For those of you who missed it, the webinar recently hosted by Sodexo, Farm to Campus: The Successes and Challenges of Sourcing Local and Sustainable Food, was certainly a worthwhile listen for anyone interested in how to bridge the gap between local farmers and institutional buyers.
Kristi Theisen, Senior Manager of Sustainability & Wellness at Sodexo, gave a report on trends in student preferences and demands. Margaret Henry, Director of Performance at Sodexo, reported on what Sodexo is currently doing to buy local, and Evelyn Joe, Manager of Product Quality Assurance at Sodexo, described Sodexo’s process of buying through approved suppliers so as to reconcile buying local with Sodexo’s stringent food safety requirements. On the supplier side, Dave McNaughton of Business Development at Kegel’s Produce, talked about Kegel’s strategies for linking Sodexo with farmers, so as to foster their understanding of the local growing community. Particularly interesting was a talk by Mitchell Payne, Associate VP for Business Affairs at University of Louisville, who described several creative strategies used by the University, which is now able to buy about 24.5% of its food within a 250-mile radius.
If you would like to listen to the webinar, it is archived and available online here