Buy Local Food, Sustain Maine Farms

UMaine Dining is committed to local products and sustainable practices. The University of Maine has surpassed its goal of sourcing 20% of its food purchases locally by 2020. This includes produce grown on campus by the Black Bear Food Guild and UMaine Greens. We are looking to reach a new goal of 25% by 2025!

Quick Facts
Hand holding local blueberries

  • The University of Maine System defines locally sourced food as any food produced or harvested by a producer or processor, including in Maine, within 175 miles of the University of Maine System’s seven primary campuses.
    • This definition applies to the following food product categories: produce (fruits and vegetables), dairy, eggs, poultry, meat, fish/seafood, baked goods/grains and grocery.
    • Processed or prepared foods with at least 50% of their ingredients by weight qualifying as locally sourced food will be counted.
  • Local purchases account for 24% of all of our year to date spending!
  • Farms and other local vendors include:

Local Maine potatoesWhy Buy Local?

Buying local food and products supports the farmers and producers who make a living in Maine and the New England region each year. Our commitment began in 2007 as a partnership with a single product from one farm in Newport, ME. It has grown to purchasing food from more than 26 area farms and 33 businesses to include 900 individual products.

We are a leader in the State of Maine for institutional local food implementation and share our story with others in the community to help them follow the same business models. Staff are active participants in FINE (Farm to Institution New England), a six-state network of nonprofit, public and private entities working to transform the food system by increasing the amount of local foods served in schools, hospitals, colleges, and other institutions.

Glenn Taylor, Director of Dining Services, was the recipient of The Portland Press Herald’s 2018 Scion Award for his dedication to sourcing and using local products at the University of Maine’s Orono Campus. Under his direction, UMaine Dining currently sources 23%* of items from nearby sources.
*Data from 2019

For more information on Maine produce, visit Get Real Get Maine or visit Growing for Market.