Steve Quarrie, representing colleagues from BSN (EUTA) and MPNTR, presented the Strength2Food project and aspects of its activities in Serbia in the session on Rural Development and Agro-economy of Agrosym 2017.
The talk focused on the relationship between schools preparing their own meals, in our four target areas of Belgrade, Novi Sad, around Valjevo and around Arilje, and their suppliers – typically distributors collecting foodstuffs from a wide range of sources, both within Serbia and from abroad. Some of our data so far on food origins were presented, showing that for one school in Novi Sad around 30% of the foods were imported, including sweet peppers from Turkey! The distribution of vegetables according to municipality from the 2012 agricultural census was shown to illustrate concentrations of each vegetable, including sweet pepper, local to target schools. These findings will form the basis of future action research to link schools with potential new local producers to shorten the food chain, increase school meal nutritional quality and help more of the ca. €12 million spent annually by primary schools on meals to get into the local economies. The presentation is currently available at https://www.researchgate.net/project/Strength2Food, and will shortly be on the Strength2Food web site.
Head of Education and training at BSN/EUTA