Appendix D

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Real Case Examples


Reflections on a Sucessful RFP Process

The University of Vermont brought on a consultant to help with the RFP process and created a participatory process for a multitude of stakeholders to be involved. The Dining Vendor Selection Committee was integral to the project’s success, resulting in an RFP that represented the interests of the stakeholders and the surrounding community. 

Dining Vendor Selection Committee

  • Represented stakeholders from across campus, including students.
  • Solicited input from individual experts and on-campus groups such as the Real Food Working Group, the Real Food Revolution Student Club, and the Food Systems Steering Committee, who submitted in writing components they wanted to see in the RFP.
  • Made the RFP public by: (1) hosting an open forum for the top vendors to share their proposals with the UVM community, (2) designing an online survey and and creating designated email address to collect feedback from the UVM community, and (3) hosting a web page which included a list of the committee members, an overview of the timeline, places to submit feedback, and information on the open forum.

In hindsight, the one-month timeframe between the RFP release and deadline for submitting bids seemed tight. A more forgiving timeline may have allowed the opportunity to invite vendors to campus during the bid-writing period. 


Recommendations for the Food Service Contracting Process: Contract & RFP Language that Would Lead to an Increase in Local & ‘Real’ Food in the University of Maine System Dining Operations 

In June 2015, we released our recommendations to the University of Maine System for its upcoming food contract, backed by more than 150 Maine producers, 50 individuals and organizations, and 1,500 students and University of Maine System community members.

The University of Maine System will put out a request for proposals (RFP) for a new food service vendor contract this coming month and accept proposals from vendors in late fall of 2015. Its most recent contract, which will come to a close at the end of the 2015-16 academic year, was a ten-year, $12.5 million annual contract with the food service corporation Aramark. The current contract, and likely the next one, apply to all of the campuses except for the main campus in Orono, which operates its own food service.  

The recommendations by the “Maine Food for the UMaine System” coalition, submitted to the UMS Office of Strategic Procurement and the Food Service Request for Proposal Committee, set four high-priority recommendations:

  • A quantitative commitment to 20% Maine Food and 20% ‘Real Food’ by 2020
  • The establishment of a UMS Food Working Group
  • Transparent tracking and metrics; and
  • A commitment to a supply chain partnership with Maine producers.

The recommendations also detail suggestions for sustainability expectations, equity and diversity, menu planning, and education and marketing.

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