On 19 October 2022, Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe hosted a workshop on leveraging the healthcare sector’s purchasing power to promote responsible use of antibiotics in European food production. A report of the workshop is available.
The European food production sector contributes to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - a serious health threat and a growing challenge for healthcare systems. 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.
Healthcare institutions across Europe serve a large number of meals to patients, visitors, and staff every day. Through sustainable procurement, healthcare procurers can encourage food producers to transition to sustainable food systems that respect animal welfare and do not rely on antibiotic use.
In this workshop:
- We launched a dialogue between all stakeholders, including procurers, food producers, consumers, and scientists to promote solutions that help curb antimicrobial overuse and misuse in European food production.
- We discussed the role of EU legislations, including revisions of the European Commission’s veterinary medicines regulation and e animal welfare legislation and how this will reduce the need for antibiotics in farming.
- We learnt about challenges of hospital procurement when addressing antimicrobial use in farming.