Catering for sustainability is often presented as a legitimate perspective for caterers to promote more equitable economic development locally and across distances through food procurement, integrated with environmental protection and concern for the welfare of customers and staff. Caterers are thus seen as agents responsible for sustainable food systems within their reach. This paper explores how public caterers use their position and productive intelligence in promoting a sustainable food system within the power field of their contextual networks. This article crystallises this 'agency for sustainability' as professional identity for sustainability, the shaping of which is analysed in Finnish public catering. The paper identifies eased and positive, troubled and critical as well as delimited and distancing approaches for sustainability, with respective views and efforts for sustainable food systems. The shaping of professional identity for sustainability could serve as co-operative platform for future contextual developments towards more sustainable food systems. Such progress could result in better alignment with political guidelines for sustainability and caterers' satisfaction due to their heightened professional position reaching beyond 'kitchen walls' to construct everyday sustainability. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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