The Slovenia Times

Campaign promoting healthy, local food turning into movement


Agriculture, Forestry and Food Minister Dejan Židan told a press conference ahead of tomorrow's Day of Slovenian Food the idea was to have education institutions buy locally as much as possible the whole year through.

A survey this spring showed that 38% of the food in public institutions was locally produced, while the goal is to raise this to 70-75%, Židan noted.

Buying locally not only creates jobs but the food bought in Slovenia is of higher quality due to shorter transport, the minister said.

Having said that, Židan welcomed yesterday's passage of the public procurement act, which shifts the selection model to a price-to-performance model. The act also introduces environmental and transport aspects as criteria.

Health Minister Milojka Kolar Celarc said eating habits of Slovenians were improving, as more than half of adults eat breakfast. But among the younger population, the share is below 50%.

Education Minister Maja Makovec Brenčič stressed that the system of school meals was one of important elements of the quality of the education system. "We are one of the few countries that is implementing this systematically and systemically. There are not many countries that support this with budget funds and such campaigns," she said.

Makovec Brenčič also noted that an inter-ministerial task force would be set up to review the criteria for ordering and cooperation with local producers.

Tomorrow the fifth traditional Slovenian breakfast will be organised for teachers and children of Slovenian primary schools and kindergartens to mark Day of Slovenian Food for the fourth time.

The traditional Slovenian breakfast is organised every third Friday in November by the relevant ministries, the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association, the National Institute for Public Health, the Education Institute and several agricultural and food associations and companies.

Last year, 667 educational institutes and 257,000 children took part in the project, with the costs for the Agriculture Ministry amounting to EUR 111,500, which is roughly the costs expected this year, according to Židan.

The initiator of the traditional Slovenian breakfast, which has grown into Day of Slovenian Food, is the Beekeepers' Association. The beekeepers are also pushing for 20 May to be declared World Honeybee Day.

A Slovenian lunch will also be organised this afternoon in cooperation with the producers of protected agricultural products.

Meanwhile, a car promoting the initiative for Honeybee Day and raising awareness of bees set out on a journey across the country that will last until March 2016 today.

Židan said the Honeybee Day campaign was also important for boosting Slovenia's recognisability, for tourism and economy in general. He said that while lobbying for Honeybee Day in China recently, a request had been made for exporting of honey and honeybee products to China. "I believe we will reach this market soon," he said.


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