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Student Food Security : The Seedlings Café Case Study MacEwan, Alexa; Passmore, Annie; Bonnell, Meghan; Zhang, Eli; Zhu, Kaidi 2016-04-10

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 UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Report	Alexa MacEwan, 	Annie Passmore, 	Eli Zhang, 	Kaidi Zhu, 	Megan BonnellStudent Food Security: The Seedlings Café Case StudyLFS 450April 10, 201614112149University of British Columbia Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS Program 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 a SEEDS team representative about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Sustainability Program Student Research Report       Student Food Security: The Seedlings Café Case Study Alexa MacEwan, Annie Passmore, Meghan Bonnell, Eli Zhang and Kaidi Zhu University of British Columbia LFS 450: Land, Food & Community III April 10, 2016         Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS Sustainability Program 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 research 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 Sustainability Program representative about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”. 2  TABLE OF CONTENTS  1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................ 3 2. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................... 4 3. METHODOLOGY .......................................................................................................................... 6 3.1 Literature Review................................................................................................................................ 6 3.2 Stakeholder Interviews ....................................................................................................................... 6 3.3 Customer Survey ................................................................................................................................. 7 3.4 Infographic .......................................................................................................................................... 8 4 RESULTS ........................................................................................................................................ 8 4.1 Literature Review................................................................................................................................ 8 4.1.2 Sustainable Initiatives ................................................................................................................. 8 4.1.3 Sustainability comparison within British Columbia ................................................................... 13 4.1.4 Sustainable food outlets on Canadian campuses outside B.C. ................................................. 13 4.2 Stakeholder Interviews ..................................................................................................................... 14 4.2.1 Seedlings Operations Manager ................................................................................................. 14 4.2.2 Grad Students Society General Manager .................................................................................. 16 4.3 Customer Survey ............................................................................................................................... 17 4.4 Infographic ........................................................................................................................................ 19 5. DISCUSSION ............................................................................................................................... 20 5.1 Literature Review.............................................................................................................................. 20 5.2 Stakeholder Interviews ..................................................................................................................... 21 5.3 Customer Survey ............................................................................................................................... 22 5.4 Infographic ........................................................................................................................................ 23 6. RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................................................................... 24 6.1 Further Research .............................................................................................................................. 24 6.2 Action Plan ........................................................................................................................................ 24 7. REFERENCES .............................................................................................................................. 26 8. APPENDICES .............................................................................................................................. 28 Appendix A: Map of UBC campus showing the location of the Seedlings Café ..................................... 28 Appendix B: Seedlings Café Menu .......................................................................................................... 29 Appendix C. Table of Seedlings’ Suppliers .............................................................................................. 31 Appendix D: Survey Questionnaire ......................................................................................................... 32 Appendix E: Survey Data ......................................................................................................................... 33 Appendix F: Questions Asked During Interview with Mark Wellington ................................................. 36 Appendix G: Infographic ......................................................................................................................... 40 Appendix H: Seedlings Café Photo Gallery ............................................................................................. 