Sodexo and Real Food Challenge Sign Food Chain Transparency Agreement

    Sodexo and Real Food Challenge Sign Food Chain Transparency Agreement

Addressing the interests of a growing student food movement, Sodexo provides a
larger window on the sources of the foods they provide on campus

PR Newswire

GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 4, 2013

GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Amidst growing demands from
college students for university leadership in sustainable, local food systems,
today Sodexo, a leader in Quality of Life Services, and the Real Food
Challenge, the largest student food justice organization in the nation,
jointly announced an agreement that advances supply chain transparency on
Sodexo-contracted campuses.

The agreement puts in place a rigorous and comprehensive set of standards,
defined by the Real Food Calculator, for judging the social responsibility and
sustainability of Sodexo's vendors and food producers. The assessment tool,
developed by Real Food Challenge student researchers and associated food
experts, lays out four key criteria areas for evaluating 'real food' – local &
community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane. By using the Real Food
Calculator standards, Sodexo aligns itself with the most progressive metric
for institutional food service.

The agreement further sets up a process for students to collaborate with
Sodexo managers, collecting and analyzing purchasing data using the Real Food
Calculator's web-based application and tracking tool. The resulting statistics
will be used to demonstrate actual purchases of 'real food' and new
opportunities for increasing them.

With the Real Food Calculator, Sodexo will provide an unprecedented level of
access and information for students and universities—allowing them to better
advance their real food goals. It also demonstrates Sodexo's collaborative
approach in addressing the interests of a growing student food movement and
supporting academic inquiry into institutional food systems.

"Transparency and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Increasing transparency is
something we want to model for this generation of interested consumers and for
our industry. Working with the Real Food Challenge is great way to do just
that," said Sodexo spokesperson, Stephen Cox.

After three years of pilot testing, the release of the Real Food Calculator
represents an exciting innovation in the field of institutional food systems
and sustainability. Food service professionals and interested consumers—be
they in the higher education, healthcare or the corporate sector—now have the
ability to perform detailed assessments of the food in their cafeterias and
see their 'real food' purchasing grow over time.

Determined to positively impact local communities and protect the environment,
Sodexo and Real Food Challenge are fully committed to promoting and advancing
a more sustainable and transparent food system. One of the ways that Sodexo
meets its sustainability is through purchasing commitments toward sustainable
seafood, cage free eggs, and through broader partnerships with organizations
like Real Food Challenge. For its part, Real Food Challenge is campaigning to
see more college presidents sign its Real Food Campus Commitment – a pledge to
meet ambitious real food purchasing targets. Ten university leaders, including
Macalester College, Oberlin College and University of Vermont, have recently
signed on.

"We are happy to work with Sodexo to increase transparency and accountability
in our food system," said Anim Steel, Executive Director of Real Food
Challenge. "Building a truly just and sustainable food system requires a real
respect for the rights and needs of this younger generation and a real
commitment to transparency all along the supply chain – from seed to plate.
Together, we can lead the food industry away from a model driven exclusively
by profit, secrecy and the factory farm, and towards a one based on respect
for human rights, the environment, and the health of our children for
generations to come."

Visit Sodexo on Facebook and follow on Twitter @SodexoUSA
Visit Real Food Challenge on Facebook and follow on Twitter @realfoodnow

Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Life Services company in
the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Services in Corporate,
Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as
Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo, Inc.,
headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the
Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable
organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $17 million
in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at
blogs.sodexousa.com.

Real Food Challenge
Real Food Challenge (www.realfoodchallenge.org) is a national student
organization dedicated to building a just and sustainable food system. The
Real Food Challenge networks spans 300+ college and university campus across
the United States. Since its founding in 2008, the campaign's primary goal has
been to shift $1 billion in existing food spending by college and universities
away from industrial agriculture and junk food and towards local, fair,
ecologically sound, and humanely produced food – 'real food.' To date, Real
Food Challenge campaigns have won over $50 million in real food purchasing
commitments from leading colleges and universities. More on the Real Food
Calculator can be found at http://www.realfoodchallenge.org/calculator

SOURCE Sodexo, Inc.

Website: http://www.sodexoUSA.com
Contact: Sodexo: Samuel Wells, (301) 987-4893, samuel.wells@sodexo.com; Real
Food Challenge: David Schwartz, (401) 601-5545, david@realfoodchallenge.org
 
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