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Measuring Up is a six-part blog series from Farm to Institution New England. It provides a snapshots of the farm to institution landscape in New England. There are 4,628 K-12 schools, 210 colleges and universities with dining services, and 256 hospitals in New England – in total, these institutions feed an estimated 3.8 million people per day. This series draws from two years of work by the FINE metrics team. It presents key indicators for farm to institution success. Each blog will delve into a few key indicators, and give you links for diving deeper. If you subscribe to the series, you'll be among the first to know when a new blog is published. We'll also alert you when we have occasional relevant news to report in the future.


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An Introduction to the New England Farm to Institution Metrics Blog Series

Welcome to Measuring Up! In the first installment we introduce FINE's metrics work and discuss the importance of data in understanding the farm to institution landscape.

Publication Date: September 18, 2017

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When, How, and Why to Define “Local”

There is no official definition of “local” in New England. In this installment, we discuss how key players across the supply chain define local and why understanding these different definitions is so important.

Publication Date: October 2, 2017

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Working Within the System: Institutional Budgets, Operational Characteristics & Local Food Procurement

The annual food and beverage budget for New England colleges ranges from $23,000 to $25 million. In this installment, we look at how these institutional budgets and other operational characteristics – like whether an institution operates its own dining services or is managed by a food service management company – affect local procurement.

Publication Date: October 23, 2017

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Accessing Local Product: What Products Do Institutions Buy Local & What are the Barriers to Increasing Local Procurement?

Institutions purchase a variety of product from local producers; some are easier to source than others. In this installment, we look at the products institutions say are the most readily available and those that are harder to come by.

Publication Date: October 30, 2017


Producer Perspectives: Who is Providing Institutional Product?

There are nearly 35,000 farms in New England. These producers are providing a variety of product to institutions in the region. In this installment we look more deeply at how producers view institutional markets and what operational characteristics lead to increased institutional sales.

Publication Date: November 14, 2017

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Data-Driven Recommendations for Achieving Farm to Institution Success

We wrap up the series by taking a deeper look at the cross-sectoral benefits of farm to institution markets. We will also discuss key recommendations for growing these markets, including recommendations for producers, distributors, institutions, non-profits, cooperative extension agents, funders, policy makers and government officials.

Publication Date: December 5, 2017