41   3   1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY          Seedlings Café is a student-run food outlet which aims to provide environmentally conscious food to the University of British Columbia community. Seedlings Café offers an affordable 100% vegetarian menu, and it also meets the needs of individuals who seek food that is vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free, thereby attracting a wide clientele made of undergraduate and graduate students, staff and faculty. Since opening in 2013 Seedlings has succeeded in not only bringing sustainable food to students but also in cultivating a space that fosters values rooted in environmental ethics and social justice, all within the realm of food. The future of the Seedlings Café depends upon the support of its main stakeholders, including the Graduate Students Society (GSS). The management of Seedlings Café has defined support in terms of a positive and transparent relationship with the GSS with the intent to strengthen partnerships and openly communicate and operate within the financial constraints of both parties. The main financial constraint for the café is the rent to be paid to GSS at $100/day. On the other hand, the GSS general manager has confirmed willingness to increase support to Seedlings Café so long as the requests remain within certain limits and be well documented. This report provides literature and survey data as well as an infographic tool in the hope of helping the Seedlings Café management demonstrate the environmental, social, economic and educational values of their enterprise to the GSS and the greater UBC community. The results of a survey of 230 customers executed during three weeks in February and March of 2016 revealed that 30% of Seedlings clientele are graduate students, and that more than half of them frequent Seedlings 4  Café at least once a week. The top three reasons for all customers making purchases from the Seedlings Café include affordability, atmosphere, and the vegan/vegetarian food. The infographic presents the uniqueness of the Seedlings Café and its contribution to sustainability and food security.  2. INTRODUCTION   As a creation and off-shoot of the UBC student-run Sprouts Café, store, buying club and community space, Seedlings Café provides healthy, and affordable food to students at the UBC Point Grey campus (Sprouts 2016). The Café is located at 6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver, on the top floor of the Thea Koerner House (Appendix A). The building belongs to the GSS; thus Seedlings rents the space directly from them. Seedlings Café offers espresso-based drinks, and a menu specializing in raw, vegan, and healthy vegetarian cuisine (Appendix B) all of which is organic, as locally sourced as is feasible, and fair-trade (Sprouts 2016). In addition, Seedlings Café offers a unique opportunity for students, in that it provides volunteer training and experience in food preparation and customer service. Thus, Seedlings Café offers enhanced food security and food literacy on campus thereby fulfilling the University’s mandate of sustainability. Food security is defined by the World Health Organization as existing “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life” (World Health Organization 2016). Food literacy is the “understanding the impact of your food choices on your health, the environment, and our economy” (Food Literacy Center 2015). However, despite many clients and the liking that the UBC community has taken to the Café, Lindsay Fenwick, Operations Manager for the 5  Seedlings Café faces financial and operational struggles (Fenwick, Lindsay, personal communication). These struggles act as a barrier for the Café which could otherwise serve as a leader in sustainable food initiatives on campus.       UBC launched a 20-year Sustainability Strategy to ensure long-term social, environmental and economic sustainability on campus through multiple dimensions such as research, partnerships and engagement of the UBC community (UBC Sustainability 2016). The SEEDS Sustainability Program was established to engage and support students in becoming involved with sustainable initiatives. Seedlings Café contributes to UBC’s 20-year Sustainability Strategy because it exemplifies the feasibility of running a food outlet that is environmentally and socially sustainable while offering prices lower than those of other outlets on campus because the staff is entirely made of student volunteers (Sprouts 2016). Making healthy affordable food choices is an important component of food security which underlines the need to diversify and increase the accessibility of sustainable food for UBC students and community (SEEDS 2016).       Establishments like Seedlings Café exist on other campuses and represent the growing effort of communities to take charge of their own food security (Dalhousie 2009). For example, Concordia University in Montreal makes significant number of student-run food programs available to its students. McGill has a similar program called Student-Run Café (SRC) which offers students with affordable and fresh meals. Many well-organized student-run cafes also exist in United States (Dalhousie 2009).   6       The main goal of this research was to examine and illustrate the environmental, social, economical and educational values Seedlings Café brings to the general UBC community and in particular to the graduate student body in the form of this report and an infographic. Both deliverables were designed to be used by Ms. Fenwick as a tool for future stakeholder interactions.       This student team from the Faculty of Land and Food Systems aspires to help create a food secure future and believes in the future of ethical and sustainable food. The team saw significant value in an establishment like Seedlings Café and wanted to help the Café’s management to overcome its current barriers.  3. METHODOLOGY  The main methods used in the research consist of a literature review, stakeholder interviews and a customer survey.   3.1 Literature Review      The literature review on Seedlings Café and similar establishments at other campuses in Canada and North America was done using the Seedling Café’s website (Sprouts 2016) and keywords in both the UBC library system catalog (UBC 2016) and using various search engines on the internet. Such keywords included: “food systems”, sustainable (sustainab*), “campus food initiatives”, non-profit and “not for profit”, student-run, “food outlets”, “ethical campus food” “ethical food establishment*. 3.2 Stakeholder Interviews      Stakeholder interviews were conducted with Lindsay Fenwick, Operations Manager, on January 27th and March 23rd, 2016 as well as with Mark Wellington, the Graduate 7  Student Society (GSS) General Manager on March 15th, 2016. Interviews with Lindsay Fenwick consisted of hearing her experiences and her needs for support. Questions for Mark Wellington aimed at determining the value of Seedlings Café to the GSS, obtaining suggestions for Seedlings Café’s services and indications concerning support to implement such changes (Appendix F).   Having two students attend the meeting was a successful strategy in that one student maintained eye contact and was more engaged in the actual conversation while the other was taking notes and asked for clarification when needed.   3.3 Customer Survey       Customers were surveyed on nine different dates between February 23, 2016 and March 10, 2016 between 11 am and 2 pm, the busiest time of day at Seedlings Café (Lindsay Fenwick, personal communication). This timeframe was chosen to ensure a large sample size each day. The survey was in the form of a questionnaire that included three questions (Appendix D). A paper copy of the survey was distributed to Seedlings Café customers when they purchased food. If a customer had already filled out a survey, then they did not fill out a second one as this would skew the data collected. In order to ensure that this did not occur, a member of the student team remained at the survey site distributing surveys, and screening by first asking ‘have you filled out a survey looking at the value of Seedlings within the last one to three weeks?”