TITLE: The Puzzle of Making the Local Food Movement Sustainable: The Challenge of the Supply Chain
Speakers UMaine Farm to Institution Team: Mark Haggerty, Linda Silka, Stephanie Welcomer, Melissa Ladenheim and Michaela Murray
Audio of Q&A Session can be found at: umaine.edu/mitchellcenter/spring-2018-sustainability-talks
Some of the most important questions facing the local food movement in Maine relate to sustainability: environmental, economic, and social. One solution has been to promote a farm-to-institution (F2I) movement whereby farmers sell their produce to local institutions such as universities and hospitals, and reduce environmental costs and enhance economic and social benefits through these local supply chains. What might appear simple and straightforward has turned out to be filled with challenges, including: timing, need, size, and coordination. Institutions often find it easier to purchase from nonlocal sources despite understanding the economic benefits of buying local. Here we will discuss F2I broadly and what our research indicates are the challenges as well as some of the solutions to participating in and promoting F2I initiatives.
Mark Haggerty, Associate Professor, Honors College. Research interests include food systems and sustainability. Linda Silka, Senior Fellow, Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, Executive Editor, Maine Policy Review. Research focused on community-university research and action partnerships. Stephanie Welcomer, Prof. of Management. Research focused on the intersection of sustainable businesses, communities and environments. Melissa Ladenheim, Associate Dean and Preceptor, Honors College. Research interests include social justice and food systems. Michaela Murray, Honors College student. Studying Ecology and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Sustainability, Environmental Policy, and Natural Resource Mgt.
For information on the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, go to umaine.edu/mitchellcenter.