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A research design and methodology for assessing the sustainability of the UBC Food System : indicators… Allard, Ben; Gilliland, Alison; Hanacek, Blake; Kolb, Elliot; Miyazoe, Takeshi; Plaxton, Andrea 2003-04-02

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UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Report       A Research Design and Methodology for Assessing the Sustainability of the UBC Food System: Indicators of Sustainability of the UBC Food System Ben Allard, Alison Gilliland, Blake Hanacek, Elliot Kolb, Takeshi Miyazoe, Andrea Plaxton  University of British Columbia AGSC 450 April 2, 2003           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”.             A Research Desig n and Meth o d o lo g y for Ass ess in g the Sustain ab ility  of the UBC Foo d Syste m:  Ind icato rs of Sustain ab ility of the UBC Foo d Syste m    Prepared for AGSC 450 Ap ril 2, 2003   Authors: Ben All ard Alis on Gil li land Blak e Hanacek Ell iot Kol b Tak eshi Miyazo e And rea Plaxt on Carol yn Teas dal e                   ABSTRACT  Whil e the Universit y of Britis h Col umbi a and its Campus Sustainabil it y Office are at the fore front of sus tainable developm ent pro jects, the y have yet to assess the sust ainabili t y of the UBC Food S ystem.  In thi s pa per we map th e cur rent st ate of the UBC food s ystem and pr esent a conti nuum model of seven indi cators of fo od s ystem sust ainabili t y th at we thi nk adequatel y address th e social, environment al and economi c iss ues that arise in the developm ent of a more sust ainable food s ystem.  Th ese seven indi cato rs are th e af forda bil it y of food, the presen ce of an ef fecti ve consu mer advoc ac y group, consum er sati sf ac ti on, the percent a ge of UBC Food Servi ces and AMS Food and  Bev era ge empl o yees and mana gement that are UBC students, the percenta ge of food waste compo sted an d rec ycl ed , the pe rcent a ge of locall y-produ ced foo d enterin g the UBC food s ystem, and a cost -bene fit anal ysis of UBC Food Se rvices and AMS Food Bev era ge.  As these s eve n indi cators overlap and conflict wit h one anothe r , we stress that it is necessar y fo r all indi cators to be valu ed equall y (  in order to move fo rwa rd on the conti nuum from a stage of low sust ainabili t y to a stage of high sust ainabili t y.  We propose a methodolo g y that requires clos e co mm unicati on between fo o d providers, local supp li ers , and consum ers on camp us.  The implementation of the food s ystem sust ainabili t y indi cators ne eds to be carried out on a conti nuous basis over the nex t five yea rs. It is there fore ess enti al that one lo ng -standin g food s yst em sus tainabil it y comm it tee be establi shed to work on thi s project.                              INTRODUCTION         The Universit y of Bri ti sh Colum bia is at the forefront of sust ain abil it y poli c y planning and is the first uni versit y in Canad a to i mpl ement a sust ainable de velopm ent poli c y. In 1998, UBC est abli shed a campus sust ai nabil it y offic e to impl ement programs using indi cators to assess and improve the ecologi cal, economi c al and soci al sust ainabili t y of UBC.  One indi cator of sust ainabi li t y th at the sust ainabili t y office has put forth is percent a ge re ducti on in core en er g y an d water use on campus .  The go al of thi s Ecotrek ini ti ati ve is to reduce cor e ene r g y use on campus b y thi rt y perc ent and wate r use in core facil it ies b y 45 % through up grad es to the university’s mechanical and electric al infrastru cture.  Electrek, a lighti n g up gra de pro gram, involves ano ther indi cator based on the percentage reduction in UBC’s annual electricity use.  It expects to reduce electricit y use b y 7% ann uall y.  Was teFre e focus e s on a third indicator, per cent dec reas e in the use of disposable cups on campus .  Happ y Hour, in which cof fe e is free, and custom er reb ates for usin g pe rsonal mu gs at food outl ets on campus are tw o ini ti ati ves that promot e the use of personal mu gs and reduce waste from dispos able cu ps.   The SEED ini ti a ti ve has been creat ed to brin g together students, facult y and staf f specific all y to address sus tainabil it y needs on campus .  This p rogram wil l gener ate mor e indi cators in the future out of issue s th at arise, such as finding alt ernati ves to pesti cide us e, developi n g a campus shut tl e s yst em and investi gati n g wastew ater tre atm ent altern ati ves. 1  Although the sustainabil it y offic e has implemented man y po li cies to increase campus sust ainabili t y, it has yet to add ress the s ustainabil it y of the UBC food s ystem.      PROBLEM DEFINITION  Our group set out to asse ss the current UBC Food S ystem, with a final goal to recomm end a rese ar ch de sign and methodolo g y th at could be used to ensur e thi s food s ystem is oper ati ng in the most sust ainable way.  We first had to define wh at was meant to be a sust ainable and an unsust ainable s ystem.   Our group had dif ficult y agreein g on a definiti on of a sust ainable food s yst em.  