Increasing Local Food in the Broader Public Sector

On Tuesday, November 27th, the Greenbelt Fund hosted an interactive workshop to support Municipalities, School Boards and Post-secondary Institutions in their local food procurement goals and actions.

Dan MunshawThe workshop kicked off with a keynote address from Dan Munshaw, Manager of Supply Management for the City of Thunder Bay and Greenbelt Fund Local Food Champion recipient. Dan spoke to participants about his journey through food procurement in long-term care facilities, communicating the importance of measuring change, getting to know your food supply chain and establishing partnerships in order to build local food champions.

Other presenters at the workshop included Mark Kenny, CSCMP, Procurement Manager in Hospitality Services for the University of Guelph, Eli Browne, Director of Sustainability and Wellness at Compass Canada and a Lunch and Learn hosted by Kate Flynn, Manager of Campus Sustainability and Climate Change at Mohawk College.

During the workshop, participants identified their position on the continuum of local food procurement, and explored personal connections to levers of change in local food procurement. This activity helped participants inform their opinions on the most important levers to local food procurement in the Broader Public Sector and identify where to focus their action planning.

Group

In the afternoon, a panel of experts helped participants expand their knowledge and skills through mini-roundtable sessions. Marianne Katusin, Manager of Halton Healthcare’s Food Services department, shared her knowledge and expertise in the area of RFP language. Participants gained increased knowledge of how and where to insert local food language into their RFPs, and how clarity in these documents about local food procurement goals ensures that bidders’ proposals support the initiative.

Roundtable

Mark Kenny helped participants discover accessible ways of tweaking current menu items to include more local food ingredients, while providing insight about using a variety of communication channels, including social media, to promote local food choices to consumers.

Kate Flynn focused on consumer research at her roundtable, highlighting how surveying clients or residents about local food offerings results in valuable insight into which aspects of local food are most important to the audience, such as waste and food justice.

At Dan Munshaw’s roundtable focused on local food procurement policy, participants also reviewed the provincial legislation that impacts local food procurement in the BPS, and how to work within these parameters to construct local food procurement policies.

Panel

Finally, Steve Crawford, Gordon Food Services’ Business Development Specialist, facilitated a roundtable focused on baselines, velocity reports and local food vendors. Participants learned how to read velocity reports, and how these reports are used to develop a baseline for local food purchasing to grow from and measure against.

The workshop ended with hands-on action planning for all the procurement teams participating, using the skills acquired from the mini-roundtables and morning presentations. The Greenbelt Fund extends thanks to everyone for bringing their ideas, questions, interest and enthusiasm!