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Organic Consumers Association

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Boston Brings Sustainability, Equity to Its Food Purchasing

The first Northeast city to adopt environmentally responsible purchasing guidelines city-wide, Boston also makes an explicit push for racial equity in its food procurement program, which will benefit schools and many more.

Buying locally really can make a difference. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) found this out in 2012 after adopting a good food purchasing program (GFPP)—a policy that gives institutions a framework for buying local, sustainable, and humanely sourced food. After the school district implemented the program, its produce and bread distributor, Gold Star Foods, changed its business practices to meet the GFPP guidelines and keep LAUSD as a client. This created a ripple effect: Gold Star added 65 new jobs and began sourcing its bread from Shepherd’s Grain network, a sustainable agriculture enterprise; Shepherd’s Grain, in turn, expanded its network of more than 40 wheat farms across the West Coast in order to provide the 160,000 bushels needed each year to serve the school district.

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