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When you’re outside of a company looking in, it’s hard to tell if the sustainability claims it makes are genuine. A year ago, I accepted a position with Bon Appétit Management Company in operations because it was one of a small handful of companies that seemed to be making significant efforts within a constrained food system. I was interested in sustainable business throughout graduate school, and what I heard over and over (and over!) again was: get some experience in operations. If you understand how a factory works or a kitchen runs, you’ll be more valuable to any sustainability team.

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Students at Carleton College in Northfield, MN, are already well-versed about the importance of sourcing food locally, but it’s not often they get to actually visit one of the farms that supplies the café and see first-hand what it means to run a family farm.

Every year, as our holiday thank-you to our clients, the Bon Appétit Management Company makes a donation on their behalf to a food-related nonprofit. Last year, it was Wholesome Wave, which helps bring healthful, locally grown fruits and vegetables to low-income families. This year’s partner is the Farmer-Veteran Coalition, which assists recent military veterans in using their many relevant skills to become a new generation of young farmers. We chose the Farmer-Veteran Coalition because it is working to fill two very urgent needs. At the end of this month, all American troops will have been withdrawn from Iraq. They and other U.S. military veterans are returning home to an already tough job market, and as NPR recently reported, they often have a tougher time finding employment than civilians. And although you won’t see ads on Craigslist for farmers, America has […]

A month or two ago, the Shepherd’s Grain farmers were just finishing their harvest, climbing off their combines after a long season. This year in the Pacific Northwest, we may have had a disappointing late spring and mild summer for beach-goers, but it was just cool and rainy enough to pamper the wheat fields. And a high yielding season is not only great for the farmers, but also for all of us. Our relationship is not bran deep. Bon Appétit Management Company throughout the Pacific Northwest partners with Shepherd’s Grain to create our from-scratch pizza dough, bread, and pastries. Bon Appétit at Seattle University, for example, goes through 1,550 pounds of Shepherd’s Grain flour a week to feed lunch-going students, faculty, and staff!

With such student organizations as Farm Club, a brand-new cooking student organization headed by young Swedish chef Vayu Maini Rekdal, and Food Truth, considered the most active group on campus, it’s no wonder Carleton College students flocked to compete in the campus’s first annual Sustainable Iron Chef Competition, hosted by Bon Appétit Management Company in honor of the first national annual Food Day. Cooked up by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Day is a movement for “real food” across the country.

Redlands in California’s San Bernardino Valley has a rich agricultural heritage, having once been one of the area’s largest producers of citrus crops. The Redlands Conservancy seeks to preserve both the agricultural land and its heritage – goals Bon Appétit is proud to support.

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Redlands in California’s San Bernardino Valley has a rich agricultural heritage, having once been one of the area’s largest producers of citrus crops. The Redlands Conservancy seeks to preserve both the agricultural land and its heritage – goals Bon Appétit is proud to support.

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On October 17, 2011, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Research Helene York delivered the keynote at the State of the Plate conference in Washington, DC, an event designed to bring meat producers and the culinary community together to engage in discussion about sustainable and humane meat production practices.

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Second Harvest Food Bank runs a number of crucial programs that feed more than 240,000 people in Silicon Valley each month and as the recession continues, there is a higher need for funds. In the fall, Brocade in San Jose, CA, led a real team effort to raise money for Second Harvest.