Two of our group memb ers thought that economi c prosperit y was the most important thi ng to establish in a sust ainable food s ystem, since we live in a consum er -driven capit ali st societ y and pro fitable busi nesses re flect societi es wants needs an d concerns ).  The y beli eved that thi s encompasses social equ ali t y since consum ers hav e equal ri ghts to “vote with their dollars” and support the products and services that they wish to. Other group memb ers disa gr ee d with the importance of economi c prospe rit y bec ause environmental resou rces are oft en ne gle cted in tra dit ional accounti ng meth ods and consum ers ma y not see t he long-t erm impact of th eir choices sinc e the y are so far removed from the land .  These group membe rs ar gued th at consumers are unable to make informed decisi ons about the foods the y bu y bec a use the y l ack the knowl e dge and their decisi ons are often drive n by short -t erm needs ins tead of consi de rati on for long -te rm sust ainabili t y.  We also discussed the iss ue of our food suppl y and whethe r or not a sust ainable s ystem n eede d to be as local as possi bl e.  We found man y re aso ns to support a local food s ystem, such as promoti ng a sense of comm unit y and supporti ng the loc al econom y, but we also fo und reasons   would be impracti cal, for reasons s uch as redu ced variet y du e to seasonal av ail abil it y of crops.  A gener al consensus wit hin our group refl ected th e importance to meet and maintain a balanc e betwe en ecolo gic al, social, and economi c iss ues.  To res olve these iss ues we decid ed to cho ose a group of indi c ators that refle cted all of these concerns, and give them each equal imp ortance.  We decided th at economi c prosp erit y was important, but onl y if environment al impact was taken int o ac count as well , so we chos e to have an indi cator of economi c success 1) a cost -b enefit an al ysis of UBC Food Se rv ices, and AMS Food Bever a ge, as well as an indicator of envi ron mental impact 2) the per c enta ge of food waste compos ted and rec yc l ed.  Our thi rd indicato r 3) the percenta ge of loc all y-p roduced food enterin g the UBC fo od s ystem, reflects our beli ef in the sust ainabili t y benefits of local food, while our 4 t h  indi cator 4) consum e r sati sfacti on, ensur es that we do not negl ect the asp ect of the consum er -driv en econom y in which we live.  We decided that 5) the afford abil it y of food was another important in dicator since we beli ev e that consum ers have the ri ght to access food and shoul d be able to participate in the food s ys tem as empowered consum ers, not driven by financial desperati on.  Bec ause we beli eve that informed choic es enable consum ers to make de cis ions in their long -term in terests , we also chose an indi c ator that would measure th e ex tent of their opportuni t y t o enga ge with the food s yst em and le a r n about it 6) the perc enta ge of UBC Food S yst em emplo ye es that are UBC students.  Our l ast indicator 7) the prese nce of an ef fecti ve consu mer advo c ac y group, refl e cts our beli e f that sust ainable s ystems need to be demo crati c all y cont rolled and repr esentative of thei r comm unit ies  .   To adequatel y  me asure t he curr ent sus tainabil it y of the food s ystem, we set the indi cators on a conti nuu m, rangin g from complet el y unsust ainabl e to sustainable (See Appendix B).   In conclusi on, the aspe ct s of a sust ainable food s ystem which our group consi dered the most desir able and si gnificant inclu de a focus on lo cal f ood producti on, environmental waste red ucti on, economi c prospe r it y, ensurin g the afford ab il it y of food, educati on and empower ment of consum ers, and consum er sati sfa cti on.   VALUE ASSUMPTIONS       As a group, we felt that sust ainabili t y was not solel y fo r the purpos e of an 'envi ronmental '  moveme nt, but also one that incor porates a particular lev el of comm unit y invol vement. From our underl yin g weakl y anth ro pocentric view of the s ys tem, we reco gniz e the con cept tha t hum ans are a centr al pa rt of the ecos ystem, but we also see th e need to learn to int e grate our economi c and so cial lives int o the environment in ways that maintain and enhan ce it, rather than de grad e or destro y it.  Ulti matel y, food s ystems are driven by human choic es and thus an y att empt to assess their sust ainabili t y must acknowled ge the soc ial aspects of human beh avior that drive them.  In ord er for sust ainable environment and economi c ini ti ati ves to be successful, the y mu st have the support and input from the comm unit y that the foo d s ystem it is serving. Very good  Within our group we all have diff erent pe rsonal v alues and given the choic e would put more wei ght on certain indicators th an others.  We decided that t he best compromi se would be to include a ran ge of equall y valu ed compl ementa r y and conflicti ng indi c ators     MAPPING THE UBC FOOD SYSTEM   To bett er underst and the current state of the UBC Food S ystem, a map indicati ng boundaries, components, int errelations hips, go als and the main linka ges wi th the global, nati onal food and re gional food s yst em was creat ed (see Appendix A).  