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A big part of what we do is connect our network partners and support their work, but we also run our own projects that address specific issues along the farm to institution supply chain. This includes supply chain research, food processing collaboration, food service contract support, farmer wholesale readiness assistance and more. Looking for information specific to schools, colleges, and hospitals? Visit our sector pages >

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Farm to Campus

The Farm & Sea to Campus Project aims to increase the amount of local food served in colleges, universities, and residential high schools. We bring together advocates, dining staff, faculty, students, and businesses to spur change in food purchasing patterns, encourage healthy eating, and empower a new generation of food activists. 

In October, 2015, FINE launched the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network, which is a community of higher education and food systems stakeholders. To join the network, contact Dana at dana@farmtoinstitution.org

Are you a dining director or chef at an institution? Check out our recipe series that we developed to help you use more local and regional food: www.farmtoinstitution.org/recipes

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Metrics

The Metrics Project is a major data-driven snapshot of the farm to institution food market chain. The project covers all facets of the supply chain, from production to distribution and consumption. 

We are currently developing a common set of key indicators showing the baseline of farm to institution initiatives. Highlights of the data we’ve collected are featured in a new interactive online dashboard, which you can visit at dashboard.farmtoinstitution.org (it’s a work in progress!). 

Download our new report on the role of food distributors in providing local food to institutions: www.farmtoinstitution.org/distributor-report

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Food Processing

The New England Food Processors’ Community of Practice (COP) provides a forum for local processors to share information, visit each other’s facilities, and develop collaborative solutions to common problems. The COP is helping representatives from seven New England food processing facilities be better equipped to meet and overcome their challenges, and pass what they are learning to other processors in New England and beyond. 

Our goal is to help existing processing facilities become more efficient at processing local produce and meat for institutions and share best practices with new facilities. Participants are learning valuable information about topics like processing equipment, plant design, and food safety. 

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Food Service

The Food Service Project is a multi-year effort that aims to inform action by increasing the understanding of how food service management companies work. We also help institutions utilize the request for proposal and contract negotiation processes to increase purchases of local food. 

Findings of our research are featured in an online local food purchasing toolkit that includes key recommendations for institutions and advocates! 

The toolkit builds on a foundation laid in 2015, when we published two reports on food service management company operations. Next steps include more outreach and engagement to put the toolkit to use. 

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