The School Feeding Electronic System makes it possible to carry out Public Calls of great complexity (large number of food products, schools and municipalities) for the food purchase from family farming. It includes registration of entities and sales projects; control of the financial/producer limit; classification; projects suitability after classification; bank classification for cases of dropouts, and food receipt control by schools.    

This tool has brought transparency to the process and is considered a key element for the significant results concerning this purchase method. In 2014 Paraná State was ranked first among all Brazilian states for total purchase amount and percentage of purchases from family farming. The investment has exceeded R$36 million, using 51.15% of PNAE's (National School Feeding Program) total resource.

 

A - General information

 

START: August 2010 (in progress)

EXECUTING ENTITIES: Paraná State Department of Education

PARTNERS: CELEPAR - Paraná's IT Company

SUBMITTED BY: Márcia Cristina Stolarski and Andrea Bruginski

RESOURCES:  Own

VALUE RANGE: Above US$ 25,000 

CATEGORY: Project 

MAIN THEME AREA: Food and Nutrition Security

KEYWORDS: School Feeding, Family Farming, Education, Department of Education, Students, Farmers, Food and Nutrition Security, Public Management, National School Feeding Program.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Family Farming Cooperatives and Associations; technicians of the State and Municipal Departments of Education; schools and students.

LOCATION: Urban and rural areas

GEOGRAPHICAL SCOPE: Paraná State

 

B - Description of the practice

 

1- BACKGROUND

The National School Feeding Program of the State of Paraná serves 1,000,000 daily meals, and until 2010 it only purchased and distributed non-perishable food to state schools. In natura food purchase was sporadic and made directly by the schools. With the publication of Federal Law No. 11,947/2009, States and Municipalities are obliged to use at least 30% of the resources transferred by the Federal Government with the acquisition of food from family farming.

One of the main difficulties for the food purchase and delivery was the supply scale for 1.2 million students enrolled in the state school system according to the characteristics and factors that interfere in the food production and distribution. If we consider the scale and complexity of the supply of perishable food to more than 2,500 schools, located in the 399 municipalities of the state, and the characteristics, seasonality and diverse factors that interfere in the food production and distribution, it is possible to measure the complexity of this process. This problem was solved with the development of an electronic tool to organize and classify proposals of family farming entities for the food supply for the school feeding of the state schools of Paraná.

  

2- GENERAL OBJECTIVE

Purchase food from family farms to attend school feeding in the state schools of the State of Paraná.

Specific objectives:

  • Organizing and facilitating the planning of family farming entities according to their production, seasonality and other characteristics;
  • Presenting the food demands by school;
  • Classifying the entities according to the current legislation, that is: proximity to the school, category of farmers (settlers, quilombolas and indigenous people have priority over other family farmers), category of the food offered (organic foods have priority over conventional ones) and percentage of family farmers;
  • Contributing to the organization and qualification of family farming entities;
    Enriching and diversifying school feeding;
  • Enabling the proposal of sale projects by more than 20,000 families of family farmers existing in Paraná.

 

3 - SOLUTION ADOPTED

Considering the scale and complexity of the supply and the difficulties of production and logistics concerning the delivery of food directly to schools, an electronic system was developed. In this system, each cooperative and association, during a period determined in the Public Notice of the Public Call for Proposals, selects schools to be supplied, the food group and food options. This simple procedure of choosing foods by groups minimizes the difficulties of delivering a given food due to climatic problems or seasonal problems, since it is possible to substitute foods with by other in the same quantity and similar functions in the composition of the menus.

The Sales Intention (digital proposal) is easy to fill in, to understand and has a friendly interface with the family farming entities. In the last Public Call made by SEED, in a single procedure, 134 entities (22,000 farmers) were hired to supply 83 different types of food to 2,395 schools for a year. The estimated quantity for this supply is approximately 15,487 tons, with 25% being represented by organic and/or agroecological foods.

The most important solution, however, is the classification of the outbidders. According to the legislation in force, the following criteria must be considered: how close it is from school; category of farmers (settlers, quilombolas and indigenous people have priority over other family farmers), category of the food offered (organic foods have priority over conventional ones) and percentage of family farmers.