We have defined the UBC comm unit y bou ndar y as ex tending to the Universit y Gates, incorp orati ng all food producti on, retail ou tl ets, and dispos al on campus .    REVIEW OF LITERATURE ON SUSTAINABILITY        Recent lit eratur e on food s ystem sust ainabili t y has used quali tative and   quanti tative indicators to carr y out an assess ment.  Kloppenbur g et al. (2000 ), present   such indi cators as de gree of comm unit y pa rticipati on, sust ained environme ntal healt h,   consum er knowled ge of the food s ystem, food gro wn as locall y as poss ibl e and   profit abil it y of loc al busi nesses and farmers .  In general, it is ver y dif ficult to assess   sust ainabili t y bec ause man y diff erent fac ets come i nto pla y. Qu ali tative issues such as   cult ure and reli gion are hard to measur e in order to assess their sust ainabili t y.  Lyl e   (1994) pres ents a guideline on how to measur e a comm unit y b y its values and cult ural   hist or y.  Quanti tativel y t here is lit eratur e, such as by The rivel (1996) whic h has set   specific grid guidelines t o assess the populati on, state of the environm ent and abil it y of   that environment to funct ion wit h the human int erventi on.  In addit ion, Mit in et al.   (1996) pres ent dia grams showing environm ental, economi c and soci al well being, whi ch   ex hibi t a gener al stance i n overall sust ainabili t y.  In gen eral the avail able lit eratur e is   mainl y aim ed at gener al sust ainabili t y with ver y broad wa ys to ass ess food s ystems.     FOOD SYSTEM INDICATORS  Affordability of food at UBC        We have chosen to look at the accessi bil it y of foo d provided at UBC as on e of our indi cators of sust ainabili ty be cause we feel that in order to cr eate and suppo rt a sust ainable food s ystem people must have access to food that is affordabl e.  Accessi n g afford able food is ess enti al for consum e rs in order to maint ain their he alt h and well - being.  Empow erin g peo ple to achieve a dec ent standard of livin g all ows t hem to make decisi ons that are not dri ven by sho rt -term ne ed and desperati on.  If people are se cure in their healt h and their foo d suppl y the y will be bett er able to ma k e decisi ons in the best int erests of their lon g-ter m needs, and thus a sust a inable food s ystem.   Impl ementin g sust ainabl e food pra cti ces in farming, transpo rtati on, proc essi ng, packa gin g and rec yc li ng will onl y be ef fe cti ve if consum ers can stil l afford to bu y these products.  If the re is a large in cre ase in pric e to accomm odate sustainable practi ces, consum ers wil l chose to bu y ch eap er foods that d o not support these ini ti ati ves  thus fail ing to support their lo cal food s ystem.  This indicator can be m ea sured by assessing consumers’ monthly financial resourc es for food and co mparing it to the mont hl y cost of eati n g from food outl ets on campus .  We have chos e n to define our consum e r s as being compos ed onl y of UBC students, as we know tha t the y are the majo rit y of the populati on that lives and eats on campus .  Ther e were 39, 421 students at UBC duri ng the 2002 -2003 ac ade mi c ye ar as compared to the 9 079 fu ll -ti me facult y and non -f acult y sta ff membe rs        We also beli eve student s to be the most vulnerab le to chan ges in the food s ystem because th e y have th e lowest incomes and gen era ll y do not hol d posi ti ons of power in the food s ystem sinc e the y ar e youn ger and ar e usuall y unabl e to take on full -ti me empl o yment.        The amount of income th at UBC students have to spend on food can be calculated by ex ami ning data from i nsti tut ions like the BC go vernment student loan pr ogr am, wh ich coll ects statist ical information about the cost of being a student in BC.  This can be suppl emented by in forma ti on from consumer satis facti on surve ys that woul d ask students to esti mate the amount of income the y have to spe nd on food ea ch mont h.  To es ti mate the cost of eati n g nutrit ious food on campus , a sim il ar approa ch can be take n to that of Dietitians of Canada who priced the cost of a “Nutritious Food Basket”, as defined by Health Canada.  The content of their food basket was designed to reflect “ avera ge food purchasing patterns, meet nutrition requirements and be palatable and economical”. ( ) 3    We recomm end that a food bas ket be determi ned based on these four requirements fo r UBC students.  Once the content of this basket is determined, it can be scaled by quantity to reflect the different “family” types at UBC.   Presence and effectiveness of a Consumer advocacy group        We will ex ami ne the extent to which students are empowered to make th eir voices heard and giv e input int o the des ign and oper ati on of their food s ystem b y the presen ce and eff ecti ven ess of a co nsum er advoc ac y group.   UBC students need to be directl y invol ved in the food s yst em so that their ideas abo ut sus tainabil it y can be voiced and their support gain ed for future endeavors to mak e the UBC food s ystem more su stainable.    