Sodexo and Real Food Challenge Sign Food Chain Transparency Agreement | Civil Eats

Sodexo and Real Food Challenge Sign Food Chain Transparency Agreement

Amidst growing demands from college students for university leadership in sustainable, local food systems, last week Sodexo, a leader in Quality of Life Services, and the Real Food Challenge, the largest student food justice organization in the nation, jointly announced an agreement that advances supply chain transparency on Sodexo-contracted campuses.

The agreement puts in place a rigorous and comprehensive set of standards, defined by the Real Food Calculator, for judging the social responsibility and sustainability of Sodexo’s vendors and food producers. The assessment tool, developed by Real Food Challenge student researchers and associated food experts, lays out four key criteria areas for evaluating ‘real food’ – local & community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane.  By using the Real Food Calculator standards, Sodexo aligns itself with the most progressive metric for institutional food service.

The agreement further sets up a process for students to collaborate with Sodexo managers, collecting and analyzing purchasing data using the Real Food Calculator’s web-based application and tracking tool. The resulting statistics will be used to demonstrate actual purchases of ‘real food’ and new opportunities for increasing them.

With the Real Food Calculator, Sodexo will provide an unprecedented level of access and information for students and universities—allowing them to better advance their real food goals.  It also demonstrates Sodexo’s collaborative approach in addressing the interests of a growing student food movement and supporting academic inquiry into institutional food systems.

“Transparency and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Increasing transparency is something we want to model for this generation of interested consumers and for our industry. Working with the Real Food Challenge is great way to do just that,”  said Sodexo spokesperson, Stephen Cox.

After three years of pilot testing, the release of the Real Food Calculator represents an exciting innovation in the field of institutional food systems and sustainability. Food service professionals and interested consumers—be they in the higher education, healthcare or the corporate sector—now have the ability to perform detailed assessments of the food in their cafeterias and see their “real food” purchasing grow over time.

We’ll bring the news to you.

Get the weekly Civil Eats newsletter, delivered to your inbox.

Determined to positively impact local communities and protect the environment, Sodexo and Real Food Challenge are fully committed to promoting and advancing a more sustainable and transparent food system. One of the ways that Sodexo meets its sustainability is through purchasing commitments toward sustainable seafood, cage free eggs, and through broader partnerships with organizations like Real Food Challenge. For its part, Real Food Challenge is campaigning to see more college presidents sign its Real Food Campus Commitment – a pledge to meet ambitious real food purchasing targets. Ten university leaders, including Macalester College, Oberlin College and University of Vermont, have recently signed on.

“We are happy to work with Sodexo to increase transparency and accountability in our food system,” said Anim Steel, Executive Director of Real Food Challenge.  “Building a truly just and sustainable food system requires a real respect for the rights and needs of this younger generation and a real commitment to transparency all along the supply chain – from seed to plate.  Together, we can lead the food industry away from a model driven exclusively by profit, secrecy and the factory farm, and towards a one based on respect for human rights, the environment, and the health of our children for generations to come.”

Visit Sodexo on Facebook and follow on Twitter.
Visit Real Food Challenge on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Thank you for being a loyal reader.

We rely on you. Become a member today to read unlimited stories.

David Schwartz is Campaign Director at Real Food Challenge and lives in Providence, RI. He has spent 12 years working with young people around the country to create just and sustainable food systems. Find Real Food Challenge on Twitter: @realfoodnow, and Facebook. Read more >

Like the story?
Join the conversation.

More from

General

Featured

hickens gather around a feeder at a farm on August 9, 2014 in Osage, Iowa. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

What Happened to Antibiotic-Free Chicken?

With the biggest poultry company in the country backtracking and other commitments to raising healthier birds unmet, the future is rockier than it once seemed.

Popular

Nik Sharma Offers His Top Tips for Home Cooks to Fight Recipe Fatigue

Nik Sharma baking at left, and tossing a chickpea dish at right. (Photo credit: Nik Sharma)

Far From Home, the Curry Leaf Tree Thrives

Zee Lilani of Kula Nursery stands among her curry leaf tree starts in Oakland, California. (Photo credit: Melati Citrawireja)

A Guide to Climate-Conscious Grocery Shopping

Changing How We Farm Might Protect Wild Mammals—and Fight Climate Change

A red fox in a Connecticut farm field. (Photo credit: Robert Winkler, Getty Images)