. Such deployment of the survey ensured that the results did not include people who used the space without buying food.  8     The questions served to determine the proportion of Seedlings customers who were graduate students, the frequency of attendance and the three main reasons for coming to the Seedlings Café. The last question was close-ended, meaning that responders had to choose from a list of predetermined reasons for coming to the café or they could choose the option ‘other’ and leave a comment. This allowed the data to be analyzed without the need to code a range of possible answers (Research Connections 2013). Surveys in which more than three reasons were chosen were rejected to ensure data quality. Points for each unique reason were then tallied up.  Scores were compared to determine the most important reasons for eating at Seedlings Cafe.  3.4 Infographic  An infographic is a tool used to present information in a visually-appealing graphic format, making a complex system easy to understand to a general public (A Dictionary of Journalism 2014). Lindsay Fenwick indicated the need for such a tool to communicate the value of Seedlings.   4 RESULTS 4.1 Literature Review       4.1.1 History and Values of Seedlings Cafe      Seedlings was founded on January 2013 after the GSS approached Sprouts, an existing student-run organization, located in the Student Union Building.  The GSS wanted to know if Sprouts was interested in starting an offshoot of their current café in the penthouse of the Thea Koerner Building. The GSS representatives at the time, supported the idea of having students taking ownership of what they eat (Fenwick, 9  Lindsay, personal communication). In order to make its existence a reality, the Alma Mater Society (AMS) as well as Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity) supported the initial operations of the Seedlings Café through grants that enabled them to purchase the necessary equipment and ingredients prior to obtaining any revenue (Lindsay Fenwick, Lindsay, personal communication). Three years later, Seedlings Café operates five days a week, from 9:30 am to 4 pm from September to April, and is completely volunteer-run (Sprouts 2016). The Seedlings Café is consistently full, and regularly runs out of the food it had prepared for that day. It is well attended and therefore valued by its customers. Sprouts and the Agora Café which are UBC student-run cafés share similar values with Seedlings. Yet Seedlings Café remains unique as it targets a graduate rather than an undergraduate clientele with a gourmet and innovative menu, elegant plating of ethically produced food served directly to the table. According to Seedlings’ website, it strives to: 1. Make local, organic and fair trade foods accessible to the UBC community. 2. Promote and increase awareness of the UBC Farm, and other local food producers practicing sustainable farming techniques. 3. Operate a business where ethics, the environment, and social responsibility take precedence over profits. 4. Create educational opportunities around health and nutrition, sustainable food systems, and global trade; fostering critical thought and ethical global citizenship. 10  5. Create an aware community at UBC bound together by a common love of good food, positive social change, and a sense of collective responsibility (Sprouts, 2016). 4.1.2 Sustainable Initiatives      The Seedlings Café partners with several organizations to promote and support sustainability on the UBC campus. The following depicts such relationships. 4.1.2.1 Green Energy            The Seedlings Café is Bullfrog Energy powered (Lindsay Fenwick, personal communication) thereby ensuring that for every kWh of electricity purchased from conventional energy companies, a kWh from a pollution-free, renewable source is produced and put on the grid on their behalf (Bullfrog Energy 2016). Such an initiative helps to reduce the amount of energy needed from polluting sources, as well as it serves to displace energy from polluting sources on the grid and help green energy systems (Bullfrog Energy 2016). Seedlings uses 1.96 MWh of energy per month to operate (Lindsay Fenwick, personal communication). This means that 1.96 MWh of clean energy is being produced every month thanks to Seedlings Cafe. 4.1.2.2 Common Energy UBC      Seedlings is also partaking in the newly developed UBC MugShare program, through Common Energy UBC (Common Energy n.d.) to raise awareness about sustainable practices on campus. Upon signing-up, this program provides participants with a membership card in exchange for a small deposit. This card can then be traded in at 11  one of three locations on campus, Seedlings, Sprouts, or Agora for a reusable mug which provides a discount for the customer ordering a beverage. The program's goals are to reduce the disposable coffee cup waste on campus and increase reusable mug usage and gain support from other food outlets across campus in coming years. In collaborating with Common Energy UBC, “UBC’s largest and most active student sustainability organization,” (Common Energy UBC n.d.), Seedlings is working to engage individuals in incorporating sustainability into all aspects of the UBC community.  4.1.2.3 Sourcing Ethics      In accordance with their mission, the Seedlings Café team also ensures that it sources food products from the most ethically sound, fair trade, organic, and local products available to them  from a variety of suppliers (Sprouts 2016; Linday Fenwick, personal communication), (Appendix C). All of the food comes from organizations who share values with Seedlings Café such as Roots on the Roof, the UBC Farm, Pro Organics and East Van Roasters (Lindsay Fenwick, personal communication; Sprouts, 2016). Roots on the Roof is a UBC student club which manages and grows food on the rooftop garden of the Nest. Roots on the Roof aims to raise awareness and facilitate student and community capacity around food (Facebook 2016). The UBC Farm is a student-driven 40-hectare model farm on the University of British Columbia campus (UBC Farm 2016). The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS), located at the UBC Farm  aim  “to understand and fundamentally transform local and global food systems towards a more sustainable, food secure future” (UBC Farm 2016). It also shares a commitment “to finding solutions to both the local and global challenges facing 12  food systems sustainability and translating solutions to improve personal, community, and environmental health” (UBC Farm 2016). Pro Organics distributes fresh organic food products which they source from certified organic Canadian suppliers as much as possible, in turn working to expand production of local growers (Pro Organics 2010). East Van Roasters is a social enterprise that provides training and employment to the women residents of the Rainier Hotel, an organization that helps women struggling with addiction (East Van Roasters 2016; Rainier 2013). East Van Roasters also only sells certified organic and fair-trade coffee (East Van Roasters 2016). In choosing to form such partnerships, the Seedlings Café provides supports organizations dedicated to sustainability on and off campus.   