Abstract: There is a rising awareness of the power of the public sector in enhancing sustainable consumption and production practices, in particular related to food procurement and its social, ethical, economical and environmental implications. School meal services have a high resonance in the debate on collective catering services because of the implications on the education to sustainable dietary habits and the orientation of the production system. This contribution focuses on the reciprocal relationship between professionals and users of school meal services as a driver to mobilize new resources—according to the theory of co-production—that steer service innovation and a shift towards more sustainable practices. We illustrate this through a case study on the school meal system in Pisa (Italy), where the Canteen Committee represents an institutional arena for participation and empowerment of actors that has gradually gained a central role in shaping this school meal service. Despite the challenges and obstacles, the institutionalized co-production of services allows consolidation of trust among key players and the introduction of innovations in the service, in the form of several projects oriented to sustainability which would not take place without the joint effort of actors involved, parents in the first place.
Keywords: sustainable public procurement; school meals; co-production; sustainable diets; public private partnerships; civic food networks; social innovation
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Galli, F.; Brunori, G.; Di Iacovo, F.; Innocenti, S. Co-Producing Sustainability: Involving Parents and Civil Society in the Governance of School Meal Services. A Case Study from Pisa, Italy. Sustainability 2014, 6, 1643-1666.
Galli F, Brunori G, Di Iacovo F, Innocenti S. Co-Producing Sustainability: Involving Parents and Civil Society in the Governance of School Meal Services. A Case Study from Pisa, Italy. Sustainability. 2014; 6(4):1643-1666.
Galli, Francesca; Brunori, Gianluca; Di Iacovo, Francesco; Innocenti, Silvia. 2014. "Co-Producing Sustainability: Involving Parents and Civil Society in the Governance of School Meal Services. A Case Study from Pisa, Italy." Sustainability 6, no. 4: 1643-1666.