Newly Released Framework Helps Producers and Distributors Access Institutional Market for Healthy, Fair, Sustainable Food
WASHINGTON, DC | September 26, 2023 — In response to escalating concerns regarding climate change, racial equity, and health disparities, public institutions across the nation are taking decisive action to align their food procurement practices with their core values. Hospitals, school districts, and universities are at the forefront of this transformative movement. Today, the Anchors in Action Alliance proudly announces the release of a new “Anchors in Action Framework” designed to empower producers and suppliers to navigate this growing market.
Without a clear set of definitions, criteria, and strategies, it can be difficult for institutions and their vendors to get on the same page about their shared values. Witnessing these challenges firsthand, the country’s three foremost organizations working to support values-based institutional food procurement came together to form the Anchors in Action Alliance. The Alliance has produced a new tool, the “Anchors in Action Framework,” to make the process of buying and selling values-aligned food products easier for stakeholders across the supply chain.
The Framework identifies opportunities and provides guidance to companies on how they can differentiate their products for the institutional market and increase their sales of values-based foods. It also helps institutions identify vendors and community partners for increasing the amount of values-aligned food they purchase.
“Schools, hospitals, and universities spend billions of dollars on food each year, but have limited transparency into where the dollars flow and who benefits. Anchors in Action is providing a best-in-class framework that will help standardize evidence-based good food purchasing strategies across these institutions,” said Noah Cohen-Cline, Director, Food Initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation. “Uniting work across these sectors strengthens collective market power, and The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to support the organizations empowering institutions to make food choices for a fair, healthy, and sustainable food economy.”
Key stakeholders and leaders in values-based institutional food procurement from across the country share their thoughts on the importance of having a shared Framework:
- “The best way to bring new farmers and food suppliers into the values-based marketplace is to provide clear, transparent, and predictable standards with shared definitions and criteria. This new Framework will be an asset to link new suppliers to the marketplace, schools, healthcare, colleges, and other institutions.”
—Bertrand Weber, director of Culinary and Nutrition Services at Minneapolis Public Schools
- “Buying values-aligned foods that reduce unnecessary additives and preservatives and promote a healthier community is a lot easier when you have the support of values-based purchasing experts and a strong set of guidelines.”
—Santana Diaz, director of Culinary Operations and Innovation and executive chef at UC Davis Health
- “Institutional buyers hold tremendous potential to catalyze consistent and reliable market opportunities for local and values-based suppliers. By providing clear and aligned definitions that take into account regional context, the new Anchors in Action framework will make it simpler for suppliers to engage and gain access to these meaningful market outlets.”
—Rachel Terry, national partnerships director, the Common Market
About the Anchors in Action Alliance
The Anchors in Action (AiA) alliance is a national partnership founded in 2015 by the Center for Good Food Purchasing, Health Care Without Harm, and Real Food Generation. Learn more about the AiA Alliance and Framework at: http://anchorsinaction.org/.
About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation that enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We make big bets to promote the well-being of humanity. Today, we are focused on advancing human opportunity and reversing the climate crisis by transforming systems in food, health, energy, and finance. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on X @RockefellerFdn.
Center for Good Food Purchasing
Health Care Without Harm
The Rockefeller Foundation
This press release first appeared in anchorsinaction.org on September 26th, 2023, and is reposted with permission.