UBC students ma y all ha ve ver y dive rse ideas abo ut what it means to have a sust ainable food s ystem, and the y will need to rea ch some kind of consens us in order to move forwa rd as a cohesi ve comm uni t y.  This was discovered at the Micha el Fields Agricultural Insti tut e 4 , who ex plored thi s issue wit h a group of 125 peopl e fr om the alt ernati ve farm/food co mm unit y in the upp er Mi dwest of the Unit ed State s. (   For some people the ethi c al issues of food produ cti on ma y be important, whil e others ma y value the av ail abil it y of healt h y, locall y prod uced food.  Still , other consum ers may thi nk that a spiritual an d sacred bond with the la nd is most important to them.   It is ver y important in a demo crat ic society to allow people’s voices to be heard and to encou r age them to be empow er ed in their comm unit ies.  Having an advoca c y group will all ow UBC students to speak directl y with people who are controll ing their food s ys tem and giv e them the op portunit y to voi ce their own opinions.  A consum er advo ca c y gr oup shoul d represent the opini ons of the students and shoul d therefor e be comp rised of student rep resent ati ves from various facul ti es, programs, and ye ars.  Th e members of thi s group shoul d be able to sit on comm it tees with local food provider s such as the AMS and UBC Food Servi ces as wel l as the ex ecuti ve comm it tee fro m the sust ainabili t y offic e and the UBC senate.  This woul d creat e chann els of comm unicati on between food s ervice providers and th e student s, all owing fo r a bett e r ex change of ide as.  The ex ist ence of this kind of grou p and the comm unicati on channels it creates would b e the fir st step towards a sust aina ble system.  The eff ecti ven ess of this group, as dete rmined by posi ti ve feedba ck from it s m embers, and the att ainm ent of an y defined goals woul d indi cate a further st ep toward s sust ainabili t y.  Percentage of food system employees that are UBC students       Aside from UBC students parti cipating in the foo d s ystem as consum ers, it is also important that the y be in volved in a wa y that edu cates them about the foo d s ystem and all ows them to make info rmed decisi ons. Man y m odern comm unit ies find that the y are too disconnected from th eir own food s ystems and the y the refo re fo cus only on their immediate short -term ne eds, without thinki ng abo ut the long-te rm consequ ences of th eir acti ons. 5   By participati ng in the food s ystem the comm unit y gains the knowledge of food practi ces, a t ype of educa ti on that will enable them to participate as info rme d comm unit y members wit hin their ow n food s ystems. 4   A cons equenc e of this, consume rs understand the impl icati ons of their participati on in the food s ystem at a lo cal, nationa l, and global level and on a short -t erm and long -term basis. 6  This wil l help them to make inf ormed decisi ons with respect to their local food s ystem.  Consumer satisfaction        In order to ass ess the sust ainabili t y of the UBC foo d s ystem it is important to gath er feedba ck from the people who int era ct wit h it. Consumers ex pect a certain level of quali t y, accessi bil it y, and value in the products tha t the y bu y.  It is importan t that consum ers hav e ac cess t o foods of high qu ali t y and good va riet y so that the y can choose foods that maint ain their healt h and make choices that are app ropriate for th eir prefe renc es.  Consum er sati sfacti on withi n the foo d s ystem can be me asure d through a consum er sati sfa cti on surve y.  By surve yin g students ab out their perc epti on of af fordabil it y of food on campus thi s will also serve to confirm or refut e the inform ati on we receive rega rding the amount of income that students have to spend on food. Thi s is important because th ere ma y be discrepan c y betwe en the esti mated amount of mone y th at students have to s pend on food and the actu al amount that the y have.  It could als o reveal how comm unit y members make their de cisi ons about food and how much of a facto r cost is and whet her the y feel able to thi nk about the long-te rm consequ ences o f their choices.  Percentage of food waste composted and recycled       In assessin g the env iron mental sus tainabil it y of the UBC food s ystem, the percent a ge of food waste that is diverted from the landfil l through compos ti ng and rec ycli n g is a ri ch and tel li ng indi cator.  Curr entl y, 35% of all waste on cam pus is food waste, made up of organi c foo d scr aps and food packa gin g.  In 2001/2002, thi s amounted to 1731 tonnes of food waste gene rated on campu s, of which less than 4% was rec ycled or compos ted. 7   In ou r view, the re is a cl e ar need for inc reas ed co mpos ti ng and rec ycli n g practi ces withi n the UBC food s ystem in order fo r it to be sust ainable.  The cu rrent ca mpus rec ycli n g s ystem is close to capacit y and a lar ge sc ale compos ti ng s ystem h as yet to be inst all ed.  Most food pac kagin g cannot be rec ycl e d withi n the current blue bin s ystem, and compos ti ng facil it ies are not widel y av ail able or marked fo r student use . 7  The majorit y of our food wast es conti nue to go di rectl y to the landfil l, thereb y burning fossi l fuels in transport and inc urring dumpi n g costs .  Of even gr eate r conc ern is that by dumpi ng wastes off campus rather than c ycli n g them withi n, the UBC food s ystem operates as less of a closed system than it has the potential to be (see Map of UBC Food S ystem in Appendix A).  The per centa ge of food waste compos ted and rec yc l ed on campus as oppo sed to being dispo sed at the lan dfil l is a relativel y eas y and inex pensive indi cator to measure.  UBC Waste Mana gemen t currentl y ke eps track of the UBC Soli d Waste Stream on an annual basis and esti mate s the perc enta ge of total wastes diverted from the landfil l.  Food wastes ar e not cur rentl y given a dist inct cate gor y withi n the UBC Soli d Waste Stream, but could be measur ed se paratel y in the futur e b y sim il ar methods .    Percentage of locally-produced food entering the UBC food system       A move towards a mo re l ocali z ed or prox im ate food s ystem, whe re food is gro wn, harvested, ma rketed and sold as close to UBC as possi ble, is important as it enhanc es social, economi c and env ironmental sust ainabili t y. Sociall y, it promotes a sense of comm unit y, brin ging peo ple closer to the land and the farmin g practi ces us ed to produce their food.  By suppo rting the concept of a foodsh ed, an alt ern ati ve, more l ocali z ed flow of food, the UBC Food S ys tem can be restructur e d to b e based on close r re lations hips between prod uce rs and consum ers 6 .  As UBC students, facult y and sta ff develop closer relations hips to farmers, the y have mor e of a sa y in the wa y their food is pr oduced, all owing their demands for more environment all y frien dl y fa rming pr acti c e s to be heard.  Economi call y, a prox im ate food s yst em supports local farmers and th e loca l econom y.  It favours a mor al econom y, as market relations are driven by mo re than just profit . 8   Finall y, rel yin g on prox im ate food sourc es redu c e s the amount of fossi l fue ls burned in transport of food from fa rm to consum er.  The two main food provi ders on campus , UBC Fo od Services, and AMS Food and Bev er a ge, cu rrentl y purchase l ess than 5% of their food directl y from local farmers. 9   Two small re sidences, St. John’s College and Green College, have recently been associated wit h UBC Fa r m to purchase their s easo nal produce from the UBC Farm. 1 0   Howeve r, the UBC Food S ystem as a whol e remai ns largel y non -locali z ed and reli ant on wholesalers to secure foo d from local, region al an d global sour ces.  Consu mers at UBC are una war e of wh ere th e ir food comes from and feel no conne cti on or resp onsi bil it y to support the farme rs or far mi ng practi ces used to pr oduce their food.   In the foodshed anal ysis , precise b oundaries of what is “local” or “proximate” are rarel y mad e 8  and thus in evaluatin g the UBC food s ystem, we will not init iall y put strict limitations on “local” until we have an idea of what is feasible in pursuing “food grown, harvested, ma rketed, and sol d as close as possible to UBC”.  Rather than a bioregional approach, priorit y will be put on supporti ng our BC and Canadian economy, while at the same tim e reducin g tr ans port dist ances for food.  Whil e measuring the per centa ge of locall y-produ c ed food ente ring th e food s ystem at UBC is a chall engin g task, it has been made easie r b y the work of Johnson and Stevenson (1998) 1 1  who studi ed the feasibi li t y of su stained marketi n g rel ati onshi ps between unive rsiti es and local produce rs at 14 uni versiti es and coll e ge s in t he US. The recomm endati ons pr esen ted in their report and th e documented succ esses of the universit ies and coll e ges invol ved in converting to more locali z ed food s ystems 1 2  are a valuable resou rce th at can be reli ed upon in impl e menting thi s indi cator.   Cost-benefit analysis of UBC Food Services and AMS Food and Beverage       Carr yin g out a cost -b enef it anal ysis of the cash flo w, profit abil it y, and s eve ral other rati os will ill ustrate the consi stenc y and the potential for UBC to continue its food s ystem at a break -ev en le vel. The rati onal for doin g a cost -ben efit anal ysis of each of the indi vidual firms as well a s the UBC Food S ystem as a whole is that the an a l ysis will make it obvious whether or not to conti nue the op erati on of an y particula r food outl et in an economi c s ense.  If th e firm is los ing mone y by conti nuin g to oper ate, it may be a bett er decisi on to stop and use more funds towa rd s a more profit abl e sector .  Howeve r, if the store is ex periencin g posi ti ve cash flows and if the store has hi gh co ntri buti on mar gins, it is obvi ousl y bett er to conti nue its oper a ti on.    Gener all y what is invo lved in a sim ple cost bene fit anal ysis is a set o f data from each s ector of th e UBC Food S ystem which shows all of the sourc es of rev e nue, costs , debts, ex penses, and fun ding so that the cu rrent condit ion of the busi nesses can be se en.  