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Farm to College Procurement Report Now Available

The Farm to Institution Task Force has completed a new study, 'The Opportunities and Barriers to Greater Local Food Procurement in Vermont Higher Education Food Service.' This project was commissioned by the Vermont Farm to Plate Aggregation & Distribution Working Group’s as a means of achieving Goal 2— increasing local food served in Vermont institutions. Twelve of the 21 higher education food service operations in Vermont were interviewed to understand current local food procurement practices, compare current practices to the best practices documented in other publications from around New England, and create recommendations for increasing local food procurement in higher education institutions.

Some notable findings from the interviews include: include: Vermont institutions are sourcing between 14-40% of their food locally (“local” definition varies by campus); local food purchases are primarily facilitated by partnerships with external organizations; and while local foods can require more labor, their presence motivates and excites staff to better promote the foods and educational mission.

The report concludes with suggestions for food service operators and technical assistance providers. The next phase of the project is to broadly disseminate the results of the study and begin working with individual institutes of higher education to begin adopting the suggestions and best practices to increase their local procurement.To read the full report or a shorter executive summary, click the links above or below: