University of Maryland pushing suppliers toward sustainability

Dining Services setting new standards for raising, handling of animal products

Nov. 26—Dining Services at the University of Maryland is drafting new standards to encourage its suppliers to adopt more humane and environmentally friendly practices.

Officials evaluating new contracts or renewals with the department’s current suppliers will ask that companies satisfy at least one of four standards—that they be local, treat animals humanely, employ fair labor practices or use ecologically sound practices while raising animals, Dining Services spokesman Bart Hipple said. While not a mandate, officials said the changes should aid the department in meeting a recent goal: having sustainable food account for 20 percent of Dining Services’ supply by 2020.