Evaluating the economic impacts of farm-to-school procurement: An approach for primary and secondary financial data collection of producers selling to schools
Author: Libby Christensen, Becca B. R. Jablonski, Lacy Stephens, Anupama Joshi
Organization: Colorado State University, USDA
This paper presents a framework for
evaluating the economic impacts of farm-to-school
programs, adapting the USDA’s “Local Food
Economics Toolkit” for this specific context. The
approach combines primary and secondary data to
customize an input-output model, reflecting the
complex supply chains that link producers and
schools. Additionally, to
illustrate the approach, we
summarize the findings from two case studies of
local food procurement by schools between 2016
Evaluation for Transformation: A Cross-Sectoral Evaluation Framework for Farm to School
Author: Gail Feenstra, Tia Henderson, Anupama Joshi, Michelle Markestyn Ratcliffe
Organization: National Farm to School Network
Evaluation for Transformation defines the outcomes that farm to school has the potential to achieve and it offers common language, guidelines and metrics to understand those outcomes for the first time. The framework is organized around four key sectors: public health, community economic development, education and environmental quality. Beyond the four sectors, the framework is also structured around three levels of action: program, research and policy.
Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement
Author: Jess Lynch, Ken Meter, Grisel Robles-Schrader, Megan Phillips Goldenberg, Elissa Bassler, Sarah Chusid, Coby Jansen Austin
Organization: Crossroads Resource Center, Illinois Public Health Institute
Local food initiatives across the US have launched determined efforts to encourage
institutional purchasers to source locally grown foods. These have generated significant
enthusiasm at the local level. Yet the evidence base for documenting positive impacts
on health and local economies is still being developed.
This study seeks to draw insight from both scholarly studies and on-the-ground
experience in order to distill practical strategies, recommend ways to conceptualize
and measure economic and health impacts, and highlight effective methods for
building the capacities of communities for this work.
A Family Farm in Maine Reports on their Experience Selling to Institutions
Sarah Redfield of Lakeside Family Farms shares her experience as a midsize producer and aggregator. The fourth generation farm grows over 30 types of vegetables and is committed to providing fresh, local produce that is safe, high-quality, sustainably grown, and available at reasonable prices. Lakeside Family Farm’s business model is built primarily on direct-delivery sales through diverse channels, including Hannaford supermarket chains, Maine Farmers Food Hub, Maine Workplace FarmShare CSA, and some institutions.
Family Food Producers and Anti-Hunger Advocates Urge Support for Local Supply Chains in Next Stimulus Bill
Organization: Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, National Family Farm Coalition, FarmAid, WhyHunger, HEAL Food Alliance, and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Call for funds to directly invest in communities to build out critical infrastructure between local and regional food producers and families in need of healthy food during COVID-19.
The Farm Fresh Healthcare Project: Analysis of a hybrid values-based supply chain
Author: Kendra Klein, Ariane Michas
An emerging literature on values-based supply chains offers models for meeting both the scale-based requirements and values-based goals of farm-to-institutioninitiatives. These models seek to incorporate conventional supply chain norms of efficiency, standardization, and affordability while meeting the diverse social and environmental values motivating the local food movement. Values-based supply chain models to date have been derived largely from cases of farmer cooperatives and food hubs that have purposefully designed their operations to incorporate alternative agrifood movement values. A model that deserves more attention is hybrid values-based supply chains that incorporate both conventional and alternative resources, infrastructure, and markets. Of the few studies examining hybrid models, some point to benefits such as established supply chain relationships, expertise, and infrastructure that match the needs of institutional purchasers, while others argue that conventional intermediaries reproduce marginalizing structures of mainstream supply chains. This paper explores these tensions through analysis of the Farm Fresh Healthcare Project (FFHP), a farm-to-hospital initiative in the San Francisco Bay Area that engages a set of hospitals’ existing regional produce distributors to supply products from local small and midscale family farmers. By engaging conventional intermediaries, the project benefited from existing supply chain infrastructure shaped by norms of efficiency, standardization, and affordability. This paper analyzes the extent to which FFHP actors succeed in embedding in their supply chains a range of non-economic values, including transparency, communication of qualities of provenance and production, decision-making equity, environmental stewardship, and social equity in the form of supporting small and midscale family farmers.
Farm Fresh Rhode Island Website
Organization: Farm Fresh Rhode Island
Rhode Island food hub dedicated to growing a local food system that values the environment, health, and quality of life of the farmers and eaters of Rhode Island.
Farm to College in New England: Past, Present, and Post-Pandemic
Author: Tania Taranovski, Jessika Brenin
Organization: FINE, Tufts University
Farm to college conversation and recent research in this webinar, featuring Tania Taranovski, Director of Programs at Farm to Institution New England, and Jessika Brenin, graduate student in Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning, and Food & Nutrition Policy at Tufts University. "Farm to institution" represents an important lever for change in the effort to build resilient and sustainable regional food systems. Institutions, including colleges and universities, make important daily choices about food including: what food to buy, where to buy it from, if they should grow it, how much to pay for it, how much to charge for it, and how to serve it. These choices provide opportunities to promote sustainable growing practices, provide transparency in the food system, support regional economies, and increase food access & food justice. These connections have become ever more relevant due to Covid-19's food system disruptions. What roles can (or should) institutions play in support of the regional food movement at the intersections of sustainability, resiliency, student food access, and food justice?
