By Mike Zastoupil, Farm & Sea to Campus Interim Coordinator

Posted February 16, 2018


Tracking Local Food Purchases: How better data management systems can increase local food procurement at New England campuses

Increasingly, campus administrators, prospective students, and other stakeholders want to see the impact of local and sustainable food purchases at New England colleges and universities. Accurate, affordable, user-friendly tracking systems are needed for campuses to collect baseline purchasing data, set meaningful goals, and measure progress toward purchasing commitments. Despite a high level of involvement and interest among campuses in New England, the systems currently used are often costly and vary significantly across the region.

In 2017, the New England Farm and Sea to Campus Network (FSCN), an initiative of Farm to Institution New England (FINE), conducted in-depth interviews with dining and sustainability managers from ten different campuses to evaluate the variety of ways that campuses in New England are currently tracking their local and sustainable food purchases. By offering some initial insights, FINE and FSCN hope to catalyze the development of best practices for local food procurement.

This fact sheet highlights key findings, good ideas, and potential snags from the pilot interviews, which complements FINE’s 2015 Campus Dining Survey.