UBC Undergraduate Research

Commodity chain analysis of the UBC cinnamon bun Cheung, Emily; Gamel, Jennifer; Idle, Suzanne; Leung, Janey; Richter, Alison; Tedyatmadjaya, Yuliana; Vivier, Holly 2002-04-03

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UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Report       Commodity Chain Analysis of the UBC Cinnamon Bun Emily Cheung, Jennifer Gamel, Suzanne Idle, Janey Leung, Alison Richter, Yuliana Tedyatmadjaya, Holly Vivier  University of British Columbia AGSC 450 April 3, 2002           Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.   1    Commod ity Chain Analys is of the UBC Cinn amon Bun Prep ared by Gro u p 7:  Emil y Cheu n g , Jen n i fer Gamel , Suzan n e Idl e,      Janey Leu n g , Ali s o n Rich t er, Yul i an a Ted yat mad jaya     Holl y Viv i er                 Abstract Th i s pap er is an ass es s men t of the su s t ai n ab i l i t y of the UBC cin n amo n bu n . A commo d i t y chai n anal ys i s was us ed to trac e th e pro d u ct i o n pro ces s of the majo r ing red i en t s in the bu n from th e po i n t of ori g i n to the po i n t of con s u mp t i o n . The commo d i t y chai n anal ys i s was th en us ed as an ind i cat o r of su s t ai n ab i l i t y to ass es s whet h er th e UBC cin n amo n bu n is ecol o g i cal l y, eco n o mi cal l y and so ci al l y su s t ai n ab l e. Reco mmen d at i o n s are sug g es t ed for the UBC camp u s su s t ai n ab i l i t y offi ce to imp ro v e the su s t ai n ab i l i t y of the UBC foo d sys t em and qu es t i o n s are pro v i d ed for fut u re inv es t i g at i o n .                            2  As students at UBC, we are often forced to consume wit hin the UBC Food System because we spend much of our day on campus and we often have to buy food. We have the freedom to choose what we consum e but nonetheless, many decisi ons are made for consum ers before purchasing. These decisi ons dictate what food is avail able and reveal the values of the participants in the system. For ex ampl e, stud ents at UBC value affordabil it y so much of the food avail able on campus is relatively inex pensive. Purc hasers at UBC Food Services value profit abil it y so food is purchased largely based on price and hence few organicall y grown products are used.  Through discussi ons and study, our working team has questi oned whether UBC Food Services, a major component of the UBC food system, values sust ainabili ty. We have evaluated the UBC cinnamon bun, a UBC Food Services product, to discover whether it is a sust ainable food. From our findi ngs we have concluded that the cinnamon bun is not sust ainable and UBC Food Services does not put high value on sustainabil it y.    To understand our evaluation of the sust ainabili ty of the UBC food system, we must first give our definiti on of sust ainabili ty and sust ainable food systems. We have based our definiti on of sust ainabili ty on Gleissman’s idea: “[a sustainable system is] a system in perpetuity because the ability of the system to renew itself or be renewed is not compromised” 1  and on the ideas of Kloppenburg et al.: “sustainability…is characterized by a philosophical relationship…that is non -ex ploi tative and regenerative” 2 .   Ecological sus tainabil it y is measured by the abil it y of an ecosystem to perpetuate and renew itself. Energy put into the ecosystem must balance energy put out in order for the healt h of the environment to b e sustained. Kloppenburg et al.’s characteristics of diversity of food choices and prox im it y/seasonalit y of eati ng are goals for a food system to become more ecologicall y sust ainable 2 .   3  Economi c sust ainabili ty is measured by profit abil it y and the abil it y of a system to maintain a dece nt standard of living for all participants 2 . An economi call y sust ainable food system must not contribut e to a radical pol ariz ati on of wealt h as a dramatic concentrati on of wealt h in few hands cannot sust ain a desirable standard of living for all .  Social sust ainabili ty is measured by the abil it y of a system to all ow the human race and societies to perpetuate. Many factors can affect this perpetui ty including human healt h, social harmony and social just ice. A socially sust ainable food system shoul d follow the characterist ics set out by Kloppenburg et al. of being participatory, just /ethical, healt hful and cult urall y nourishi ng 2 .    A whole food system is sust ainable if it fulfill s the criteria of ecological, economi c and social sust ainabili ty. Our working group envisi ons a full y sust ainable food system, as per the criteria above, as the goal for  the UBC food system.             