4.1.2.4 Waste Management      Additionally, the Seedlings Café management team strives to reduce waste in every way possible. The team has taken five steps to address issues of waste management, and in doing so the Café is almost waste free. These five steps consist of:  1. All food scraps are composed through UBC’s compost program. 2. Almost all of the food packaging is recycled, most of it being cardboard boxes and cartons. 3. Avalon delivers milk in glass bottles that are returned to be refilled, eliminating the waste produced by milk cartons. 4. All orders from on-campus producers such as the UBC Farm and Roots on the Roof are delivered in reusable Tupperware bins that produce zero waste. 13  5. Seedlings does not use any one-time use items in their café. They do not use napkins, disposable cutlery or dishware.  All customers must eat at the café or bring their own takeaway container.  Waste reduction initiatives at Seedlings Café have been so successful that the amount of garbage Seedlings Café produces only amounts to one bag per semester, composed mostly of the plastic from bread packaging (Lindsay Fenwick, personal communication).  4.1.3 Sustainability comparison within British Columbia      Literature research did not reveal the existence of a similar student-run establishment in British Columbia. This suggests that the Seedlings Café is in fact, a leader as a provider of ethical food options on a British Columbia campus. 4.1.4 Sustainable food outlets on Canadian campuses outside B.C.      Concordia University’s food was provided by Chartwells under contract until 2014. Concordia University, a large university in Montreal, now operates under a progressive sustainable food system framework with goals and objectives similar to UBC’s 20-year sustainability strategy implemented by the Concordia Food Coalition (CFC) (UBC 2016). For example, Concordia University is concerned with the economic, ecological, and social implications of the food system on campus at both a national and global level (CFC 2016). Additionally, Concordia seeks to offer ethical and affordable food to students on campus and into surrounding areas (CFC 2016). Currently, the CFC supports over seven non-profit student-run food initiatives on and off campus. These food establishments which are similar to Seedlings Café, are supported by a levy 14  implemented under The Sustainability Action Fund. The CFC collects 0.08 cents per credit per student each semester, which amounts to approximately 60,000$/year to support its food system initiatives (CFC 2016).      Trent University supports the student-run ‘Seasoned Spoon Café’ which offers affordable, local and vegetarian food to students and staff addressing issues of food security. The Seasoned Spoon Café operates under a cooperative structure and encourages volunteers, but offers paid positions to students who are in financial need (The Seasoned Spoon 2016). They offer workshops on healthy eating habits and cooking classes. It also receives support from a levy and from membership fees of $10-20 (The Seasoned Spoon 2016). Membership fees are not mandatory, but a membership offers students a sense of ownership, attendance to co-op meetings, a say in how the café operates, and discounted prices on products sold at the café. 4.2 Stakeholder Interviews 4.2.1 Seedlings Operations Manager      Ms. Fenwick explained that originally, Sprouts was asked by the GSS to establish a Café in the GSS building free of rent, but that rent has eventually become part of the contract for Lindsay Fenwick to have decision-making autonomy. Prior to Seedlings paying rent, the GSS was able to book the space for private functions on short notice sometimes without alerting Seedlings. This consequently affected Seedlings business and operations.  The continuation of the Seedlings Café operations is largely dependent on the support of its UBC community customers since more than 90% of operating costs are 15  covered by revenues with the remaining 10% of costs covered by grants awarded to the Seedlings Café by the AMS (Fenwick, Lindsay, personal communication). Rent is a large expense for the café at $100/day to be paid to the GSS.  Seedlings applies for grants as needed through the AMS, however all grants must go towards a specific project. For example, the recent grant accredited to Seedlings for $1200.00 can only be used towards marketing expenses (Fenwick, Lindsay, personal communication). Furthermore, grants are allocated after expenses have been incurred. Seedlings Café staff must pay for all expenses out of their pocket before asking the AMS for a reimbursement. Seedlings and the volunteers do not typically have the means necessary to pay for unexpected expenses up front and wait for a reimbursement.  Ms. Fenwick also indicated the need for a communication tool that could be used to inform other stakeholders and partners of Seedlings Café current operations. Ms. Fenwick highlighted that the key stakeholder was the GSS and added that such a tool would serve to strengthen their relationship as she hopes for enhanced financial support and a better understanding of Seedlings Café’s value in terms of contribution to campus sustainability and food security. She wanted a summary of operations to inform key stakeholders (i.e. the AMS and the GSS) and to address issues of miscommunication due to high turnover in positions within the GSS and Seedlings Café.  The communication tool was not for volunteer or customer recruitment or enhancing current operations. During a second meeting, Ms. Fenwick indicated that she desired both a formal report that would serve as an extensive informational tool as well as an 16  infographic which would be more visually appealing to be directed to a general audience.  4.2.2 Grad Students Society General Manager      An interview with Mark Wellington revealed that the GSS acknowledges the worth and supports the current operations of the Seedlings Café, but also views their relationship as that of landlord and tenant. Notably, Mr. Wellington was not the General Manager of the GSS when Sprouts was first approached by the GSS to create Seedlings and run their operations within the GSS space back in 2010. He was unaware of the change in contract since the space was initially offered to Seedlings free of rent. Mr. Wellington would like to increase the support offered to Seedlings, but says that the GSS funding is limited and that Seedlings Café is supported by the AMS which receives more money for funding than the GSS. He thinks that Seedlings Café is well managed and is pleased at how they have been following the lease terms set out to them by the GSS (i.e. rent, operational hours, aesthetic requirements, etc.).      