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Facilitating decision making in public procurement of food through digital tools
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2016 (English)In: Food futures: ethics, science and culture / [ed] I. Anna S. Olsson Sofia M. Araújo M. Fátima Vieira, Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers , 2016, 1, 199-205 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We will scrutinize value challenges faced by public food procurement managers to ensure multiple values are met within a limited budget and under current regulations. The current highly complex food system makes informed, conscious and morally justified food choices most challenging. As about three million public meals are served daily only in Sweden, procurement managers’ and purchasers’ choice of food has considerable impact on worker conditions, animal welfare and the environment. The combination of commodification of farm animals and the environment and the lowest price policy have contributed to downplay ethical values such as animal welfare or sustaining biodiversity in past procurement legislation (2004/18/EG). However, the recent EU directive extends the possibilities for taking such added values into consideration, highlighting the need to include externalised factors in food procurement decisions (Directive 2014/24/EU). Our hypothesis is that even if procurement guides such as the Swedish criteria for public procurement (NAPP 2015) and the ones from the European Commission (GPP 2014) provide useful factual information about different products and requirements on production it leaves the procurement manager with a difficult task: to balance facts and added values in order to implement an institution’s policy or meet multiple values. We see a need of a new set of digital tools to provide guidance, facilitate ethical decision-making and to relieve the moral stress of procurement managers. In the following we will outline nutritional, animal welfare and environmental related values in food systems, describe ethical aspects of guides for public procurement and some ethical decision-making tools, and finally tentatively suggest a set of digital tools to facilitate handling multiple values to ensure the best possible decisions are made to meet citizens’ interests and work towards food production systems that stay within the planetary boundaries. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers , 2016, 1. 199-205 p.
Keyword [en]
animal welfare, Directive 2014/24/EU, environment, Green Public Procurement (GPP), nutrition
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-126133DOI: 10.3921/978-90-8686-834-6ISBN: 978-90-8686-288-7ISBN: 978-90-8686-834-6OAI: diva2:979271
Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2016-09-29

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Lindström, Niclas
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