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.


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.


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.


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!


Here is a list of other resources discussed and provided at the workshop:

  1. City of Thunder Bay - 2015 Food Waste Audit Report and Results - Pioneer Ridge Home for the Aged
  2. Halton Healthcare - Foodservice Procurement Statement
  3. Greenbelt Fund Local Food Solution Paper   - The Price of Local Food
  4. Greenbelt Fund Local Food Solution Papers - Organizational Culture
  5. Greenbelt Fund Local Food Solution Papers - Rebates 101
  6. Greenbelt Fund Local Food Solution Papers - Food Hubs and Aggregators
  7. Greenbelt Fund - A Case Study on Food Forward Contracts in the City of Thunder Bay - Breaking Down Local Food Barriers (final version coming soon)
  8. Mohawk College / Greenbelt Fund Micro-credential Course on Local Food Procurement - Register here
  9. Mohawk College Research Report - Increasing Local Food Procurement at Ontario’s 24 Colleges
  10. Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance - Serving Up Local - Increasing Local Food Procurement in Municipally-Operated Facilities and Cafeterias
  11. Sustain Ontario - Local Sustainable Food Procurement For Municipalities and BPS
  12. Local Food Literacy Programming in Ontario - A Case Study of 8 Food and Farming Organizations

We have created a photo album of the day, which you can access here.