Concern was expressed towards the difficulties and turmoil regarding communication amongst all GSS executives, the Seedlings Operations Manager, and himself. He suggests there be more student-to-student communication with the GSS executives and the Seedlings Operations Manager. “Getting all the executives together at one time can be very challenging and [direct] student communication may hasten any process” (Wellington, Mark, personal communication). In regards to rent, he suggests talking to the GSS financial executive and coming prepared with proper documentation as to why the decrease in rent is being proposed. 17       Mr. Wellington acknowledges the value of Seedlings Café for graduate students and believes it is a beautiful place to eat healthy food. He believes that the volunteers are very educated, care about the future, and have a great perspective on the environment, “Volunteers act like mentors in that they educate people on world issues” (Wellington, Mark, personal communication). He acknowledges that Seedlings Café has the potential to educate the GSS staff on issues of sustainability since important worldwide environmental issues are not currently a high priority to them.  4.3 Customer Survey      Graduate students comprised an average of 30% (70 customers) of the total customers surveyed (230 customers), with the smallest proportion being 15% and the largest being 66%, depending on the date surveyed (Table 1). More than half (54%) of the graduate students and 47% of non-graduate students frequent the Seedlings Café more than once a week (Table 2). A greater proportion (37%) of the non-graduate population indicated that they frequented Seedlings Café on an irregular basis (less than once per month) than graduate students (23%) (Table 2).  Affordability was chosen as the main reason for attendance by both graduate students (26%) and non-graduate students (23%) (Table 2). The two other main reasons for attendance were ‘space/atmosphere’ and ‘vegan/vegetarian’ menu for both graduate and non-graduate students attendance. Other options included ‘location’ in terms of proximity to classes, ‘food quality’, ‘gluten free’, ‘food source’, ‘nice service’, hours of operation and ‘other’ (Appendix D).  It should be noted that ‘hours of operation’ and 18  ‘gluten free’ options were selected the least in both population group: with a range of 0.6-1.1% for ‘hours of operation’ and 2.8-3.2% for ‘gluten free’ (Fig.1).  Table 1. Number of graduate students and total number of customers served at Seedlings Café on various dates between 11-2pm on nine different dates in February and March 2016.  Survey Date Total # Customers  Total # of GS Customers % of GS relative to total # of customers Feb 23, 2016 48 11 23% Feb 25, 2016 42 13 31% Feb 26, 2016 20 7 35% Mar 1, 2016 23 8 35% Mar 2, 2016 21 4 19% Mar 3, 2016 20 3 15% Mar 8, 2016 24 8 33% Mar 9, 2016 17 6 35% Mar 10, 2016 15 10 67%  Table 2: Summary of Survey Results          19            Fig.  1: Main reasons for customers’ attendance at the Seedlings Café on nine different dates in February and March 2016.  4.4 Infographic      Ms. Fenwick wanted the infographic to reach out to a wide audience to explain the sustainability mandate of Seedlings Café. Images and information provided on the infographic include how Seedlings purchases local produce from two on-campus growers (UBC farm and Roots on the Roof), produces only one bag of garbage per semester, runs on clean renewable energy (Bullfrog Energy), serves vegetarian and organic food, is a non-profit organization run by student volunteers and, is most valued due to the affordability of the food, the great space it provides and the vegetarian food it offers. The infographic further states how 30% of Seedlings customers are graduate students. The outcome of the infographic addresses all stakeholders, and not just customers and volunteers, thereby including representatives of the GSS and suppliers such as the UBC farm (Appendix G).  20  5. DISCUSSION  5.1 Literature Review      The University of British Columbia prides itself on being one of the most progressive institutions in terms of sustainable practices. UBC believes that sustainability means simultaneous improvements in human and environmental well-being (UBC Sustainability 2016). The university plans on embedding such sustainability thinking across campus through teaching, learning, research, partnerships, operations and infrastructure (UBC Sustainability 2016). These values are very closely aligned with those of Seedlings Café. The Seedlings-UBC partnership is an example of how a small student-driven food establishment supports sustainability within the UBC food system.. Seedlings Café is a role model for other food outlets on campus, a proof of concept. It is indeed possible to attain a very high level of sustainability for a food outlet on campus. The GSS has a unique opportunity to align itself with Seedlings Café to demonstrate its own commitment to sustainability and be a leader on campus in terms of sustainable initiatives.        The levy of funds on a per credit basis has proven beneficial to similar student-run food initiatives at Concordia University in Montreal and Trent University in Ontario. A similar type of funding may act as a great resource for Seedlings. As the survey data portrays, The Seedlings customer population is diverse based on our survey data and a small levy could reasonably be applied to all students’ tuition.  21  5.2 Stakeholder Interviews       While Seedlings Café operates with sustainability as the backbone of its operations, there is no evidence that sustainability is a priority to the GSS. This is not to say that the GSS does not care about sustainability, but special financial support for a sustainability initiative may require some education on UBC 20-year strategy sustainability and very clear reasons for a decrease in rent. However, the GSS advocates for, promotes, and protects the academic, social, intellectual, cultural, and recreational interests of its members (GSS 2016). Seedlings Café definitely contributes to these areas of concern and should promote itself as such.       There is a need for more student-to-student communication among the GSS executives and the Seedlings Operations Manager. There seems to be difficulty in getting all the student executives together at the same time, but this barrier could be overcome by having individual meetings with the GSS executive whose position is most pertinent the subject being addressed. The GSS does not currently address many issues of sustainability and the executives may not be aware of ways in which they could help contribute. Two of the five strategic goals within UBC’s sustainability strategy include: 1. The integration of campus-scale energy, water, waste, and food systems is linked to improved quality of life for students, staff, faculty and campus community and to enhanced ecological integrity (UBC Sustainability 2016). 