Lean, Low-Carbon, Local Proteins
With the gracious support of the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, UMass Dining’s newest sustainability endeavor will focus on developing an institutional model for procuring Lean, Low Carbon, Local proteins.
The initial focus of our efforts will be on supporting and developing mid-sized supply chains that are, in the words of Vermont Packinghouse, “big enough to have an impact, yet small enough to care.” Capable and knowledgeable staff will be hired to develop relationships with regional livestock and plant-based protein farmers.
This staff will also be responsible for tracking and analyzing UMass Dining’s progress towards supporting local and sustainable food systems. A Project Strategist will be hired to assist the UMass Dining planning team in setting objectives, metrics, and indicators for success and in meeting established goals throughout the course of the grant project.
By developing a model to secure lean, low-carbon, regional meat products at an affordable price, UMass Dining will make it easier for other large-scale food providers both locally and nationally to replicate its efforts.
However, we will also take our responsibility as a model for other institutions a step further by planning and facilitating regional protein forums that bring together a variety of stakeholders in New England, such as farmers, funders, students, community members, policy-makers, and foodservice administrators, with the goal of collaboratively planning ways to increase capacity in the region to grow and consume regional foods.