Posted October 15, 2015
New Resources Help Institutions Buy More Local Food & Market Their Programs
Vermont FEED and NOFA-VT have just released research-backed resources to help institutions develop local food buying programs and market these programs to their customers, administrators and staff. Their new resource suite includes two parts: (1) a worksheet to guide institutions through creating a local and values-based purchasing plan and (2) posters to help them promote their commitments to buying food from their community, state or region.
Abbie Nelson and Erin Buckwalter of NOFA-VT hosted a webinar on October 15th to walk people through their new tools. We've compiled a list of our ten takeaways from their webinar.
Top 10 Lessons on Tiered Buying for Institutions:
- Institutions buy local food because it supports the local economy and increases participation in meal plans
- Schools and hospitals value nutrition and health
- Universities value humane and fair
- K-12 schools are the most cost-concious and the least flexible; they care about cost and quality
- Universities are the most responsive to consumer demand
- Customers care about cost, convenience, origin and familiarity of the food
- Regional sourcing is a great supplement to local sourcing
- Buying New England food can potentially improve food resilience, farm viability and farmland preservation
- Regional food is often more humane, fair and healthful; it provides greater variety and higher quality in season
- Tiered buying is a great way to structure your local food buying program (your county, your state, your region)