With these values, doll ar values such as the contri buti on margin, the curr en t rati o, the cash flow, the break -eve n anal ysis , and the gen er al profit abil it y of each se ctor can be seen.  The creati on of a balance sh eet and in come statement will tell us how much more income we are makin g th an the costs to oper ate, th e abil it y to pa y curr ent liabili ti es over current assets, the gen era l flow of cash into the bu siness, and whether or no t t he busi ness can br eak ev en in terms of costs and ben efits. 1 3   In order to me asure th ese values for the stat ements needed for cost -b enefit anal ysis it is necessar y to approa ch the indivi dual firms and requ est inform ati on regardin g the effi cienc y of the oper a ti on of the fir m.  This ma y be dif ficult as much of the information ma y be kept confidenti al and secr et to outs ide personnel.  How ever, in ord er to carr y out effe cti ve an a l ysis of the economi c sus tainabil it y of the food s ys tems, this information is a must.  Given thi s information, it is then sim ple to calculate and fi gure out the potenti al and the c u rr ent standings of th e UBC Food S ystem in economi c terms.    If the food s ystem as a whole is breakin g ev en in terms of costs and benefit s, in other words, if the s yste m is neither gaini ng mon e y no r losing mone y, it can be consi dered to be sustain a ble.  If the s ystem as a whole is losing mone y due to its operati on ex penses, it is unsus tainable.  Furth er more, if the s ystem is bre a king ev en but onl y due to funds from UBC and other sponsors su ch as banks, it cannot b e consi dered full y self -sust aini ng, but can be rega rded as sust ai nable in order to op erat e.  In oth er words, it wil l be midwa y on the conti nuum of sust ainabili t y.   DISCUSSION ON INDICATORS       Man y of the indicators go hand in hand, whil e oth ers conflict wit h each oth er.  For example, consumer satisfaction may reflect students’ food preferences and “average food purchasing patterns” which are needed to create the content of the food basket in assessing affo rdabil it y. These same iss ues will be at the fore front of consu mer advoc ac y group discussi on.  Othe r indi cators ma y work agai nst each other, su ch as th e eff ect that the perc enta ge of locall y produced food enterin g t he UBC food s ystem h as on the costs and benefits to the major food outl ets on campus as well as the af fordabil it y and sati sfacti on of consum e rs.   Bec ause of th e int ricat e relations hips betwe en indi cators, close comm unicati on bet ween all se ctors of the fo od s ystem will be essenti al  CONCEPTUAL DEFINITION OF FOOD SYSTEM SUSTAINABILITY        The conc eptual definiti on of the UBC Food S yste m Sustainabil it y (se e Ap pendix B) shows thr ee sta ges alo ng the conti nuum of food s ystem sust ainabili t y.  In order fo r the food s ystem to be consi dered sust aina ble, all indi cators must have move aw a y from sta ge one and be nearin g sta ge three.  The food s ystem is not sust ainable if onl y certain indi cators have rea ched s tage three while others re main at stage one.  In oth er words, all indi cators are of equ al import ance and must be add ressed.    The three sta ges on the conti nuum ma y appe ar to be vaguel y de fined for so me indi cators.  This is becau se we ex pect to develop more re ali sti c, quanti tative go als over the course of th e five ye a r project as the UBC foo d s ystem is studi ed in gre ater detail.  For ex ampl e, we chose not to measure af fordabil it y as perc enta ge of incom e spent on food with refe ren ce to th e povert y level b ecaus e t he majorit y of consum ers withi n the UBC food s ystem ar e stu dents who do live below the pove rt y line as de fine d by income.  A more re ali sti c conti nuum for affo rdabil it y could be based on a future su rv e y th at assesses student ex pendit ures on food comp ared to the cost of eati n g.  S im il arl y, the percent a ge goals list ed on the conceptu al dia gram for f ood waste diverted, local food and student empl o ye es in the food s ystem are based on resea rch findin gs from unrelated projects, and wil l be adju sted over the cou rse of th e 5 year UBC Food S yste m S ustainabil it y proj ect as the UBC Food S ystem is studi ed and understood in gr eate r detail.   