GOOD FOOD PURCHASING PROGRAM 2017-11-06T21:09:51+00:00

THE PROGRAM

The Good Food Purchasing Program is designed to do for the food system what LEED certification did for energy efficiency in buildings.

The Program provides a metric based, flexible framework that encourages large institutions to direct their buying power toward five core values: local economies, environmental sustainability, valued workforce, animal welfare and nutrition. The Good Food Purchasing Program is the first procurement model to support these food system values in equal measure.

THE GOOD FOOD PURCHASING VALUES

LOCAL ECONOMIES

VISION

Support small and mid-sized agricultural and food processing operations within the local area or region.

STANDARDS DEFINITION

The Local Economies definition is based on a combination of farm size (by acreage) and farm distance from purchasing institution (based on driving distance). Farm sizes refer to USDA definitions.

NUTRITION

VISION

Promote health and well-being by offering generous portions of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and minimally processed foods, while reducing salt, added sugars, saturated fats, and red meat consumption, and eliminating artificial additives.

Improving equity, affordability, accessibility, and consumption of high quality culturally relevant Good Food in all communities is central to our focus on advancing Good Food purchasing practices.

STANDARDS DEFINITION

25 item checklist that includes both procurement-oriented targets (such as purchasing seasonally, purchasing whole rather than processed ingredients, and purchasing leaner meats) as well as food service environment targets (such as eliminating the use of deep frying, highlighting local food with signage, or replacing unhealthy items with healthy items near checkout points and registers). The checklist items were developed in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and are aligned with the standards in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and the GSA Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions.

VALUED WORKFORCE

VISION

Provide safe and healthy working conditions and fair compensation for all food chain workers and producers from production to consumption.

STANDARDS DEFINITION

The baseline for compliance in the Valued Workforce category is compliance with basic labor laws by institution, vendor(s) and all suppliers for the institution. Examples of certifications that receive credit at higher levels include:

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

VISION

Source from producers that employ sustainable production systems that reduce or eliminate synthetic pesticides and fertilizers; avoid the use of hormones, routine antibiotics and genetic engineering; conserve soil and water; protect and enhance wildlife habitats and biodiversity; and reduce on-farm energy and water consumption, food waste and greenhouse gas emissions; and increase menu options that have lower carbon and water footprints.

STANDARDS DEFINITION

Examples of certifications and claims in the Good Food Purchasing Standards include:

ANIMAL WELFARE

VISION

Provide healthy and humane care for farm animals.

STANDARDS DEFINITION

Examples of certifications and claims in the Good Food Purchasing Standards include:

WHY PROCUREMENT

Changing the food system means creating a system based on values. It means understanding relationships between distributors, vendors, and their suppliers and increasing transparency along the entire supply chain.
Every year, public institutions across the United States – from school districts to city governments – spend billions of dollars on food purchases. They have the opportunity to lead the movement for food system change and express their community’s values while influencing supply chains.

INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT

The Program provides a metric based, flexible framework that encourages large institutions to direct their buying power toward five core values. Through the Program, the Center works with institutions to establish supply chain transparency from farm to fork, evaluate how current purchasing practices align with the Good Food Purchasing Standards, assist with goal setting, measure progress, and celebrate institutional successes in shifting towards a values-based purchasing model. The Center issues a Good Food Provider verification seal to participating institutions that meet baseline requirements across the five value categories. The core components of adoption are:

STANDARDS

Meet at least the baseline standard in each of the five value categories, as outlined in the Good Food Purchasing Standards.

REPORTING

Incorporate the Good Food Purchasing Standards and reporting requirements into new RFPs and contracts.

VERIFICATION

Participate in the Center’s Program to verify compliance and celebrate success.

TRANSPARENCY

Establish supply chain transparency to the farm of origin that enables the commitment to be verified and tracked over time.

IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS

Once an institution adopts the Good Food Purchasing Policy, it works with the Center for Good Food Purchasing and local lead partner organization to implement the Good Food Purchasing Program. Implementation involves four key steps:
Assess Baseline
Set Goals
Track Progress
Celebrate Success
The Center provides resources for participating organizations at every step of the process from local coalition building to policy adoption and implementation. More details on materials available for local efforts are on our Resources page.
SEE OUR RESOURCES

THE GOOD FOOD PURCHASING STANDARDS

The Center for Good Food Purchasing provides annual independent analysis of an institution’s purchasing data and provides a verification seal with individualized, branded materials to institutions that meet baseline requirements across the five value categories.
Qualifying criteria, including third party certifications, referenced in the Good Food Purchasing Standards are carefully considered by a panel of issue area experts and reviewers. To be included, certifications are ranked according to rigor, auditing process, and alignment with the Program’s vision for change.
The Good Food Purchasing Standards undergo a regular review and update process that includes extensive stakeholder outreach and input.

GOOD FOOD PURCHASING STANDARDS 2.0 – SEPTEMBER 2017 UPDATE 

The first regular review of the Standards was completed in September 2017.

  • Contributors: these panelists contributed sustained guidance and direction during the development of the Good Food Purchasing Standards, Version 2.0.
  • Reviewers: these panelists provided invaluable input on a draft of the Good Food Purchasing Standards, Version 2.0.
  • Process: The Standards update process began in March 2016 and concluded in July 2017. The update was released in September 2017.
  • Summary of Updates: See Structure & Scoring Updates for changes to the scoring system. See Value Category Updates for changes within the categories of Local Economies, Environmental Sustainability, Valued Workforce, Animal Welfare, and Nutrition.

For more information or to receive a copy of the Good Food Purchasing Standards, please email Colleen McKinney (cmckinney@goodfoodpurchasing.org).

VERIFICATION & SCORING

Analysis is based off of the tiered, points-based system described in the Good Food Purchasing Standards. Key features of the scoring system include:

BASELINE STANDARD

Each of the five value categories has a baseline standard. To become a Good Food Provider, an institution must meet at least the baseline (equal to one point) in each of the five values.

CERTIFICATION-BASED

Standards are based off of third party certifications that have been identified as meaningful and ranked by national experts in each category.

FLEXIBLE, TIERED POINT SYSTEM

More points are awarded for achievement at higher levels in each category, allowing institutions to raise their score by emphasizing their high priority categories.

AGGREGATION OF POINTS AND STAR RATING

Points earned in each category are added together to determine overall number of points earned. A star rating is awarded.

RESOURCES & SUPPORT

Scoring relies on access to clean, complete purchasing records for an institution. Connect with the Center for Good Food Purchasing to learn more about reporting requirements.
Contact Us
The Center provides independent verification, and offers templates, processes, databases, and recognition and branding materials that participating institutions can tap into to support their policy commitment.
See Example Resources