We would like to share with you three case studies the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) conducted earlier this year. These case studies were inspired by the Vermont Farm to Plate Report, “Opportunities and Barriers to Greater Local Food Procurement in Vermont Higher Education Food Service,” in which 12 of the 21 higher education food service operations in Vermont were interviewed about the strategies that enable them to utilize local foods. Based on the report, NOFA-VT and the Vermont Agency of Food, Agriculture, Food and Markets wanted to dig in further so NOFA-VT compiled these case studies to understand successful and diverse approaches to values-based and local/regional food purchasing. We intentionally chose to feature an independently-operated dining program and two programs operated by different food service management companies to represent the diverse management arrangements found on Vermont campuses.
The results are case studies that are partly stories – of how each campus progressed to their current local food purchasing and practices – and partly illustrations of best practices that are key to their success and could be implemented on other campuses. Mostly, these case studies are an opportunity for Vermont colleges and universities to learn from and inspire each other’s local food programs. Please pass them on!