UBC Undergraduate Research

Internal Audit : UBC Food Services Food Vision and Values, Part II Blundon, Rachel; Light, Olivia; Philpott, Isabelle; Ye, Alex

Abstract

UBC Food Services has assembled a list of “Food Vision and Values” (FVV) (UBC Food Services, 2018) to guide the operations of their businesses in an effort to improve sustainability on campus. The list of values is comprehensive and includes a commitment to sixteen food related standards or values including popular initiatives such as Fair Trade, Ocean Wise ™, and Zero Waste. The goal of this project was to choose up to three sustainability indicators out of the sixteen total values as our focus for a baseline audit, assessing the level of progress UBCFS has made on the selected values chosen for review. The main objectives were to select an appropriate set of measures that can be successfully audited and to perform said audit of UBCFS operated establishments to analyze whether UBCFS is achieving the targets set out by these goals. This year’s project built on the previous FVV audit with a series of interviews with stakeholders within the UBCFS sector as well as third party vendors operating on the UBC campus. The initial set of questions and list of stakeholders for these interviews were provided by the Executive Chef & Culinary Director from UBC Food Services. Our team successfully completed 13 out of the 14 proposed interviews. We completed all of our interviews in person and before reading break. This entailed conducting an average of seven interviews a week over a two week period with at least two group members attending each interview. Concurrently to interviews, we conducted public observations of vendor locations to inform our process for selecting the appropriate food values to be audited. Once all the interviews and public observations had been completed, we compiled our findings and discussed which food values out of the sixteen should warrant an audit. Upon completion of this discussion and consensus on selection, our team performed a baseline audit for labeling & transparency, affordable & healthy options (AHO), and plant based options (PBO) within the three UBC residence dining halls to assess how well these goals are being achieved. Some of our key audit findings include a lack of plant based proteins in breakfast entrees being offered across the three dining halls, dining hall labeling inaccuracy rates ranging from 6.5% at Open Kitchen (OK), 8.9% at Gather, and 14.3% at Feast, as well as a positive correlation between what our survey respondents considered an “affordable” meal and the price point of the majority of meals offered in the dining halls audited. A key recommendation is the need for clearly defined metrics regarding terms mentioned in FVV such as “affordable”, “healthy”, and “housemade”. Projects like this are crucial for determining the functionality of the UN Sustainable Development Goals on the ground and at the micro level of scale. This project has the potential to spark revised courses of action and new innovative ideas for implementation, not only directly impacting the approximately 20,000 people that UBC feeds every day, but also the broader supply chains connected to UBCFS in and throughout the larger Vancouver area. 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.”

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