Municipality of Copenhagen, Denmark
The Municipality of Copenhagen aims to serve 90% organic food in its public kitchens by 2015. In order to achieve this goal, the Municipality has been working together with the Copenhagen House of Food, an independent, non-commercial foundation which was established by the City of Copenhagen in 2007. The goal of the House of Food is to improve the quality of meals offered by the City of Copenhagen to its citizens and to create a healthy, happy and sustainable public food culture. The House of Food has been involved in a number of projects, including the Organic Conversion Project, The Kitchen Pledge: assessment and development of quality in public meals project, the EAT organic school food project, and the Organic meals in Preschools and Daycare project.
In 2013 the Municipality of Copenhagen published a public tender to provide 100% organic, seasonal fruit and vegetables, to supply 80 large kitchens (with an average budget of 70,000 Euro per year) in the City of Copenhagen, serving approximately 20,000 meals per day. These kitchens provide the food for the cities nursing homes, elderly homes, schools, day-care centres and homes for people with intellectual disabilities.
Subject matter of the contract: Framework contract for the provision of 100% organic, seasonal fruit and vegetables. The Municipality included the following requirements in the technical specifications.
Quality: If the bidder completed the documentation correctly and made it through the first evaluation, the bidder was required to provide fresh products of premium quality as part of their tender application. Exceptions to this requirement were individual fruit and vegetable varieties which are not available during this season. These products were then evaluated by a quality evaluation team. The products had to meet the requirements as specified in the tender documentation, and were evaluated according to this.
Minimum requirements for food: All fruit and vegetable products had to comply with the quality requirements of the EU’s general marketing standards for fruit and vegetables, including the minimum requirements for quality and labelling requirements regarding country of origin. Products not covered by the EU’s general or specific marketing standards, must be of sound, merchantable quality.
Labelling: All items had to be provided with labels that meet the statutory requirements for food labelling. These ensure that consumers have information about the product in terms of content, nutrition, sustainability and origin. The supplier was responsible for ensuring that all products are labelled correctly and in accordance with applicable law.
Organic Certification: Items sold and/or marketed as organic had to be certified and labelled as such on the packaging or label. The supplier is responsible for verifying and documenting that all items are in fact organic. Products originating from Denmark must be in accordance with the rules of the organic label in Denmark. Goods originating from elsewhere in the EU must live up to the standards of the EU organic label. Goods imported from outside the EU must meet current regulations for organic products from “third countries” as specified by Commission Regulation no. 1235/2008, or to the most recent amendments to this legislation. This approach ensured that equivalent requirements were applied regardless of the origin of the food items.
Packaging: The extent of the amount of packaging assumed had to be limited to avoid excess packaging of goods. Packaging could not contain PVC, and had to be recyclable.
Environmental zone: The supplier must help to protect the environment through the use of raw materials and vehicles which result in the least possible environmental pollution and impact.
Vehicles: If diesel vehicles with an unladen weight of over 3,500 kg are used, the supplier had to be able to demonstrate that these vehicles have achieved an environmental zone certificate as required for running this type of vehicle in the City of Copenhagen. Information on these environmental zones , and the requirements for vehicles is available here: http://www.miljozonen.dk/vognmand_baggrund.php
If vehicles with a weight less of less than 3,500 kg are used, the vehicles had to meet the Euro 5 standard for emissions. In the case of a diesel vehicle, this must be fitted with a particulate filter.
The supplier had to state in their offer what types of vehicles would be used including their make, model and year, and whether or not they met the above mentioned requirements. If at the time of submitting the tender, it was not possible for the supplier to specify exactly which vehicles would be used, the supplier must inform the Municipality which vehicles it intended to use, when it won the contract.
The Municipality reserved the right at any time to carry out an environmental inspection on vehicles used to execute the delivery of food. The Municipality bears the costs if it turns out that the particle filter is working as it should be. If the particle filter is working in line with requirements the Municipality is required to refund the supplier for any loss of earnings, while the vehicle was being assessed. If the particle filter is not working in line with requirements, the supplier shall bear the costs including the costs for the repair or replacement of the filter.
Idle vehicles: Copenhagen Municipality adopted in March 1990 a regulation as regards idle vehicles according to which it is prohibited to keep an engine running when idle for more than one minute. Violation of the rules is a police matter and will be fined. The supplier was obliged to comply with the current rules as regards idling in Copenhagen. Further information on these rules is available here: http://www.kk.dk/da/borger/trafik/luftforurening/hvad-kan-du-goere
Fuel consumption: The City of Copenhagen has adopted a Climate Plan which includes a number of initiatives to help reduce CO2 emissions from city operations, including traffic. The supplier was obliged to document their fuel consumption –, provide this information on request and be able to explain their fuel consumption. This statement must at all times be available for the preceding year.
Range of offered goods 25%
Range of offered fruit and vegetables: The Municipality awarded the supplier points according to how many different varieties of for example: apples, pears, plums, potatoes, etc. that the suppliers could offer to the Municipality during a year. In this tender the seven bids in total offered 183 different types of apples, many of them from small and medium sized subcontractors.
Contract performance clauses:
Monitoring: Each institution may at any time during the contract sample the goods supplied. If it turns out that the product does not live up to the requirements specified in the technical specifications, including the requirements for transport and the delivery of food, the cost for the monitoring activities will be borne by the supplier. In case of doubt, as regards quality and compliance with these conditions, the Municipality is entitled to obtain expert opinions from the Danish Environmental Department.
Results: Seven bidders applied for this tender, of whom two met all of the tender requirements. The tender was awarded to one bidder for an initial two-year contract which can be extended by two years. The supplier supplies a wide variety of seasonal fruit and vegetables which are sourced from small to medium-sized subcontractors from all over Europe. The contract has been running since August 2014.
Several bidders enquired during the bidding phase, what the Municipality meant by seasonal. The Municipality informed bidders, that seasonal referred to fruit and vegetables which were naturally grown and from any region.
By procuring seasonal, organic food the Municipality reduced:
• Eutrophication, acidification and toxic impacts on human health and the environment (plants and animals) due to the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of pesticides and fertilisers present in water, air, soil and food
• Soil erosion, forest destruction and loss of biodiversity caused by agriculture, intense animal production and fishing, and aquaculture practices
• Animal cruelty due to a lack of respect for animal welfare
• High energy consumption in food production and processing
• High water consumption and pollution in manufactured food production
• Packaging waste
• Negative impact on the occupational health of farmers due to the handling and use of certain pesticides and fertilisers
• Transport impacts in the carrying out of catering services
Although the price of organic food tends to be more expensive than non-organic food, the Municipality ensured that this tender did not cost more than a tender for non-organic food, by making certain changes in their kitchens. For example, less meat and more vegetables are now used. In this way, the Municipality has managed to ensure that the catering services do not cost more than they did previously.
The Municipality of Copenhagen has recognised as a result of this tender that for such a detailed tender, it would be easier to keep the tender process and documentation as simple as possible. Despite this, in future the Municipality will include more specific details on how they will monitor the tender.