METHODOLOGY      The foll owing sp ecifi c tasks will need to be carried out in the implementation of our suggested indi c ators for UBC food s ystem:    What  Of/with Whom  Why  When  Where  Surve y co n su mer satis fac tio n and mo nt hl y fina ncial reso ur ce s fo r fo o d co mp ar ed to the co st of eati n g on ca mp u s   Of UB C stud e nts, sur ve ys car r ied out by the Far r ell Resear ch Gro up and b y dietetics and ho me eco no mics stud e nts   T o assess co n su mer satis fac tio n and de ma nd s in ter ms of co st, q ualit y, a nd acce ssib ilit y of foo d s and to deter mine t he price of a realistic nutr itio us fo o d basket    Startin g i n Yea r 1, annual l y ther ea fter   On ca mp us    Dete r mi ne Cur r en t UB C demo gr ap hics thr o u gh ce ns us data or sur ve ys    Of UB C stud e nts   T o develo p a nutr it io us fo o d basket mo d el fo r differ e nt stud e nt de mo gr ap h ic gro up s based on the age, se x and numb er of fa mi l y me mb er s   Year s 1 - 2    Crea te a co nsu mer ad vo ca c y gro up    Of st ud en ts, bo th und er gr ad uate and grad uate, in co nj unctio n wi th UB CFS a nd AM SFB    To crea t e channel s of co mmu n icatio n bet wee n fo o d ser vice pro vid er s and the stud e nts, allo wi ng fo r a better excha n ge of idea s   Crea ted in Yea r 1   On ca mp us   Inter vie w   UB C far m, UB CFS and AM SFB , UB C fo o d who le saler s, distr ib uto r s, pro ce sso r s and sup p lier s    To de ter mi ne the total per ce ntage of UB C stud e nts e mp lo yed in the UB C foo d syste m   Star tin g i n Yea r 1, annual l y ther ea fter   On and off ca mp u s   Cons ult   UB CFS a nd AM SFB  Direc to r s   T o deter mi ne req uir e me nts o f  foo d s sup p lied in ter ms of quantit y, degr ee of pro ce ssi ng    Year 1 of 5 year proj ec t   On ca mp us   Obtain fina ncial  Fro m UB CFS a nd  T o car r y out a co st - b ene fit  Annuall y   With data d ata  AM SFB Op er atio ns   anal ysis o f the UB C foo d syste m  fro m ca mp u s   Con nec t wit h    Loca l far mer s   T o assess i nter est i n dire ct mar ket in g relatio n sh ip wi th UB C and sea so nal/ no n -sea so nal sup p l y cap ab ilitie s    In yea r s 1 and 2  initial l y bu t ongo i ng thr o u gho ut fi ve yea r proj ec t   Lo wer Mainla nd and Fra ser Valle y   Educa tio nal Ca mp ai g n – spea ker s, se mi nar s a nd wo r k sho p s     For the U B C co mmu n it y, car r ied out in co nj u nctio n wit h Far mfo l k Cit yfo l k   To raise a war ene ss ab o ut t he benefit s of buyi ng loca ll y pro d uce d fo o d and deter mi ne wh at fo o d sustai nab ilit y iss ues stud e nts dee m i mp o r tant   Year s 1 and 2 of 5 year proj ec t   On ca mp us, in th e SUB , at the UB C Far m   Map sour ce s of foo d enter in g the UB C Foo d Sys te m   Fro m UB CFS a nd AM SFB wh o lesaler s a nd an y far m - d ir ec t pur chase s   T o assess t he pro xi mit y a nd a mo u nt of loca ll y pro d uce d fo o d cur r entl y e nter i ng t he UB C fo o d syste m    Year s 1, 2 initi al l y, but ongo i ng thr o u gho ut 5 yea r proj ec t   In co ntact wit h Who lesaler s, distr ib uto r s off ca mp u s and UB CFS and AM SFB direc to r s on ca mp u s   Mo nito r    UBCFS a nd AM SFB co ntr ac ts wit h wh o lesaler s and loca l far mer s   T o deter mi ne rea listic pro gr essive per ce nta g e go al s fo r mo r e loca l fo o d syste m   On a co nti nuo us basis thr o u gho ut 5 yea r proj ec t   On ca mp us   Inve stiga te alter nati ves to co ntr ac tual ob ligatio ns to who lesaler s   Of UB CF S and AM SFB b y co nsu lti ng loca l far mer s a nd gro wer s asso ciatio n s   T o assess t he fea s ib ilit y of sustai ned mar ket in g relatio ns hip s wit h loca l pro d uce r s  and Co mmu nit y Sup p o r ted Agr ic ult ur e Initiati ves   Year s 1 - 3   Resear ch o n and off ca mp u s   Li nk loca l far m sup p lier s to UB C Foo d Syste m   wit h UB C Foo d Ser vices a nd AMS Foo d and Bever age Dir e cto r s and UB C Waste Manage me nt   T o crea te a mor e pro xi mate and clo sed fo o d syste m wh er e co mp o sted fo o d wa stes ar e retur ned to far ms thus creating a more “closed” nutr ie nt c ycle   Year s 2 - 5   By pho ne and in per so n on ca mp u s and on far ms   Revie w pla ns fo r a lar ge sca le co mp o st in g syste m a nd on -ca mp u s co mp o st co llectio n syste m    wit h UB C Waste Manage me nt, its Co mp o st P ro j ec t Co mmittee, as we ll as P lant Op er atio ns, UB C Far m, and UB C Ca mp us  T o estab lish rea lis tic pro gr essive per ce nta ge go al s fo r a mo u nt of foo d waste s that can be co mp o sted and diver ted fro m t he land fill   Year s 1 - 3 or unt il lar ge sca le co mp o st in g syste m i mp le mented   On ca mp us  Sus tainab il it y Office   Develo p a prec ise metho d of segr e gati ng and mea s ur i ng the qua ntit y of foo d waste s   wit h UB C Waste  Manage me nt, UB CFS a nd AM SFB   T o imp le me nt  the ind icato r of mea s ur i ng t he per ce nta ge of foo d was tes wit hi n t he UB C wa ste strea m vs. tho se diver ted fro m t he land fill b y co mp o st in g and rec ycl in g   Year s 1 - 3   On ca mp us   RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS       In thi s pap er we have presented a conti nuum model of seven indi c ators of food s ystem sust ainabili t y that we thi nk adequat el y add ress the social, environm ental and economi c iss ues that aris e in the developm ent of a more sust ainable food s ystem at UBC.  Due to the invol ved natur e of the sust ainabili t y assessment, const ant communi cati on between all participants withi n the food s ystem wil l be vital.  We recomm end that the UBC Food S ystem be assessed on a conti nuous ba sis through one lon g stan ding comm it tee comp rised of the UBC Sustainabil it y Office, AMS and UBC Food Services repres entatives, and at least one professo r and one gr aduate student.  