Farm to Institution in New England Multi-Sector Overview 2018
This visual infographic snapshot summarizes key findings across various farm to institution groups, seeking to better understand local food buying practices. FINE and partners gathered data from producers, distributors, K-12 schools, Campuses, and hospitals across the six New England states.
Farm to Institution Metrics Platform
Author: Noah Enelow, Amanda Oborne, Stacey A. Sobell
This metrics platform defines parameters for Ecotrust’s FTI work, facilitates priority-setting and program development, and highlights opportunities to make bigger impact.
Farm to Institution New England: Building A Network
Author: Melissa Deas
Organization: Consensus Building Institute
This report was developed to tell the story
of Farm to Institution New England (FINE)
and to better understand how network
organizations can be an effective means for
change. The Consensus Building Institute (CBI)
prepared this report, drawing on interviews
with staff, FINE’s leadership team, funders,
and partner institutions that work closely
with FINE and internal documents shared by
FINE as well as internal documents shared by
FINE. This report will not only showcase the
important work that FINE is doing, but makes
an argument that building strong networks for
cross-organizational information sharing and
collaborative work has value.
Farm to Institution New England: Mobilizing the Power of a Region’s Institutions to Transform a Region’s Food System
Author: Nessa Richman, Peter Allison, Hannah Leighton
Chapter of book "Institutions as Conscious Food Consumers: Leveraging Purchasing Power to Drive Systems Change" by Academic Press / Elsevier Inc.
Farm to Institution Wholesaling Workshop
Organization: Kitchen Table Consultants
Interested in selling to schools, but having a hard time knowing if it’s right for your farm from a business perspective? This webinar explores the way the Farm to Institution Growers Workshop on December 6th, 2017 will provide practical, repeatable tools to analyze new sales channels and determine if wholesaling is the right fit for your business. We’ll have a look at the current and potential growth of this market, and how you could fit into it. And we’ll take a few moments during the webinar to touch on the most common barriers you could face when approaching and selling to schools, and a GAP certification reality check.
Farm to Institution: Creating Access to Healthy Local and Regional Foods
Author: Diane Harris, Megan Lott, Velma Lakins, Brian Bowden, Joel Kimmons
This paper summarizes presentations given at the Experimental Biology 2011 Conference in Washington, DC in the symposium entitled “Improving the Food Environment at Worksites and Schools through Sustainable and Healthy Food Procurement and Farm to Institution Strategies.” Summaries of presentations given on worksite farmers markets on federal property and on FTS programs and policies needed to support and develop them are provided.
Farm to School Legal Toolkit - A Legal Guide for New York Farmers
Author: Casandia Bellevue, Josh Vincent Berliner, Matthew David Schneider
Organization: Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University, Common Ground Farm
Entering into a new business arrangement with a school as a local farm can be a daunting task. What are the relevant laws around distributing to schools? What are the necessary steps to secure a contract to provide produce to a school? This guide seeks to help answer farmers' legal questions on farm to school and present options available to them when starting a new farm to school venture. Part I of this toolkit discusses insurance concerns for farmers in establishing a farm to school relationship. Part II covers food safety regulations.
Farm to School Resources for Virtual and Remote Learning A Toolkit for Teachers and Parents
Organization: New Hampshire Farm to School
This toolkit contains videos, activities and recipes suitable to use at home or with virtual and remote learning. Topics include gardening, composting, cooking and nutrition, sustainability, and more.
Farm to Senior Report
Organization: Farm Fresh Rhode Island
This report details the "Healthy Servings for Seniors" project of Farm Fresh Rhode Island, which aimed to increase access to fresh, nutritious foods and specialized nutrition education for low-income seniors.
Farmer's Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms
Organization: National Young Farmers Coalition
While markets, restaurants, and other food distribution channels close or reduce operations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, farms across the country have expressed interest in using software platforms that support direct sales to consumers in their communities. This publication highlights product options and sales models that farmers may find helpful.
Farmers Markets Respond to COVID-19 — Daily Updates and Announcements
Organization: Farmers Market Coalition
News and information for farmers market operators.
Farmers to Families Food Box Research Findings
Organization: Wallace Center at Winrock International
This report examines how a group of food hubs and local distributors were able to leverage the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program to support local and regional farms and food business and vulnerable communities through the COVID crisis. This report is the culmination of nearly a years worth of implementation advocacy, surveys and interviews with participating local contractors. The report examines impacts that these local contractors had on farms and their communities, and lists recommendations for how future iterations of this program can be designed to better support the local farms, hubs, and distributors who are well positioned to succeed in this program. Findings show that there is something quite promising and innovative in how USDA AMS leveraged federal commodity procurement dollars and systems to address the perennial tension between farmer & food business economic viability, healthy food access, and community food security, while investing significant funding in a very short amount of time into local and regional food systems.