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Food waste, catering practices and public procurement: A case study of hospital food systems in Wales


  • Sonnino, Roberta
  • McWilliam, Susannah


This article aims to address the need for more comprehensive studies on sustainable food systems through a case study of hospital food waste in Wales, UK. Based on a mixed-method research approach that focused on the links between hospital food waste, catering practices and public procurement strategies, the article shows that the hospital meal system, in the case studied, is responsible for overall levels of food waste that greatly exceed the official percentages provided by the Health Board. In addition to showing the theoretical benefits of research that accounts for the complex interrelations between different stages of the food chain, the study raises the need for a more integrated political approach that mobilizes all actors in the food system around a shared vision for sustainable development.

Suggested Citation

  • Sonnino, Roberta & McWilliam, Susannah, 2011. "Food waste, catering practices and public procurement: A case study of hospital food systems in Wales," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 823-829.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:6:p:823-829
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2011.09.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kevin Morgan, 2008. "Greening the Realm: Sustainable Food Chains and the Public Plate," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(9), pages 1237-1250.
    2. Kevin Morgan, 2010. "Local and green, global and fair: the ethical foodscape and the politics of care," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 42(8), pages 1852-1867, August.
    3. Roberta Sonnino, 2009. "Quality food, public procurement, and sustainable development: the school meal revolution in Rome," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 41(2), pages 425-440, February.
    4. Henk Renting & Terry K Marsden & Jo Banks, 2003. "Understanding alternative food networks: exploring the role of short food supply chains in rural development," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 35(3), pages 393-411, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:6:p:1020-:d:101487 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Massimo Canali & Pegah Amani & Lusine Aramyan & Manuela Gheoldus & Graham Moates & Karin Östergren & Kirsi Silvennoinen & Keith Waldron & Matteo Vittuari, 2016. "Food Waste Drivers in Europe, from Identification to Possible Interventions," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-33, December.
    3. Luca Falasconi & Matteo Vittuari & Alessandro Politano & Andrea Segrè, 2015. "Food Waste in School Catering: An Italian Case Study," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(11), pages 1-16, November.
    4. Garrone, Paola & Melacini, Marco & Perego, Alessandro, 2014. "Opening the black box of food waste reduction," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 129-139.
    5. Christina Strotmann & Christine Göbel & Silke Friedrich & Judith Kreyenschmidt & Guido Ritter & Petra Teitscheid, 2017. "A Participatory Approach to Minimizing Food Waste in the Food Industry—A Manual for Managers," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-21, January.
    6. Belén Derqui & Teresa Fayos & Vicenc Fernandez, 2016. "Towards a More Sustainable Food Supply Chain: Opening up Invisible Waste in Food Service," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(7), pages 1-20, July.
    7. Christina Strotmann & Linda Niepagenkemper & Christine Göbel & Fara Flügge & Silke Friedrich & Judith Kreyenschmidt & Guido Ritter, 2017. "Improving Transfer in the Food Sector by Applying a Target Audience-Centered Approach—The Development of a Nonprofit Marketing Campaign Guide Based on a Case Study of the LAV Platform," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(4), pages 1-26, March.
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1409-:d:107780 is not listed on IDEAS


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