Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.17
Liaison Chris Frantsvog
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Luther College
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.74 / 6.00 Wayne Tudor
General Manager
Dining Services (Sodexo)
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of dining services food and beverage expenditures on products that are third party verified under one or more recognized food and beverage sustainability standards or Local & Community-Based:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (expenditures on conventional animal products)? (If data is not available, respond “No”):

Percentage of total dining services food and beverage expenditures on conventional animal products (meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, and dairy products that do NOT qualify in either the Third Party Verified or Local & Community-Based category):

A brief description of the sustainable food and beverage purchasing program, including how the sustainability impacts of products in specific categories are addressed (e.g. meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, dairy, produce, tea/coffee):

Luther has developed a rich tradition of supporting local farmers through food purchases. Given that the college is the largest institutional food buyer in the northeast Iowa region, we recognize the impact of our food dollars on the local economy.

Luther’s definition of local and community based food: Food raised or processed by co-ops and businesses within a 100 mile radius for large farms, coops and businesses or a 200 mile radius for small to mid-size farmer-owned and operated farms and businesses. Foods considered local must also be minimally processed, produced in an environmentally sound way under fair labor conditions, and be procured from transparent farms and businesses open to hosting students for educational purposes.

From 2015-2018 we have identified our food purchasing goals as the following:
1) Increase sustainable food purchasing in select food categories:
Dairy - 75% local (all dairy - milk, yogurt, soft-serve, ice cream, cheese)
Meat - 50% local (pork and beef)
Poultry - 20% local (turkey and chicken)
Produce - 25% local (non-canned SnoPac, Gardens, Grown Locally)
Coffee and Tea - 98% Fair Trade

2) Improve nutritional environment in campus eateries (e.g. making water the default beverage)

3) Reduce food waste in all campus venues

An inventory of the institution’s sustainable food and beverage purchases that includes for each product: the description/type; label, brand or producer; and the category in which it is being counted and/or a description of its sustainability attribute(s):
A brief description of the methodology used to conduct the inventory, including the timeframe and how representative samples accounted for seasonal variation (if applicable):

Local purchases are tracked on a weekly basis in a spreadsheet that tracks local spending against total food expenditures. This spreadsheet allows the purchaser to provide up-to-date reports to the Food, Purchasing and Waste Task Group and College Administration about local purchases. Information in this STARS report is based on purchases from June 2017-February 2019.

The total local spend we calculated based on that spreadsheet was 27.5% but that number dropped to 14.04% when we took into account the STARS requirements that food be both local and community based and not from CAFOs.

The attached spreadsheet includes four tabs. The first tab catalogs all local and community based and third party verified foods that are counted as part of our percentage being reported through STARS. The second tab captures items that we consider to have a local impact and include in our local percentage. The third and fourth tabs are where percentages are calculated by vendor as evidence of where our numbers come from.

Percentage of total dining services expenditures on Real Food A (0-100):

Percentage of total dining services expenditures on Real Food B (0-100):

Which of the following food service providers are present on campus and included in the total food and beverage expenditure figures?:
Present? Included?
Dining operations and catering services operated by the institution No No
Dining operations and catering services operated by a contractor Yes Yes
Student-run food/catering services No No
Franchises (e.g. national or global brands) No No
Convenience stores No No
Vending services Yes No
Concessions No No

A brief description of purchased food and beverage products that have other sustainability attributes not recognized above :

The second tab of the uploaded spreadsheet answers this question well but a brief summary is provided here.

Luther College purchases some dairy products from Kemps, a regional dairy processor and distributor that we know works with farms in the region. The processing facility is located within 100 miles of campus and milk is sourced from within a certain radius. We haven't gone through the effort of asking Kemps about sustainability practices employed by their farmers nor confirmed that all milk coming into the facility is within a certain radius so we are not including these purchases in our local and community based numbers. Furthermore, we have no way to verify that some of their milk isn't coming from CAFOs. Product from Kemps is counted as an expenditure on conventionally produced animal products.

Luther also has purchased cheese through Sysco from Schreiber in Wisconsin. The processing facility is within 200 miles but we have no information about the source and origins of the milk.

Pork and chicken are sourced through the Iowa Food Hub. In the case of pork, the hogs are raised in confinement buildings in Northeast Iowa, slaughtered at a small-scale local processing facility and delivered by the Iowa Food Hub to our dock. The scale and nature of production practices being used to raise these hogs does not qualify as local and community-based under STARS standards. Chicken is procured through the Iowa Food Hub after being processed at a large processor 20 miles from campus. Since the origin of the chicken and production practices are unknown, we are not counting this product in our numbers. Both pork and chicken from Iowa Food Hub are counted as expenditures on conventionally raised animal products.

Obrien's Granola and Bakalars Sausage Company are located within 200 miles of Luther College but none of the raw ingredients they use is locally sourced.

Additional percentage of dining services food and beverage expenditures on conventional products with other sustainability attributes not recognized above (0-100) :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.