Value Assumptions Through group discussi ons, our team found a shared comm unit y-based value system as opposed to an indivi dual freedom based system. We value the local communi ti es we live in and the larger global comm unit y of which we are a part. We beli eve a food system is an integral part of a healt hy comm unit y as food holds cult ural and social meaning and can bring people together. Feenstra describes our group beli ef well when she s ays, “not only does an adequate, varied diet contribute to individual health, but the way food is grown, distribut ed and eaten also profoundly affects the environmental, social, spiritual and economi c well - being of the community” 3 .  Within a food system w e place importance on the community’s food security and assured access to a safe, affordable and socially acceptable food suppl y 4 . We believe a community’s food system should  4  contribut e to the local economy by offering local food products, economi c returns int o the local economy and comfor t, safety, equit y and educati on for all comm unit y members.   We have also found a weak anthropocentric beli ef in our group. We value the natural, non -human world imm ensely but believe that measures to preserve basic, life -sust aini ng human rights, such as food, water, and shelt er should take precedence over measures to preserve the natural world 5 . We beli eve humans should not work towards domini on over nature or others but shoul d work towards balance and harmony in the human and natural world.   To achieve  harmony, we beli eve humans must reali z e that everythi ng in the world is int errelated and that components of a system are a part of the whole. The UBC cinnamon bun is an important component of the whole of UBC Food Services as it is a signature item and widely consum ed on campus. The UBC cinnamon bun is a “legendary” product 6 , and the ingredients and how it is made indi cate some of the values of the whole food system.   To investi gate the sust ainabili ty of the UBC cinnamon bun, our group conducted an int erview and tour of the UBC baking facil it ies wit h Mr. Don Sannachan, the head baker of the university bakeshop.  Mr. Sannachan provided information on how the cinna mon buns are prepared, the ingredients used and their origins, the recipe (see appendix A) and the nutrit ional analysis (see appendix B).   Using thi s information, we empl oyed commodity chain analysis as an indicator of sust ainabili ty. It is a technique that traces each component of a product from its poi nt of producti on through to its poi nt of consum pti on 7 .  Using the comm odit y chain analysis , we assessed the bun for ecological, economi c, and social sust ainabili ty and developed recomm endati ons to increase the bun’s sustainability. We also identified possi ble future research questi ons that could be addressed in the conti nuing investi gati on of the UBC food system’s sustainability. We look at the production process of all the major components of the UBC cinnam on bun: flour; eggs; but ter; cinnamon and sugar.  5              Flour8,9 Eggs10 W heat grown and harvested in Alberta   W heat transported by truck to grain elevator   W heat dried to increase storage life   Grain transported by truck to mill   Grain milled i nto flour   Flour packaged    Flour transported by truck to wholesaler   Flour transported by truck to UBC   Hens produce eggs in BC’s Fraser Valley   Eggs transported by refrigerated truck to grading station   Eggs washed to sanitize   Eggs passed under  a bright light to detect contamination    Eggs packaged    Eggs transported by truck to UBC   Butter11 Cinnamon12,13 Cows produce milk in Fraser Valley    Milk transported by refrigerated truck to processing plant    Milk pasteurized    Butter fat sepa rated    Cream pasteurized    Cream churned to make butter    Butter packaged    Butter transported by refrigerated truck to UBC   Cinnamon grown in Sri Lanka    Cinnamon transported by truck to processing plant    Outer bark removed    Inner stem ground    Ground cinnamon transported by sea or air to wholesaler in Canada    Ground cinnamon transported by truck to UBC   Sugar14 - 16  Sugar beets grown and harvested in Alberta   Sugar beets transported by truck to processing plant   Beets washed and sliced   Betts diff used (sugar drawn into hot water)   byproduct: pulp  (the residue after most of the sugar is removed)    6    Sugar liquid limed & filtered (purify by use of lime)     Water evaporated off    Liquid boiled & centrifuged to create sugar  byproduct: molasses    Sugar transported to wholesaler by truck    Sugar transported by truck to UBC    Sugar transported to UBC by truck    Assessment of sustainability The UBC cinnamon bun is a “Made in BC” product which means that greater than 50% of the ingredi ents originate in or are processed in BC. In the case of the cinnamon bun, 51% of the ingredients originate in BC. It is encouraging that the signature item of UBC Food Services is a “Made in BC” product as it encourages local food consum pti on. Unfortunate ly, the cinnamon bun is one of only two such products made by UBC Food Services and it barely meets the ingredient percentage requirement. The other ingredients largely originate in Alberta which is relatively prox im ate to the point of consum pti on and therefore desirable for sust ainabili ty. Despit e these posi ti ve aspects, much can be done to improve the sustainabil it y of the cinnamon bun as outli ned below.      