ABOUT THE ISSUE
Eurogroup believes that public authorities also have a significant role to play in how they use public money in making public purchases of goods and services. Public procurement should therefore not be based on current lowest price criterion but instead on the best value measures in terms of social, economic and environmental benefits.
In this way public procurement could be used to stimulate and promote competitive practices which are innovative, sustainable and animal welfare friendly. These measures can also imply that producers and farmers who are keen and willing to change towards improved production, handling and slaughter practices for animals are motivated and rewarded for doing so.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION
Over 16% of total EU GDP (2 trillion Euros annual equivalent) is spent by public authorities for goods and services – representing a substantial amount of consumption expenditure of public money. Some of this spending are directed towards food, beverages and catering services and can be used as a driver to improved production practices and animal welfare criteria.
The reality is that this is not the case. Majority of the EU national authorities have not made clear legal environmental and animal welfare criteria as a precondition for purchasing products that come from animals.
WHAT ARE WE CALLING FOR
Eurogroup calls on public procurers to include in their procurement guidelines defined and clear references to animal welfare criteria for relevant products or services, in a manner that delivers real welfare outcomes to the animals.
We also call for proper awareness and education of both the public procurer and the bidders on animal welfare criteria and outcome. This process will help the public procurer in an objective comparison of the bids; while it enables the bidder to make a balanced bid.
- Sustainable Consumption and Production & Green Public Procurement (August 2008)
- Green Public Procurement in Europe: The case for animal welfare (November 2007)