Local purchasing is elemental to Bowdoin’s sustainable mission for two reasons—carbon and nickel.
Sourcing locally reduces the miles that food travels to get to the plate here in Brunswick and therefore reduces the emission of carbon dioxide by the burning of fossil fuels. Buying from local farms and businesses keeps our nickels in the local economy which provides jobs and strengthens connections within communities.
We’ve put our back into finding companies that can provide our needs within the state or the New England region. Farm Fresh Connections is a program of the Maine Sustainable Agricultural Society, created in 2002 to focus on building a local food system and diversify markets accessible to Maine farmers. Since 2003 they have been an enormous resource to connect Bowdoin’s food supply needs with local farm availability including ordering, delivery and billing.
Presently Bowdoin sources approximately 34% of our food purchases from local vendors, a number that is growing every year and we’re not alone. Other colleges, restaurants, hospitals and public institutions are also coming to the realization that the smart choice is to buy local. It’s opening up local economic opportunities and keeping money close to home.