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.
  • We purchase nearly 200,000 pounds of Maine potatoes for mashed potato, fries, roasters, potato salads and breakfast potatoes
  • Maine Family Farms (Portland, ME) sells more than 20,000 pounds of chicken to our dining facilities
  • We order almost 50,000 pounds of local meat from vendors including W.A. Bean & Sons (Bangor, ME)
    • This includes 10,500 individual hamburger patties served each month
  • Our guests are served more than 15,000 pounds of Maine seafood every year; including haddock, crab, mussels, and lobster
  • From flavored coffees to French Roast, we serve more than 6,000 pounds of coffee from Maine coffee roasters Carrabassett Coffee Company in Kingfield
  • Our dining facilities use nearly 4,500 pounds of Maine wild blueberries in dessert options and as part of daily fruit bars
  • A variety of Maine orchards provide us with nearly 44,000 apples

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 one 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.

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