and improve the reception of organic food among the different stakeholder groups in public institutions (e.g. procurers, kitchen professionals, consumers, parents, etc.), lectures by scientists or other experts can be organised by the public administration. Deepening the appreciation of organic produce has a positive impact on the demand for organic products and is thereby linked to the economic, environmental and social benefits of a growing organic market. The increase of organic production is one of the aims of the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy, EU 2030 Biodiversity strategy and other environmental policies.

Necessary Steps

  • Define the objectives, the learning aims, the target groups, and the number of participants for the lecture. Note that the presentation needs to be easy to understand and interesting for all stakeholder groups, so there will be slightly different approaches depending on the makeup of the audience.
  • Select an appropriate scientist or expert to give a presentation.
  • Select relevant topics for the target groups (e.g. for caterers, kitchen personnel, consumers), develop a meeting agenda, and select a suitable date - all in consultation with the presenter.
  • Book a suitable room including technical equipment (e.g. computer, projector, sound system, internet access) for the event.
  • Organise (organic) snacks and refreshments for the meeting, if the budget allows for it.
  • Organise a post-meeting communal tasting of organic products by approaching different organic producers.
  • Send out invitations to selected representatives of the target groups, including the agenda, directions and the request for registration, at least four weeks in advance.
  • Prepare printed handouts of the presentation and/or further informational material.
  • On the day of the meeting, check the technical equipment in advance.
  • Ensure a friendly atmosphere in the meeting by letting the participants get to know each other.
  • Encourage participants to discuss during the meeting; highlight that they now have a chance to have their questions answered by a reliable source.
  • Follow up with an email thanking them for their participation, advice on where to get further information, and how to get in touch

More Issues To Consider

  • Decision makers are responsible for executing this tool to help the organization introduce organic food into public meals.
  • It is important to clearly communicate:
    • the benefits of organic food (e.g. nutritional and environmental values)
    • the importance of public procurement and catering with regard to changing the food system
    • easy ways of initiating change for practitioners: e.g., give examples of where organic food can be bought (such as local farmers markets, organic stores, box schemes, etc.), or ways to change procurement routines, like the EU’s green public procurement criteria (GPP), etc.
  • It is important not only to focus on persuading the participating professionals in the meeting to use organic produce, but also the participating consumers, like parents of pupils or residents of social care homes.
  • Cooperation with scientific institutions or scientists dealing with education in the area of organic food quality is relevant because their expertise is reliable and based on scientific evidence.
  • It’s good practice to prepare some refreshments using organic products that participants can try and thereby be encouraged to incorporate into their diet.

Further Information

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