Ecological sustainability The wheat, sugar beets and cinnamon used in the UBC cinnamon bun are grown in a conventi onal monocult ure where synthetic fertili z ers and pesti cides are grown ( sources? References?) . These products are not grown in an ecologicall y sust ainable manner, as conventi onal monocult ures require high input s to produce high yields, which cannot be sustained forever.    7  The butt er is produced by the dairy indus try, which currentl y uses land and water re sources under int ensive producti on systems. This int ensive use and the sensit ivi ty of the environment make operati ng in an environmentally sust ainable manner a significant chall enge for dairy producers 1 7 .    All products used in the bun are harvested and/o r transported using fossi l fuel burning machinery. Transporting a comm odit y a long way is not ecologicall y sust ainable as fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource and are a major source of carbon emi ssi ons into the atm osphere 1 8 .  Economic sustainability The cinnamon bun is a profit able product and its use of BC butt er and eggs contribut es to a decent standard of living for BC farmers. As the wheat and sugar beets are grown and processed in Alberta, the local BC labour force is not used and money is not add ed to the local economy. The cinnamon is produced in countries which still ex ploi t workers by not offering a fair wage 1 3  which is not economi call y sust ainable as it contribut es to the polariz ati on of wealt h.  Social sustainability  The cinnamon bun is a socially acceptable and desired food. It is culturall y nourishi ng for the North American cult ure as it is a tradit ional food but people from other cult ures may not obt ain metaphysical nourishm ent from the bun as they have not grown up with such food.  The cinnamon is produced in countries which ex ploi t labourers and may use chil d labour 1 3 . This contradicts social sus tainabil it y as ex ploi tation of humans cannot lead to social harmony.   The physical nourishm ent provided by the cinnamon bun does not contribut e to opt im um hum an healt h. The buns are high in refined sugar and fat and have litt le fibre or micronutrients. The bun may also replace other healt hier food choices such as fruit , cereal or yogurt for breakfast displacing these nutrient rich foo ds.             Recommendations to the UBC Sustainability Office to improve the sustainability of the UBC cinnamon bun and the UBC food system  8    C reate a clear food poli cy for UBC which ex pli cit ly values sust ainabili ty    P artner wit h many facult ies across campus to educate all students on the impacts of their food choices    P artner wit h UBC Food Services to promote and put into acti on the characterist ics of a sust ai nable food system:   P urchase more local products (ask suppl iers often where products are grown or made)    R esearch food purchases more full y to discover how foods are produced and to avoid ex ploi tative or sociall y/ecologicall y/economi call y damaging comm odi ti es    P roducts which cannot be produced locall y such as cinnamon should be imported from the closest producing country to reduce transport distance    Modify the “Made in BC” criteria to require more BC product content   Encourage production and promote “Made in BC” products through advertisements and pricing specials in retail food outl ets   Adopt a sust ainabili ty advocacy role not limi ted to the UBC campus comm unit y    W ork with dairy farmers and government to find ways to mini mi z e the intensive water and la nd usage in mil k producti on   W ork with communi ty partners to promot e local/ ecologicall y sensiti ve eati ng    P rovide nutrit ional information for consum ers to make nutrit ious food choices and thus sust ain their personal healt h                 Future Questions  Is UBC Food Services recepti ve and will ing to adopt sust ainabili ty recomm endati ons?  Does UBC Food Services have access to more sust ainable products?  