Posted December 22, 2017
Dear FINE Friends,
The 2017 New England Farm to Institution Summit in April was a watershed moment for the farm to institution movement. Watching the nearly 500 leaders from all parts of the value chain share their experiences and make connections to source more local food, I was struck by how much has changed since 2011 when FINE was launched. It’s clear, farm to institution is not just a promising idea, but it has become an established part of our institutional food culture. We are having an impact – and yet our work is far from complete.
This past year, FINE’s metrics program has deepened our collective understanding of this system we are working to change. We now have a good baseline of local food procurement percentages and practices for the three sectors we focus on, as well as institutional sales data for distributors who deliver the food and the farmers who produce it. We also better understand the motivations and barriers for all.
Our New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network has emerged to serve as a valuable forum for campus food system leaders to exchange ideas and develop tools to address critical barriers in their sector. Campus FoodShift was launched to apply these tools to select institutions that are ready to step forward as the next cohort of local food system leaders.
FINE’s food service program, which features a local food buying toolkit for food service professionals, continues to help partners navigate the sometimes opaque and dynamic world of food system contracts that define the opportunities and barriers of local food practices.
FINE’s Network Advisory Council and staff team have also deepened our commitment to our core values and updated our mission statement, vision, and goals to align with the broader purpose of our work and to clarify our path forward.
The FINE team is pleased to share the highlights of our work in fiscal year 2017. Thank you for partnering with us on this journey!
Farm to Institution New England