2. UBC models a sustainable and integrated food system that equally values environmental, social, and economic outcomes and assesses the impacts of food 22  production, transformation, and consumption on environmental, personal, and community health (UBC Sustainability 2016).      Seedlings Cafe is a progressive and innovative food establishment on UBC with high standards towards the sustainability of their operations; their engagement on campus contributes to UBC achieving these two goals. The reputation of both the GSS and Seedlings Café could be enhanced if they could work together at promoting the café’s accomplishments and at finding supporting each other’s goals.  5.3 Customer Survey       According to data from the 2014/2015, UBC’s student population was comprised of approximately 20% graduate students or 10,082 graduate students with a total student population of 51,447 individuals (UBC Overview and Facts 2016). The Seedlings Café’s customers should account for at least 20% of the total customer basis. However, since the café is located in the GSS building, graduate students make up 30% of the Seedlings Café’s customer population and, 54% of them frequent the café at least one time per week. Hence, the Seedlings Café is definitely important for this demographic group (Appendix E).       The Seedlings Café staff should pay attention to the top three values identified in the survey to make sure these are maintained in the future. The top value, affordability, underlines the importance of relatively low prices on campus for university students who generally speaking have restricted incomes. The low prices offered by the café address issues of food security on campus. The second top value was the space and atmosphere of the café (Appendix H). Seedlings Café offers a space with a very 23  engaging environment where like-minded individuals can converse, study or simply enjoy a meal in a bright, open and comfortable space. A study by Entwhistle (1991) indicates how it is predominantly the students’ perception of the learning environment that influences how a student learns, not necessarily the context in itself. The space at Seedlings is highly valued by its customers, suggesting that Seedlings helps enhance the studying experience of a large portion of its customers. Finally, the fact that Seedlings is entirely vegetarian and for the most part vegan, was the third most important reason for choosing Seedlings Café over alternative campus outlets.  Such choice likely represents the ethics and values of Seedlings Café’s customer base, most likely they favor animal rights, environmental ethics or plant-based nutrition, and therefore see a vegetarian/vegan diet as desirable. According to a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, our diets and, specifically the meat in them, cause more greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide than either transportation or pollution from industrial waste (Fiala 2009). Seedlings Café is not only catering to those following a vegetarian diet at UBC, but is also contributing to lessen anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.  5.4 Infographic    The infographic provides a quick snapshot of Seedlings cafe operations and is directed to those who may be interested in such information but have limited time. Hence, the infographic displays facts about Seedlings customer population, waste data and partnerships. Hopefully, it will contribute to enhance awareness of the initiatives of 24  the Seedlings Café as well as its contribution to campus sustainability. In such a way, it can promote conversation on campus. 6. RECOMMENDATIONS 6.1 Further Research      Further research about similar establishments to Seedlings Café, their financial situation, their funding model and institutional framework is recommended as there is limited data on similar initiatives on other campuses. Such research could be conducted by future LFS 450 or Sauder School of Business students in collaboration with the SEEDS program or it might be an area of interest for a Directed Studies project within the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC. 6.2 Action Plan       Two actions are recommended based on the findings of this research project. First, a financial contribution in the form of a small levy implemented within student tuition that would support sustainable food initiatives on campus should be examined. The implementation of such an initiative is recommended as a potential means to overcome the limitation of funding at UBC, and may prove to be beneficial to allow Seedlings Café to continue to consistently reach and lead in terms of the sustainability initiatives at UBC. Moving forward with such an action would require Seedlings management to meet with the AMS executive, and determine if such action would need to go through them or if Seedlings Café management could apply to have such a levy addressed in the next upcoming referendum on their own. As the next elections will be in early 2017, this is an appropriate time to make such inquiries. Second, we recommend that the Seedlings 25  Café management team ensures that regular communication occurs with the GSS student executives, a solution presented by both key stakeholder parties (the GSS and Seedlings Operations Manager) was the need to eliminate the ‘middle man’, Mark in this case. Communication needs to go directly between Seedlings Café management and at least one person in the GSS student executive team who could eventually become an ally and the spokesperson for Seedlings Cafe.                                 26  7. REFERENCES  A Dictionary of Journalism. 2014. Oxford University Press (1st ed).   Avalon Dairy. 2016. Our history [Internet]. Burnaby (BC); [cited 2016 Mar 28] Available from http://www.avalondairy.com/where-to-get-us/avalon-retail-store/    Braggs. 2016. About the Braggs [Internet]. Santa Barbara (CA); [cited 2016 Mar 28] Available from http://bragg.com/contact/contact.php   Bull Frog Energy. 2016. How it works [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [cited 2016 Mar 28] Available from https://www.bullfrogpower.com/green-energy/how-it-works/   Chartwells. 2016. Dine on campus. [Internet]. Canada; [cited 2016 March 24] Available from http://www.dineoncampus.ca/  CFC. 2016. Concordia Food Coalition. [Internet]. Montreal (BC); [cited 2016 March 24] Available from http://www.concordiafoodcoalition.com/our-mission/  Common Energy UBC. n.d. Initiatives. [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [cited 2016 April 7] Available from https://commonenergyubc.com/initiatives/love-your-mug  Dalhousie. 2009. Investigating student-run co-operatives in North America [Internet]. Halifax (NS); [cited April 8 2016] Available from http://www.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/science/environmental-science-program/ENVS%203502%20projects/2009/DALHOUSIE_FOOD_COOP_INITIATIVE_REPORT.pdf  Facebook. 2016. UBC Roots on the Roof [Internet]; [cited 2016 April 7] Available from https://www.facebook.com/ubcrootsontheroof/  Food for Life. 2016. Our story [Internet]. (US); [cited 2016 Mar 28] Available from http://www.foodforlife.com/about_us/our-story   Food Literacy Center. 