|Submission Date||March 19, 2013|
OP-6: Food and Beverage Purchasing
Percentage of food expenditures that meet one or more of the criteria for this credit (0 - 100):
A brief description of the sustainable food and beverage purchasing program:
Dining Services began to actively seek inclusion of local and sustainable foods in 2008 when the department hired the first-ever sustainability coordinator. Since then, the initiative has grown considerably and successfully. Dining Services added an exclusively local, sustainable, and organic venue titled The Farms & Fields Project in 2009. Farms & Fields is located in one of our largest dining centers, Owens Food Court. It is titled “project” because our commitment to the improvement thereof is an ongoing process. Farms & Fields is a showcase for Dining Services’ gold standard for sustainability. http://farmsandfields.wordpress.com
Local food is not exclusive to Farms & Fields, however. Since 2008, the Sustainability Coordinator for Dining Services has actively pursued the inclusion of local and sustainable food wherever possible in all other dining units. Some of these items include eggs in select locations on campus being local/cage-free/Organic, the incorporation of Virginia Tech Meats in most dining units on a regular basis, and starting in January 2013, Virginia Tech Milk, raised on Virginia Tech’s campus and processed in Goochland, Virginia, is served in our all-you-care-to-eat facility, D2. The coffee at our on-campus coffee shop is procured through a fair, direct-trade relationship with a plantation in Nicaragua that grows its beans using ecological practices. One of our most popular dining centers, West End Market, features fresh fish every day that meets the standards of Monterey Bay Seafood Watch’s “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” in order to protect our waterways and fish populations. Additionally, several local special meals have been conducted over the past few years bringing in even more items from the region.
One of our greatest accomplishments began as a small herb plot in 2009 at our land grant research farm, Kentland. The Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm more than tripled in size since its humble beginnings. It provides thousands of pounds of sustainably-managed produce to several of our dining centers, namely Farms & Fields in Owens. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, mixed greens, asparagus, peppers, zucchini, and many more vegetables and herbs are grown, processed, and served within ten miles of campus.
Into the future, Dining Services will be improving and expanding existing programs, as well as more actively tracking sustainable purchases to track and measure progress. Two of Dining Services 5-year strategic tactics include local/sustainable food procurement and growth therein.
For more information about Dining Services' sustainability initiatives please see http://www.dining.vt.edu/sustainability
To view an article about Dining Services partnering with Virginia Tech Meat Science Center to bring local products to campus dining centers, please see: http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2011/06/062411-dsa-meats.html
D2 dining center in Dietrick Hall is now featuring “Virginia Tech Milk,” which is harvested from the herd of dairy cow at VT’s Dairy Center. For more information, please see: http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2013/01/012413-dsa-vtmilk.html
The Website URL where information about the institution's sustainable food and beverage purchasing efforts is available:
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