April 5—Sodexo and the Real Food Challenge, a student food justice organization, have announced an agreement that advances supply chain transparency on Sodexo-contracted campuses.
The agreement puts in place a rigid set of standards for judging the social responsibility and sustainability of Sodexo's vendors and food producers. Operations meet these standards by using the Real Food Challenge's Real Food Calculator, which tracks institutional purchasing over time through the lens of "real food" purchases. The four areas for evaluating “real food” are if the item is local and community based, fair, ecologically sound and humane.
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 results will be used to demonstrate the operations’ actual purchases of “real food” and reveal new opportunities for increasing them.
"Transparency and sustainability go hand-in-hand,” Stephen Cox, Sodexo spokesperson, said in a press release. “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.”