Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.84
Liaison Kalyna Procyk
Submission Date June 6, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Muhlenberg College
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
2.32 / 6.00 Peter Stark
Operations Manager
Muhlenberg Dining
"---" 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):

In the Summer of 2013, Muhlenberg Dining embarked on a mission to further expand our procurement of local produce. Thanks to the tireless efforts of several individuals, led by Muhlenberg’s Executive Chefs, a new partnership was born with Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative. LFFC is a non-profit, organic farmers’ cooperative of 75 farmers in the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (approximately 70 miles from Muhlenberg). Each week LFFC delivers a fresh bounty of produce, most of which is picked the day prior to delivery. Since the beginning of that year, we spent $3060.95 with LCFF. This is probably only about 2% of our purchases. The items we receive from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative are apples, apple cider, flat bread, brownies, whoopee pies, an assortment of cookies, and granola bars. We receive the weekly local item ordering guides from several vendors. Our culinary team reviews the items and orders based on seasonal availability and upcoming menu, special events and catering. The culinary team then shares a local purchasing report with marketing to communicate with customers. The website URL where information about Muhlenberg’s Sustainable food and beverage purchasing efforts is available:https://dining.muhlenberg.edu/planet/local.html
After the partnership with LFFC was established, Muhlenberg Dining looked at other potential providers for local farm food. Again, through efforts from our Executive Chefs and Purchasing Department an additional partnership was formed with Common Market of Philadelphia. Their mission is to strengthen regional farms while making the local bounty accessible to communities and the institutions that serve them. We provide the infrastructure to connect public and private schools, hospitals, universities, grocery stores and workplaces to good food grown by our region’s sustainable farmers. Common Market provides farm-fresh produce from approximately 75 regional farms and delivers to about 150 different customers. Items we purchase from Common market include Apples, Eggs, Tahini, Kale, Squashes, Melons, Mushrooms, Tofu, Collards and Sweet Potatoes. Since the beginning of September 2017 we have purchased over $11,250, about 1.31% of total food purchases and 8.87% of Produce purchases from these two entities. This is an increase of over 2% since last year.
In the spring of 2015, Muhlenberg Dining looked at a variety of coffee programs to offer in the Wood Dining Commons. After taste tests and student input, the decision was made to convert from Green Mountain Coffee to Peet’s Coffee. Peet’s philosophy regarding the coffee industry is a simple one – Where the land is respected and the people who farm it live well, the coffee is –quite simply- better. It’s their belief that “long-term, direct relationships with our coffee partners, whose quality earns them premium prices that are substantially higher than market prices and always above the Fair Trade CertifiedTM brand price.” They also have a focused philanthropy where they “help educate coffee farmers on how to improve their coffee quality as well as support and donate to organizations dedicated to bettering the lives of people who live in coffee-growing regions. Peet’s also roasts 100% of their coffee in a LEED Gold certified roasting facility. In the spring of 2016, the Admissions Office converted their office coffee program to Peet’s. A contributing factor in the decision was Peet’s Fair Trade programs and giving back to the communities that produce their great coffee.

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):

All of our invoices from food purchases are coded by the type of product purchased. We categorize our food purchases into the following: Baked Goods, Produce, Grocery, Beverage, Milk & Ice Cream and Meat Eggs & Cheese. From these categories, we can then drill down to specific items to track expenditures. The inventory is constantly being updated. We have a student intern specifically dedicated to collecting data and doing research from our vendors. The most current information is from the first two months of this academic year where we can still obtain a larger percentage of local produce. We will recalculate in February to chart the differences.

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) Yes No
Convenience stores No Yes
Vending services No Yes
Concessions Yes Yes

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

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:

2016-2017 Total Food Purchases - $3,216,977

The information reported is accurate to the knowledge of:
Peter Stark, Operations Manager of Campus Dining, peterstark@muhlenberg.edu
John Pasquarello, General Manager of Campus Dining, johnpasquarello@muhlenberg.edu

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.