Demonstrating the Impact of Farm to Institution Through Metrics: A Review

Hannah Leighton, Director of Research and Evaluation

Last week we wrapped up Measuring Up, our six-part blog series designed to provide a data-driven view of farm to institution in New England. In case you missed an installment or you want to revisit one in particular (or you're ready to start all over!), we've compiled all six installments below. 

Measuring Up is a six-part blog series from Farm to Institution New England. It provides a snapshot of the farm to institution landscape in New England. There are 4,628 K-12 schools, 210 colleges and universities with dining services, and 256 hospitals in New England – in total, these institutions feed an estimated 3.8 million people per day.

This series draws from two years of work by the FINE metrics team, presenting key indicators for farm to institution success. Each blog post delves into a few key indicators and gives you links for diving deeper. Thank you for joining us for Measuring Up, and stay tuned for more metrics news in 2018!

Measuring Up: The Full SERIES

#1: An Introduction to the New England Farm to Institution Metrics Blog Series

Welcome to measuring up! In the first installment, we introduce FINE's metrics work and discuss the importance of data in understanding the farm to institution landscape. 

Publication Date: September 18, 2017


#2: When, How, and Why to Define “Local” 

There is no official definition of “local” in New England. In this installment, we discuss how key players across the supply chain define local and why understanding these different definitions is so important.

Publication Date: October 2, 2017


#3: Working Within the System – Institutional Budgets, Operational Characteristics & Local Food Procurement

The annual food and beverage budget for New England colleges ranges from $23,000 to $25 million. In this installment, we look at how these institutional budgets and other operational characteristics – like whether an institution operates its own dining services or is managed by a food service management company – affect local procurement.

Publication Date: October 23, 2017


#4: Accessing Local Product – What Products Do Institutions Buy Local & What are the Barriers to Increasing Local Procurement

Institutions purchase a variety of product from local producers; some are easier to source than others. In this installment, we look at the products institutions say are the most readily available and those that are harder to come by.

Publication Date: October 30, 2017


#5: Producer Perspectives – Who is Providing Institutional Product?

There are nearly 35,000 farms in New England. These producers are providing a variety of product to institutions in the region. In this installment, we look more deeply at how producers view institutional markets and what operational characteristics lead to increased institutional sales.

Publication Date: November 14, 2017


#6: Data-Driven Recommendations for Achieving Farm to Institution Success

We wrap up the series by taking a deeper look at the cross-sectoral benefits of farm to institution markets. We will also discuss key recommendations for growing these markets, including recommendations for producers, distributors, institutions, non-profits, cooperative extension agents, funders, policymakers and government officials.

Publication Date: December 4, 2017


Dig In Deeper

For research reports, webinar recordings, state profile infographics, supply chain indicators, and more supporting data, visit FINE's New England Farm to Institution Metrics Dashboard. Our dashboard provides a data-driven overview of the impact of the farm to institution supply chain, from production through consumption.