2015. What is Food Literacy? [Internet]. Sacramento (CA); [cited 2016 April 9] Available from http://www.foodliteracycenter.org/what-food-literacy  GSS. 2016. Mission and history [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [cited 2016 April 6] Available from http://gss.ubc.ca/main/about/history/   Horizon. 2016. History [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [cited 2016 Mar 28] Available from http://www.horizondistributors.com/history/   27  Nuts to You. 2016. Nuts to you [Internet]. Paris (ON); [cited 2016 Mar 28] Available from https://well.ca/brand/nuts-to-you-2.html   Pro-Organics. 2016. Pro-Organics home [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [cited 2016 Mar 28] Available from http://www.proorganics.com/Pages/default.aspx   Rainier. 2013. The Rainier story [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [cited 2016 April 7] Available from http://www.rainierhotel.ca  Research Connections. 2013. The regents of the University of Michigan [Internet]. Michigan (US). University of Michigan; [cited 2016 Mar 24]. Available from http://www.researchconnections.org/childcare/datamethods/survey.jsp   Roots on the Roof. 2016. The Club [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [cited 2016 Mar 28] Available from http://blogs.ubc.ca/rootsontheroof/about/the-club/   SEEDS (2016). SEEDS sustainability program [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [cited March 24] Available from https://sustain.ubc.ca/courses-teaching/seeds   Statistics Canada. 2007. Section 1: Food in Canada [Internet]. Canada; [cited 2016 Mar 28] Available from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/16-201-x/2009000/part-partie1-eng.htm   The Seasoned Spoon. 2016. The Seasoned Spoon levy [Internet]. Peterborough (ON); [cited 2016 April 4] Available from http://www.seasonedspoon.ca/levy  UBC Farm. 2016. Guiding principles cultivating place [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [cited 2016 Mar 28] Available from http://ubcfarm.ubc.ca/about/cultivating-place/   UBC Library. 2016. Library home [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [cited 2016 April 7] Available from http://www.library.ubc.ca/  UBC Overview and Facts. 2016. UBC Facts and figures [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [Cited 2016 March 24] Available from http://news.ubc.ca/media-resources/ubc-facts-and-figures/  UBC Sprouts. 2016. Who we are [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [cited 2016 Mar 28] Available from http://www.ubcsprouts.ca/whoweare/  UBC Sustainability. 2016. About the UBC food systems project. [Internet]. Vancouver (BC); [cited 2016 March 24]. Available from https://sustain.ubc.ca/campus-initiatives/food/about- ubc-food- system-project    World Health Organization. 2016. Food Security [Internet]; [cited 2016 April 9] Available from http://www.who.int/trade/glossary/story028/en/ 28    8. APPENDICES  Appendix A: Map of UBC campus showing the location of the Seedlings Café                    29  Appendix B: Seedlings Café Menu  30              31  Appendix C. Table of Seedlings’ Suppliers  Product Source Sources Mission Origin Produce Roots On The Roof Roots on the Roof runs a garden on the roof of the UBC Nest. They aim to grow and harvest food sustainably, conduct food literacy workshops, and provide an avenue for knowledge sharing that facilitates dynamic ways to approach food system issues (Roots on the Roof 2016). UBC, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Produce UBC Farm The UBC Farm helps create patterns that lead the way in the development of sustainable and healthy communities integrated with their surrounding ecology (UBC Farm 2016). UBC, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Bread Food For Life Food For Life, Canada aims to bake bread that uplifts, relieves and fills its consumer with strength and energy. They sprout all of the grains they use. The majority of ingredients are organic. All of their ingredients are kosher, non-GMO and use no artificial preservatives, or refined sugars (Food for Life 2016). Provided through Horizon Distributors located in Vancouver, BC. Nut Butters Nuts To You Nuts To You is a Canadian company that started in Paris, Ontario. They aim to bring pesticide free, organic nut butters to Canadians (Nuts to You 2016). Paris, Ontario, Canada. Apple Cider Vinegar Braggs The mission of Braggs is to educate people of all ages throughout the world to adopt a healthy lifestyle through optimal nutrition, exercise, positive attitudes and spiritual wellness. Their products are certified organic (Braggs 2016). Company located in California, USA. Provided through Horizon Distributors located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Milk Avalon Dairy Avalon Dairy provides milk made from practices that do not involve use of GMOs, antibiotics, pesticides or hormones. They believe in nourishing the soil and crops that will feed their cows (Avalon Dairy 2016). Burnaby, BC, Canada. Grains, Produce, Oils, Other (Distributor) Pro-Organics Pro Organics is Canada’s premier distributor of high quality certified organic fresh foods. They distribute fresh produce, dairy, dried fruit, nuts, beans, grains, flour, and select grocery lines. They source certified organic products from Canadian suppliers as much as possible and work closely with local growers to expand production (Pro-Organics 2016). Burnaby, BC, Canada. Grains, Produce, Oils, Other (Distributor) Horizon Horizon is Western Canada’s leading distributor of organic, natural products. They are known for their integrity in product selection, providing high quality, organic foods to Western Canada (Horizon 2016). Vancouver, BC, Canada.   32    Appendix D: Survey Questionnaire                    33  Appendix E: Survey Data           34           35                                   36  Appendix F: Questions Asked During Interview with Mark Wellington  Introduction of our role: We’re a team from LFS 450 working on a project with SEEDS and George Benson. Research goal: To Determine the Value of Seedlings to UBC and Strengthen Internal Partnerships to Ensure Future Success of the Cafe.  Beginning thoughts: ● Mark is an avid CBEL advocate. Impressed with Aaron (AMS president) and what AMS is trying to do. Think employers are looking for more experiential learning experience.  ● His thought’s about Seedling:  He’s very happy to see students volunteering at a cafe (in a very positive way) “This is a cool thing to have in the building”,   ● His relationship with seedlings is that of a “landlord”.           “We have little or no money” seedlings needs to pay the bills. GSS is supportive but it is a business transaction.  ● The GSS executive doesn’t react very closely with Seedlings. They have created committees to communicate. GSS doesn’t usually have a lot of time to communicate and take their relationship further.  