What is the sust ainabili ty of the various packagings used in the cinnamon bun ingredients?   How much of an influence does the UBC comm unit y have on comm ercial producers? Could the UBC community change farmers’ agricultural practices?  What kind of knowledge do members of the UBC comm unit y have about current food producti on techniques?  How could geneti c en gineering of the products in the UBC cinnamon bun affect the bun’s sustainability?   9  Is egg producti on in the Fraser Vall ey humane?  Are livestock raised in an ecologicall y sensiti ve way in the Fraser Vall ey?   Is child labour used in the producti on of the cinnamon in the UBC cinnamon bun? If so are there other non-ex ploi tative sources of cinnamon?           Conclusion  This commodi ty food analysis of the UBC cinnamon bun has revealed that the bun is not a sust ainable product. This indi cates that sus tainabil it y is not a premi er value of UBC Food Services. In order for our campus food system to become sustainable, all components of the system includi ng UBC Food Services mus t make sust ainable food producti on a priorit y.   Appendix A - Recipes Cinnamon Bun Dough Yield: 155 lb Porti on 1 lb   P orti ons in Yield: 155  Quanti ty and Unit  Ingredient or Recipe        22 L    Mi lk 2%  10 lb    Sugar Granulated – Roger’s 8 lb    Margarine 20 Kg 4.5 lb    Bakers Yeast 8 lb    Eggs Whole Froz en 1.25 lb    Salt 40 kg    Flour – All Purpose (Baker’s)   Cinnamon Buns  Yield: 35 doz Porti on: 1 doz Porti ons in Yield: 35  Quanti ty and Unit  Ingredient or Recipe        165 lb    Cinnamon Bun Dough 25 lb    Cinnamon Bun Mix 2.27 kg   Margarine 6.82 kg   Sugar Granulated – Roger’s  10  6.82 kg   Sugar Golden Yell ow (Brown) 1.36 kg   Cinnamon  Method             1.  Roll out dough to rectangle shape ½” thick. 2.  Brush dough with melt ed margarine. 3.  Mi x white sugar, yell ow sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkl e on top of dough. 4.  R oll length wise like a jell y roll . 5.  C ut into 8 oz . rounds. 6.  Grease 16” x 10” x 2” pan with margarine. Sprinkle with yellow sugar. 7.  P lace buns horiz ontally in pan. 8.  Let rise in proofer until double in siz e. Approx . 1 hour. 9.  Bake at 350  F for 25-30 minutes.   Appendix B - Nutritional analysis of the UBC cinnamon bun  Per 1 dozen (12 buns)  Calories (kcal):    6301 % C alories from fat:    30.7% % Calories from Carbohydrate:  62.2% % Calories from Protein:     7.1%         Percent Dail y Values (based on 2000 kcal diet)  Total fat (g)    220 g  338% Saturated fat (g)     90 g  452% Monounsaturated f at (g)    87 g  392% Poly unsaturated fat (g)    27 g  122% Cholester ol (mg)              730 mg 243% Total ca rbohydrate (g)           1001 g  334% Dietar y fibre (g)     53 g  212% Prote in (g)    114 g  228% Sodium (mg)             4846 mg 202% Potassium  (mg)            3700 mg 106% Ca lcium (mg)    705 mg   71% Iron ( mg)      48 mg 265% Zinc ( mg)      15 mg   98% Vitamin C ( mg)       6 mg   10% Vitamin A (I U)            5682 IU  114% Vitamin B 6 (mg )   1.4 mg    68% Vitamin B 1 2  (mcg)   1.7 mcg   29% Thiami n (mg)     7.4 mg  496% Riboflavin    5.5 mg  326% Folacin (mcg)    1611 mcg 403% Niacin (mg)     56 mg  281%   11                 References  1.  Gleiss man SR. The need for sust ainable food producti on sys tems. In: Agroecology: Ecological processes in sustainable agricult ure. Ann Arbor: Sleeping Bear Press, 1998. p. 3 -16.  2.  Kloppenburg  J J , Lez berg S, De Master K, Stevenson GW, Hendrickson J . Tasti ng food, tasti ng sust ainabili ty: Defining the att ributes of an alt ernati ve food system with competent, ordinary people. Human Or ganisati on. 2000:59; 177 -86.  3.  Fe enstra GW. Local food systems and sustainable comm unit ies. American J ournal of Alt ernati ve Agricult ure. 1997:12(1);28 -36.  4.  Food S ecurit y Bureau websit e 2001. Avail able from: www.agr.gc.ca/m isb/ fsb/FS Beng.htm l; accessed 29 October 2001.  5.  Norton BG. Environmental ethics and weak anthropocentrism . In: Armst rong & Botz ler, Environmental Ethi cs. Divergence and Convergence. Pages 286 -289.  6.  Farrell Research Group LTD. UBC Food Services: A Survey of Food on Campus . UBC Food Services. 1996.  7.  Gereffi G and Korz eniewicz M, eds. Comm odit y chains and global capit ali sm. Westport, CT: Praeger.  8.  Britis h Col umbi a Minist ry of Agricult ure, Food and Fisheries websit e. Avail able from : www.agric.gov.ab.ca; accessed 31 March 2002.  9.  Alberta Agricult ure, Food and Rural Developm ent websit e. Wheat. Avail able from: www.gov.bc.ca/agf/navigati on/crops/ wheat/ index .htm l; accessed 31 March 2002.  10. Lampert LM. Modern dairy products. New York: Chemi cal Publi shing Company, 1975.  


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