Local & Sustainable Procurement

Ingredients Matter for People, for the Planet, & for Regional Resilience

The mission of UMass Dining is to contribute to the campus life experience by providing a variety of flavorful meals featuring local, regional, and world cuisine in a sustainable and environmentally conscious manner that supports human and planetary health.

PROMOTING

LOCAL AND SEASONAL MENUS & PURCHASING

SUPPORTING

BIODIVERSITY & HABITAT PROTECTION

IMPROVING

ANIMAL WELFARE

UTILIZING

SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD

COMMITING TO

INGREDIENT TRANSPARENCY

Local for UMass

For UMass, local food means ingredients and products that are sourced from producers located in Massachusetts, the New England States, and within a 250-mile radius around the University.

Priority #1: within the state of Massachusetts (left)
Priority #2: within the New England region (center)
Priority #3: within a 250-mile radius of UMass (right)

Left: Priority #1 | Center: Priority #2 | Right: Priority #3

Learn more about our Local Partners here!

Click here to see our Farmer Spotlight campaign

Local at UMass Dining

The mission of UMass Dining is to contribute to the campus life experience by providing a variety of healthy and flavorful meals featuring local, regional, and world cuisine in a sustainable and environmentally conscious manner.

UMass Dining buys local because:​

The Environmental Issue​

The agricultural sector is the second highest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the U.S. We are already experiencing increased volatility in our weather patterns and extremes are becoming the new norm. Rather than arguing about climate change, we need to adapt and create a more localized and sustainable food system

Our Healthy, Sustainable, Delicious Dining Program significantly reduces our GHG emissions by sourcing more local foods and supporting small and sustainable farms and fisheries.

The Public Health Issue​

Some of our greatest health challenges today can be connected to our food system. Forecasts project a 33% increase in obesity prevalence and a 130% increase in severe obesity prevalance over the next 2 decades. If these forecasts prove accurate, this will likely result in alarming rates of diseases, increased costs to the health care system, and more.

To reverse these trends, we will:
Reduce consumption of red meat, processed and fatty foods, corn syrup, & sodium in our Residential Dining Commons and increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, healthy beverages and more

The Food Quality Issue

Industrial monoculture produces a tremendous amount of produce, but it is of suboptimal quality. One explanation for this is unhealthy soil. Previous efforts to meet rising demand for food through monoculture farming have given rise to depleted soil, creating food that is now nutritionally deficient and hence less prone to preventing disease in humans.
We strive to not only serve healthy and sustainable foods, but the best tasting. That means we support farms that understand the importance of good-soil practices. The healthier the soil, the healthier (and tastier) the foods will be!

Why Local?

Buying local matters! According to Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), buying local:

For more about why buying local matters visit Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

Click here for more information about understanding sustainability in the food system and climate action.