Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)+Image
Dining Service Expenditures Allocated to Locally Sourced Food and Beverage (%)
How much (%) of the institution's dining services expenditures on food and beverage is local and community-based and/or third party verified?

About the data

This credit recognizes institutions that are supporting sustainable food systems through their food and beverage purchases. Institutions can do this by prioritizing the purchase of environmentally and socially preferable food and beverage items. These actions reduce the social and environmental impacts of food production and help foster robust local economies and food security; improved conditions for farm workers; healthier animals, soils and waterways; and secure livelihoods for farmers.

1) Third Party Verified
The product is ecologically sound, fair and/or humane as determined by one or more recognized food and beverage sustainability standards (see G. Standards and Terms).
For example: Certified Organic, Fair Trade, and Humane products (irrespective of geographic origin). Manufactured products that carry a recognized third party label (irrespective of the percentage of ingredients that are certified).

2) Both Local and Community-Based
The product does not meet the criteria outlined above, but is grown, raised or caught by a community-based producer within 250 miles (400 kilometres) of the institution. All production, processing and distribution occur within 250 miles.

This category provides a path for campus farms and gardens and small local producers to be recognized in the absence of third party certification. Products from intensive livestock operations (e.g., CAFO- permitted facilities), large producers ($5 million or more in annual sales), and geographically dispersed producers are excluded from this category. Distributors, bottlers and packers are not considered to be producers.

For example: Single ingredient products from on-campus gardens and farms and owner-operated farms and fisheries (and cooperatives of owner-operators) for which all facilities are within 250 miles. Multi-ingredient and multi-source products (e.g., baked goods, dairy products, jams, sauces) from local producers for which 50 percent or more of the ingredients (by weight, excluding water) are both local and community-based (or else third party verified). Local products sourced through a food value chain or food hub, farmers’ market, farm-to-institution program, or equivalent program that aims to support a sustainable local food system.

This metric is looking for how much (%) of the institution's dining services expenditures on food and beverage is local and community-based and/or third party verified:

For WikiRate researchers:

Institutions who report to the STARS program are listed on the STARS Participants & Reports website.

  • Use the institution Index, CTRL F, or Command F to search for the institution you want to research

  • By clicking on the hyperlinked name of the institution, you will be redirected to the page where all their STARS reports are listed. You can select either the most recent report, or one of the older reports to start tracking their performance over time.

    NB: While the values in the reports might apply to different points in time (performance year, baseline year, most recent, etc.), the submission date of the report should be listed as the “year” on WikiRate. This is to ensure that reports of the same submission year can be compared. Any time specific information for the individual values should be included in the comment to that specific metric value.   

  • To narrow down your search, navigate the reports’ index using the Reporting Category - Operations - and Credit Category - Dining Services - to finally select the Credit Title: Food and Beverage Purchasing.

  • You should now be on the report page that discloses how much (%) of the institution's dining services expenditures on food and beverage is local and community-based and/or third party verified. To locate the exact value you can search the page using CTRL F or Command F with keywords like local, community-based, and dining expenditures.

  • Always check the metric question and methodology for the unit of measure or currency - researchers may need to carry out calculations or conversions before entering the final metric value

  • Add comments to include details of simple or complex calculations or conversions made to determine the metric value and document any relevant contextual information, like:

    • an inventory list or sample of sustainable food and beverage purchases

Further guidance on how to research values is available here, including detailed guidance on adding, editing and checking metric values.

STARS compliance guidance for institutions:

Institutions should report the most recent data available from within the three years prior to the anticipated date of their STARS submission.

Sampling and Data Standards
Institutions may choose to track food and beverage purchases for a 12-month consecutive period or use a representative sample that includes data from at least two full months during a 12-month consecutive period (e.g., fiscal or academic year). When using samples, institutions must accommodate seasonal and other variations in sustainable food and beverage availability and purchasing. For example, an institution could select one month in the autumn when seasonal produce is still available (e.g., September or October) and one month in the winter or early spring that falls outside the normal growing season (e.g., February or March).

This credit is based on total food and beverage expenditures in the following categories:

  • Dairy - fluid milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream

  • Meat - beef, lamb, pork, game; including frozen or canned meat products

  • Poultry - chicken, turkey, other fowl

  • Eggs - shelled eggs, liquid egg product, powdered egg

  • Fish/Seafood - all fish or seafood products, including frozen or canned products

  • Produce - fresh, cut, or frozen fruits and vegetables

  • Grocery/Staple - grains; staples; vegetarian/vegan meat alternatives; most boxed, bottled, jarred, and canned products

  • Tea/Coffee - hot and cold coffee and tea products including bottled beverages, coffee beans, loose and bagged tea

  • Other Beverages (non-dairy) - soft drinks, sports drinks, milk alternatives

  • Baked Goods - baked products (pastries, breads, sweets)

Institutions may not exclude any of the product types or categories outlined above from the total food and beverage expenditures figure.