Posted August 4, 2015
Publications on Local Food Buying by Food Service Management Companies Just Released
We're excited to share the final versions of two publications created by our Corporate Food Service Action Project (CFSAP) based on research conducted during Phase 1 of the project. As the farm to institution movement matures, advocates have realized that they must better understand the operations of these companies in order to have a significant impact on institutional procurement of regionally produced and processed foods.
CFSAP aims to increase the understanding of how food service management companies (FSMCs) work by compiling regional and cross-sector information about the operational practices of the largest FSMCs in the region: Compass Group and Sodexo. In 2014, our researchers conducted over 40 interviews with food systems advocates and FSMC staff. As a result, the CFSAP team produced two publications, as follows.
Food Service Management Companies in New England: Phase 1 Research Findings: Barriers & Opportunities to Local Food Procurement
This report is the first of our two publications that grew from research conducted in 2014. It provides an overview of FSMC operations, including descriptions of purchasing practices, the rebate system, how vendors become approved, and the importance of contracts. The focus of this report is on the role of FSMCs in purchasing local food products for their institutional clients. It also provides a synopsis of the main barriers and opportunities to local procurement and provides two examples of promising farm to institution initiatives. This mini report is a condensed version of the full project report written by our researchers.
Leveraging Contracts for Local Food Procurement
This guide is the second of our two publications that grew from research conducted in 2014. It aims to assist institutions that are managed by FSMCs in influencing the request for proposal (RFP) and contract negotiation processes to increase purchases of local food. The guide describes the different types of contracts typically used with FSMCs and the ways by which local food procurement is incorporated in them. It also covers the role of the RFP and provides questions to consider when soliciting proposals in order to vet companies to find one that best meets an institution’s needs.
The guide also calls out key components of typical contracts that need to be negotiated to improve the ability of institutions to purchase local food. Lastly, it provides a brief resource section providing sample RFP and contract language and New England companies that specialize in food service contract negotiation.
Please send any comments or questions to [email protected].
Photo of boy in cafeteria courtesy of Farm Fresh Rhode Island. Photo of apples courtesy of Katy Hiza.