Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious health threat and a growing challenge for healthcare systems. The European food production sector contributes to this global health and development threat. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics in farming is associated with a growing number of resistant bacteria that can spread to humans and therefore requires a holistic approach that includes targeting food production.
The scale of food provided in the healthcare sector makes it a well-positioned actor to drive sustainability in the food supply chain. Healthcare patients, visitors, and staff consume a large number of meals every day in European healthcare institutions. In 2011, the provision of main meals in UK healthcare facilities was over 130 million. In Paris alone, 18 facilities belonging to the Assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) provide 62,000 meals a day.
In collaboration with our Healthcare Market Transformation Network, comprising health procurers, healthcare professionals, and other experts from across Europe, Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe is developing procurement criteria to support sustainability goals in healthcare. This set of criteria will help healthcare procurers to incentivise food producers to ensure responsible antimicrobial consumption.