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This short article addresses a critical, but often underappreciated, aspect of the evolving suite of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: food and agriculture systems, which account for at least a quarter of GHG emissions and more methane emissions than any other sector. The article invites government leadership to become more intentional in focusing on sustainable food procurement as a key strategy to mitigate climate change. The authors argue that public food procurement can – and should – be leveraged to generate a wide range of cascading social benefits beyond mitigating climate change and improving public health, including worker well-being, racial justice and equity, and animal welfare.

This article is part of the "Driving Climate Action Through Federal Procurement Practices" series devoted to Sustainable Procurement in Contract Management magazine, published by the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) and its community of practice (COP) to raise awareness of procurement's role in adapting to and mitigating climate change, support knowledge sharing about existing work in this area, provide resources and training to contracting professionals, and integrate sustainability into contracting professional standards.

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