COLORADO SPRINGS–According to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) report based on information from Colorado College in 2017, only 17.4% of expenditures on third-party products are verified under recognized food & sustainability standards. 498 out of the 604, or 82.62% of products that Colorado College’s catering company, Bon Appetit, sources from third parties are neither local, fair trade, or humane. Although Bon Appetit’s website claims that their commitment to local food is about “preserving biodiversity, protecting open space, supporting family farmers, and keeping money invested in your community,” their purchasing habits reveal otherwise.
Most of these products come from the vendors Sysco, Coremark, New Age Bev, and Meadow Gold. In the two-month audit of Bon Appetit’s purchases that students used to compile this report, only $500 was spent on produce from the Colorado College farm, and over $26,000 was spent on produce from Food Services of America, the report said.
Colorado College Food Coalition member Elle Hagler said that Colorado College just renegotiated a ten-year contract with Bon Appetit right before the audit was released.
“Bon Appetit should be tapping into more local vendors, as there is a huge market in Colorado and nearby in the Midwest that we could be supporting,” Hagler said.
But CC students are demanding more local food – and greater transparency. Jane Hatfield, also a member of the CC Food Coalition, wants to help with the audit for 2018 because she wants “more students to be aware of where their food is actually coming from.”