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BANGOR The University of Maine System announced that Maine's public universities are committing to using local growers and producers for a minimum of 20 percent of their dining hall food expenditures by the year 2020. Based on current statewide food expenditures of $8.6 million annually, purchases with local producers are expected to exceed $1.5 million per year by 2020.

The University of Maine System's award-winning procurement team released a Request for Proposals on Aug. 31, 2015 to provide dining hall and other food services at six of the system's seven campuses. For the first time the University of Maine System's food service contract will include the requirement that at least 20 percent of food expenditures be sourced locally with a first year goal of 15 percent and an increase of 1 percent annually over the initial five years of the contract. Decisions to provide up to five annual renewals on the contract will be made, in part, on the vendor meeting the 20 percent local food commitment.

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