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The Community of Practice for Sustainable Institutional Food

Commun'assiette brings together institutional organizations from all sectors (early childhood, schools, colleges, universities, health and workplace) along with supply-chain stakeholders, partners and local authorities to promote and accelerate the transition to a healthy, local and environmentally responsible food procurement in institutions.

The challenge 

Quebec institutions are increasingly interested in sustainable food procurement processes, in line with a broader societal movement that prioritizes healthy, local and environmentally responsible food.

Our governments and communities are working to establish more sustainable and resilient agricultural and food systems. The Quebec government has recently launched an ambitious strategy, entitled the Stratégie nationale d'achat d'aliments québécois (SNAAQ), designed to significantly increase the proportion of local food purchased by Quebec institutions. The goal is that all Quebec public institutions adopt a Quebec food procurement target by 2025.

Many pioneering institutions have already accomplished a great deal in local food procurement, but face a number of common challenges. In order to increase their procurement of healthy, local and environmentally responsible food, they must collaborate with other stakeholders in the supply chain, such as producers, processors, distributors and decision-makers. The institutions also need tools, resources, coaching, mobilization and peer support to achieve their goals.

 If we add together all the actions taken by Quebec institutions toward a healthier, local and environmentally responsible food system, we have the capacity to raise awareness among a very large number of people. We need to work together as a community through Commun'assiette! 

Lyne Royer

Équiterre's work

Équiterre contributes to the development of sustainable institutional food by supporting Quebec institutions and organizations, many of which belong to Commun'assiette.

We're working to raise awareness in order to more broadly influence and impact the various links in the supply chain.

Équiterre founded Commun'assiette and oversees its implementation, working with the help of a network of dynamic institutions and collaborators who are rooted in their communities. The community of practice is defining the issues, identifying the most effective strategies and implementing initiatives in which each member contributes based on their strengths. Commun'assiette was first established in Montreal and hopes to eventually expand to the entire province of Quebec.


  1. Create a movement to promote healthy, local and environmentally responsible food in Quebec institutions;
  2. Create connections among institutions, experts and authorities in order to increase collaboration and pool expertise, experience, tools, resources and work methods to increase the supply of healthy, local and environmentally responsible food in food services;
  3. Quantify the proportion of local food procurement through the Aliments du Québec au menu - Institution recognition program;
  4. Mobilize institutions to set gradually increasing targets for purchasing Quebec food over time;
  5. Consolidate and promote the tools, resources and initiatives that are currently in place for healthy, local and environmentally responsible food procurement;
  6. Promote best practices from community institutions in order to mobilize other institutions to follow suit.

Our impact

Through this initiative, Quebec institutions are being mobilized to adopt best practices that promote sustainable food and to set targets for Quebec food procurement.

Over the long term, Commun'assiette aims to:

  1. Increase the supply of local, healthy and environmentally responsible food in institutions, for the health of individuals, our food systems, communities and the planet;
  2. Support the local economy by encouraging local and regional businesses, thereby reinforcing our food autonomy;
  3. Work closely with Quebec businesses on issues related to transportation, pesticides, food waste, packaging, etc.;
  4. Promote sustainable food education by raising awareness among institutions, managers, employees and customers about the impact of their food choices.

Results so far

40 members with a total of 60 individuals, including 16 institutions, three food service management companies and 21 partners

50% Quebec food (overall average of member institutions for 2020-2021)

3 working committees on specific issues, allowing for consultation and collective action

Commun'assiette institutions have achieved an average of:

  • 30% local procurement in the fresh fruits and vegetables category;
  • 76% local procurement in the dairy products category;
  • 61% local procurement in the protein category;
  • 55% local procurement in the baking and pastries category.

Commun'Assiette c'est

Project history


44 membres regroupant 70 personnes dont 16 institutions, 3 entreprises de gestion de services alimentaires, 25 collaborateurs et collaboratrices.

Activités : 3 rencontres de la communauté entière, travail en comités, différentes formations et présentations : « Quantification des aliments québécois », exemples de pratiques écoresponsables. L'alimentation saine en milieu institutionnel est maintenant au coeur de Commun'assiette, Coup de coeur du jury DUX 2023 - catégorie initiative en communication pour le portail web

Résultats : moyenne globale de 57 % d'approvisionnement alimentaire québécois des membres.


40 members consisting of 60 persons from 16 institutions, three food service management companies, and 21 collaborators.

Activities: Three meetings of the full community, committee work, and two training sessions: "Supply Chain 101" and "Quantification of Quebec foods," one meeting of the institutions and food service management companies, and one meeting of collaborators.

Results: To be reported in June 2022.


27 members consisting of 40 persons from ten institutions, two food service management companies, and 15 collaborators.

Activities: two meetings of the full community, establishment of three working committees.

Results: Overall average of 50% Quebec procurement by member institutions.



Some inspirational examples of local food procurement leaders from different types of institutional settings (in French)


Project Team

Commun'assiette est à la fois une communauté de pratique et un portail web. Ce projet initié par Équiterre et rendue possible grâce au soutien financier de plusieurs partenaires : le ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) à travers le volet 1 du Programme de développement des marchés bioalimentaires qui s’inscrit dans le cadre de la SNAAQ, ainsi que d’Aliments du Québec, la Fondation Choquette-Legault, le ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux par l’entremise de la Table québécoise de la saine alimentation (TQSA). Elle a pris naissance grâce à un important financement du Système alimentaire montréalais (SAM), et de la Fondation du Grand Montréal.