Food. School meals are increasingly “vegetarian”, but still not “quality” enough.

It can do better. This is basically the rating we could give in the report on school meals in France. Two years after the Climate and Resilience Act came into force, which requires cafeterias to be stocked with at least 50% quality and sustainable products (including 20% ​​organic), only 18% of them have met the dual target. (37% for organic only).

“Financial additional costs” set aside.

This is the lesson of the second survey of the Association of Mayors of France in collaboration with the school AgroParisTech, published this Wednesday

. Costs are the first problem cited by 56% of municipalities, compared to 38% in 2020. Two-thirds therefore point to “additional financial costs”. In addition, insufficient variety or quantity in the offer of sustainable and ecological products (40% vs. 27% in 2020) and logistical constraints (38% vs. 16% in 2020) are cited.

“The easiest label in Egalim is organic,” points out Gille Pérole, co-chair of the School Catering working group at AMF and vice-mayor of Mouans-Sartoux (Alpes-Maritime). “It is identified and very diversified unlike others like IGP, AOP or Label Rouge. »

Big cities respect better

The largest municipalities comply with the law more: 39% of cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants meet the criteria compared to 26% for cities with 10,000 to 30,000 inhabitants and 16% for cities with up to 2,000 inhabitants. The same differences on the organic side: 75% of municipalities with more than 30,000 inhabitants comply with the 20% threshold compared to 34% of cities with up to 2,000 inhabitants.

Supply difficulties, which appear to be greater for all municipalities in 2023 (40%) than in 2020 (18%), but are more significant for large cities (60% of cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants compared to 34% of cities with less than 2000 inhabitants).

“Vegetarian” option fairly well implemented

On the other hand, the Climate and Resilience Act, which required a vegetarian option in school canteens, is relatively well respected, with 90% of municipalities offering this option. By different methods: 79% of restaurants offer a “vegetarian” menu once a week, compared to only 7% daily. The survey still reveals difficulties for small municipalities, as 12% of municipalities under 2,000 inhabitants never offer this option.

After the first survey carried out in 2020, the AMF (through AgroParisTech) carried out a survey in September 2023 in more than 2,000 municipalities according to several strata of the population.

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