Stude nt parti cipation in this project through un der gradu ate cl ass work wil l also be invaluable, but will need to be admini stered and coor dinated, as these proj ects usuall y onl y last for on e term, or three mont hs of each ye ar, whi le the UBC food s ystem operates on a yea r round basis and requires const ant assess ment.       This is an ongoin g proc e ss that must be done fro m th e ground up.   For th is food s ystem to be sust ainable i t has to involve the enti re food comm unit y meanin g the people eati ng, growin g, dist ributi ng, proc essi n g, and of course prep arin g the food.  It is ther efor e essential to cre ate lon g-st anding channels of com muni cati on that all ow the voices of all members of the UBC co mm unit y to be heard, so that togeth er the y can create a food s ystem that measu res sus tainabil it y throu gh a bal a nce of relevant soci al, en vironmental and economi c indi c ators.      APPENDIX B: CONCEPTUAL DEFINITION OF UBC FOOD SYSTEM SUSTAINABILITY   Unsustainable                                                          Sustainable 1 2 3  Cost-Benefit Analysis of UBC Food Services and AMS Food and Beverage    Costs > Bene fit s       Costs = Bene fit s onl y wit h t he help of sub sid ie s   Costs = Bene fit s    Affordability    Foo d inco me < foo d co sts   Foo d inco me = foo d co sts   Foo d inco me > foo d co sts   Consumer Advocacy Group   Ab se nt   Present   Present and ef fec ti ve    Percent Food Waste Diverted from Landfill   0%   35%   75%   Percent Local Food    0%   25%   50%   Consumer Satisfaction   Unsat is fied    Satis fied   Percent student employees in food system   0%   25%   50%        Literature Cited                                                           1  UBC Campus Sustainabil it y Offic e. 2002.  Annual Report:  Progress Towards a Sustainable Campus.  [Onli ne] http :// www. s usta in. ub c. ca /p d f%2 7 s/an nua l2 0 0 2 .P DF   2  UBC Publi c Affai rs.   www.publi c aff airs.ubc. ca/ ubcfacts/ index .htm l#st udents.  Access ed Mar ch 27, 200 3.  3  Dieti ti ans of Canada. 20 02. The Cost of Eati ng in BC.                                                                                                                                                                               4  Kloppenbur g, J et al. 2000. Tasting food, tasting sustainability: Defining the attributes of an alternative food system with competent, ordinary people . Human Organiz ati on. 59(2):177 -186.  5  Leibl ein, G, Fr ancis, CH & Torjusen, H. 2001. Future interconnections among ecological farmers, processors, marketers, and consumers in Hedmark County, Norway: Creating Shared Vision . Human Ecology Review . 8(1):60 -70.   6  Kloppenbur g, J & Lex berg, S. 1996. Getting it straight before we eat ourselves to death: from food system to foodshed in the 21st century. Societ y & Natu ral Resources, 9:93 -96.  7  UBC Waste Mana geme nt. 2002. UBC Waste Management 2001/2002 Annual Report. [Online] http: // www.rec ycle.ubc.c a/annualr eport2 002.pdf .     8  Kloppenbur g, J ., Hendrickson, J ., and Stevenson, G.W . 1996 .  Coming into the Foodshed. Agricult ure and Human Values 13:3 (Summ er): 33 -42.  9  Chan, V., Fr ancis, G., Lam, J ., Racic, H., S y, H., Treloar, J ., Wooll e y, S. (2002). Group 5: AMS Food and Beverage Service.  Universit y of Britis h Col umbi a [Online] htt p:/ /w ww.webct.ubc.c a /S C R IP T/a gsc_450/s c ripts/ serve_home  1 0  Goyal, S., His, S., Law, K., Lu, W., Mulli gan, R., Spencer, N., Weath erhe a d, S., Yin, C. (2002). Group 16 – UBC Farm: Contributions to a Sustainable Food System.  Universit y of Briti sh Columbi a [Online] htt p:/ /www.webct.ubc.c a /S C R IP T/a gsc_450/s c ripts/ serve_home   1 1  Johnson, Douglas B. and Stevenson, Geor ge W.  (1998 ).  Something to Cheer About: National Trends and Prospects for Sustainable Agriculture Products in Food Services Operations and Universities.  The Centre fo r Inte grated Agri cult ural S yste ms at the Universit y of Wisconsin -Madison.  1 2  Centre for Int e grat ed Agricultural S ystems (C IAS ) at the Universit y of Wisconsin -Madison.  College Food Project.  [ Online] htt p:/ /www.wisc.edu/cias /resear ch/col gfood/howw ork.htm l .    13   W iseman, Kell een.  2001.  Business Management Handouts.  Universit y of Britis h Colum bia FRE 302.  Therivel, R. (1996). SEA methodology in practice, chapter 3 in “T he pr acti c e of   Strategic environmental assessment”; ed. Riki Therivel and Maria Rosario Partario, Earthscan Publi cati ons Limi ted, London, U.K.  Lyl e, J .T. (1994). Sustainability in the Neotechnic era, chapter 1 in “Regenerative design for sust ainable dev elopment”, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York.                                                                                                                                                                               Mi ti n, D & Satt erthwait e , D (1996). Sustainable development and cities, ch apter 1 in “Sustainability, the environment and urbanization”, ed. Cedric Pugh, Earthscan P ubli cati ons Lim it ed, Lo ndon, U.K.  


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