What was your motivation to ask Sprouts if they wanted to open a location in the GSS space? Mark was not around when they asked Seedlings to open in the GSS building. He has been here for a year and was surprised to hear that, “That changes my perspective on certain things.” ● Mark had no idea that the GSS asked Sprouts to open up Seedlings.             This changes things: “There is a commitment here, we will do our best to help” ● The GSS funding is so little.   Are there any challenges in working with Seedlings?   ● The GSS and Seedlings have changed their contract over the years…  ● Confusion about Bullfrog Energy: Lindsay calls and asks Mark if she can get her power from ‘Bullfrog Energy?’.... Mark: “They are a tenant...not sure what Lindsay was wanting out of this. It was a way to ask to only pay carbon taxes instead of a hydro bill? What are you asking exactly?” Miscommunication ● When the GSS asked Seedlings to refrain from using their dishwasher for a day due to renovations, it was met with opposition.  Have you seen improvements since they have been established? ● YES! “They are doing a great job at managing what they have and have been following the guidelines we have set out for them” 37   How do you think Seedlings can better cater to Grad students?  ● “I think they already do!” “Grads and other students care about what they eat and they enjoy Seedlings”  ● Seedlings shows grad students that students are happy to come here, they love it here! It is such a beautiful place for students to be productive.  How does Seedlings pay rent? (day-day) Would there be a possibility of having a weekly discount if they pay for the whole week (pending there are no catered events?) ● Would the GSS sacrifice their financial state for Seedlings? Standardized rent? Pay only for the days that they are open…. The relationship has been an advantage due to the rent receive. They don’t want to hinder Seedlings, but don’t want to financially set the GSS back. ● Is rent increasing with CPI costs increase? National Index is used to check the inflation rates. They are just starting to change them now.  ● Gave Lindsay a notice 10 business days… about using the space for GSS. There was some miscommunication.    What is the extent of GSSs interaction with the sustainability goals at UBC (i.e. social & ecological)?http://strategicplan.ubc.ca/the-plan/sustainability/  ● Thinks Seedlings is doing a great job, they are very educated, and they care about the future. They have a great perspective on the environment, act like a mentor in that they educate people on world issues.  ● Suspects sustainability is in their mission statement, but there is a lack of understanding….that hurts the development of the mandate. Does not know exactly where they stand on that.   ● GSS Mission Statement: The GSS (Graduate Student Society) advocates for, promotes, and protects the academic, social, intellectual, cultural and recreational interests of its members.   How do you see your relationship with Seedlings in the long term? ● Lindsay is very pro-active; she is doing a great job. He would like to see a plan, an argument about what Seedlings wants. Goals? Struggles? Changes to the contract (not likely)?  ● Power issues? Furnishings? Signage? The GSS can help with the last 3. ● GSS will gladly help with promoting Seedlings. Infographic?! Create more awareness about what they are doing. What are the benefits?  Are there any minor or major concerns you would like us to address?  ● There needs to be more communication. Student to student. Where is the AMS in this? Getting executives (5 executive positions) together can be really tough, it’s easier for staff to talk and then distribute the information. Seedlings needs to 38  put a plan together! That cover all things: better marketing, rent, tables/chairs, etc. Would you work with GSS? AMS? What are their commitments? Costs? There’s a lot more that can be done, but Mark has a lot of priorities.   Talk to the financial executive for the GSS to talk about rent/finance? Be prepared!  “I don’t think we have to show specifically how it affects GSS” it can span to other stakeholders ● They need to really get serious about marketing. Engagement online. Social media. Traditional advertising. There’s no benefit to GSS to have more traffic but they would like to see seedlings do well.  ● He needs them to come to him and tell them what they want. What do they want?!  “They cannot expand without more power” external conduits could be used? Get a quote~finance committee~ then go to UBC directly. The size is not the issue, it’s power limited.  Is there anything else that we didn’t touch on, that you think would be important for our team to know? ● They need to really get serious about marketing. Engagement online. Social media. Traditional advertising. There’s no benefit to GSS to have more traffic but they would like to see seedlings do well.  ● He needs them to come to him and tell them what they want. What do they want?!  ● “They cannot expand without more power” external conduits could be used? Get a quote~finance committee~ then go to UBC directly. The size is not the issue, it’s power limited. “Where the hell is AMS?” GSS receives little $ compared to AMS.... Would be nice to have an overture from the AMS. Talk to either party separately, find out what both parties want to get out of this. ● Seedlings needs to come forward and make a formal pitch. AMS has to take initiative.   Final Thoughts:  ● He feels the GSS should do more for Seedlings in signage, awareness… but they have limited funds. They will do more in the future, but there are things to think about, mainly financial issues. (Lindsay should look into how much it will cost, where would they put it, what would it look like, and present that to the GSS).  ● There’s more the GSS could do, but there are limits. Seedlings asked for tables and chairs, power in the kitchen… they’ve done an amazing job at how they use the power and food equipment (i.e. not blowing circuits) they’ve done really well at managing that. He finds these students to be phenomenal in how they have managed what they have. GSS doesn’t have money for tables, chairs.   39  Both strapped for money ● Mark wants to help Seedlings by taking care of some things in the kitchen (old pop lines) ● New capital budget for GSS is going to ask for new tables/chairs, tables could be refinished/reused. Annual 2016/17 budget.  ● Mark’s sentiment towards Seedlings: What is their mandate? Their goals? Their values to GSS? Bring that to the execs. Executive transition is happening in may/apr   Questions not asked:  ● What are the space limitations for Seedlings? (i.e. extra seating, decorations, time, space?) ● Do you study/eat at the Café. Yes, no, why, why not? ● What is your favorite meal? ● What could be improved? ● Has Seedlings lived up to their reputation  Has Seedlings provided the type of food service and space you were expecting?  ● Yes: in what ways ● No: how can they improve, what are they lacking?               40  Appendix G: Infographic                                            41  Appendix H: Seedlings Café Photo Gallery  42  43  44   

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