Due to the large volume of information in this process, classification without error is only feasible with the use of this electronic tool. This process has also fostered the digital inclusion of this group of farmers.

 

4 - RESULTS ACHIEVED

Until 2010, the PEAE only purchased and distributed non-perishable food to state schools. In natura food purchase was sporadic and made directly by the schools. In 2010, SEED held the first public call that enabled the supply of food from family agriculture for 2011. In the first year, 46 entities were hired, totaling 1,885 tons. In total, 128 institutions of family farmers are registered in the electronic system for public call. There are 81 food items from 11 different groups for the school meals: sugars, meat and eggs, cereal, beans, fruits, vegetables, yogurt (and similar products), milk, other dairy products, baked goods and juices.

In 4 years of implementation, the results were significant and can be summarized as follows:

 

  • Increase in the quantity of foods purchased from 1,885 to 15,487 tons;
  • Increase in the quantity of organic foods purchased from 9 to 2,537 tons;
  • Increase in the number of schools supplied from 906 to 2,395;
  • Increase in the number of municipalities supplied from 192 to 387;
  • Increase of the investment from 3 to 45 million.

Quality: The school meal has gone through a deep transformation in recent years with the acquisition of family farming products. Once a week the schools of the state network have the opportunity to receive fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, baked goods, fruit pulps, juices and jellies direct from the farmer.

Income: Besides diversifying the school menu, the food purchase also contributed to the generation of jobs in the countryside and increased the income of small farmers. "They are sure to sell the products they are producing and that motivate them. The return is visible. Besides investing in equipment, our associates are generating jobs in their municipalities. The price of each food is valid for a whole year, which guarantees a permanent income for the farmer who was not counting on such possibility,

In 2013 the electronic system won the 7th Edition of the Banco do Brasil Foundation's Social Technology Award as one of the best social technologies in Brazil.

  

5 - REQUIRED RESOURCES

The technology was developed in free software and the implementation cost refers to the computer equipment compatible with the number of users and to the system customization.  The entity interested in this tool should make an official request to the State Department of Education, in order to make it available.      

 

 

6 - PRACTICE TRANSFER

The electronic system used by the State Department of Education for the purchase and control of the food from Family Farming might be implemented in other states. The model was presented to representatives of Banco do Brasil Foundation and will be taken to other educational entities, farmers and to the country's public and private sectors.

Other institutions came to know the system, among them: City Government of São Paulo and Belo Horizonte; State Government of Pará, Amazonas, Espírito Santo, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul and Rio de Janeiro. The system was also presented at the CONSED, the Council that gathers together the State Secretaries of Education.

 

7 - LESSONS LEARNED

The adoption of the electronic system for purchasing directly from family farming has resulted in the expansion of contracts and contracted amounts for this type of supply, as well as the expansion of the number of supplied schools and benefited cooperatives, proving the effectiveness of the technology used.

Throughout this experience new foods were included in the purchase list, some of which it was not possible to tell if there would be enough production for marketing. Actually, it was just the other way around: some foods were excluded from the list – although they were commercialized in that region – once they were not produced by family farmers.

The purchase from farming – facilitated by the electronic system – has generated more diverse menus, more nutrients and health for the development of the students. The inclusion of fresh foods has increased the participation of the students who now enjoy the school meals more often. It is expected that in the long run it will be a strategy that will result in a reversal of the obesity and overweight scenario, currently representing 25% of the students in the state network.

However, despite the success of the SEED results, it is important to note that the expansion and sustainability of this process are directly dependent on the resources made available. After adjusting the values transferred by FNDE, the value per student/day in regular education was R$0.36 (thirty-six cents). The hindrance becomes even more evident when it comes to the purchase of organic and agroecological goods, which on average are 30% more expansive than conventional ones.

 

8 - ORIGINALITY OF PRACTICE  

This is an original practice without similar initiatives identified in the region.

 

 

 

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