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Food Solutions New England joins call to urge food service giants to accelerate change

The Food Solutions New England Process Team (our "steering" or advisory team) has voted to endorse the Campaign for Real Meals, recognizing the leverage to be gained in making specific targets more visible in the massive food service industry in North America.  Industrial food service represents a $51 billion sector in the US alone, with three firms - Sodexo, Aramark and Compass Group - dominating that field.

"The three biggest food service management companies - Aramark, Compass Group and Sodexo - run over half of the cafeterias in some sectors and purchase billions of dollars worth of food every year. Currently, the vast majority of that food comes from multinational corporations and large-scale manufacturers that harm our communities. These “Big Food” corporations pay workers and producers less than they need to support themselves and their families; they rely on practices that are damaging to our health and the environment, such as excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers; and they often market food that is highly processed and nutritionally deficient."

The Campaign for Real Meals is seen to align with the Food Solution New England network values of democratic empowerment, racial equity & dignity for all, sustainability and trust. While there are various ways to achieve a "sustainable food system," the network believes that a food system orphaned from these values does not truly achieve the outcomes needed for all the people and ecosystems of our region.

Specifically, the Campaign is calling for measurable commitments from the "big three" around incorporatng named percentages of "real food" in their programs, investing in racial equity and justice, reducing carbon emissions and industrial animal products, and calls to operate in much more transparent and accountable ways.

Read more about the Campaign details here.

Check out this coverage of our partner organization, NAMA, taking a central role in this campaign.

* "Real Food" here refers to the standards put forth in the Real Food Standards v. 2.1

Featured image of UMass Amherst Dining courtesy of the Henry P. Kendall Foundation.