The farm-to-fork initiative will help bolster use of local produce
at the company’s locations across the United States
BUFFALO, N.Y. and MONTEREY, Calif. (Dec. 4, 2012) – Delaware North Companies, one of the nation’s largest hospitality groups, has signed an agreement to become the first major hospitality and foodservice company to join Greener Fields Together, the sustainability program recently launched by leading national produce distributor, PRO*ACT.
The foodservice industry’s first comprehensive, national farm-to-fork sustainability program, Greener Fields Together will create and verify continuous improvements at each touch point in the produce supply chain to ensure that Delaware North Companies and other hospitality operators have greater access to sustainably grown, safe produce at both the local and national levels.
PRO*ACT has served as Delaware North Companies’ primary produce supplier since 2009, supplying more than 425,000 cases of fresh produce annually to most of the company’s U.S. operating locations, including sports stadiums, entertainment complexes, airports, national and state parks, casinos and resorts.
“Delaware North and our clients are increasingly sourcing as much produce as possible locally as part of providing our guests with fresh, high-quality foods and seasonal cuisine,” said Michael Reinert, vice president of Delaware North’s Supply Management Services. “PRO*ACT’s Greener Fields Together program makes our operations more sustainable and ensures we are receiving produce from farms and produce houses that are being held to the highest sustainability and safety standards.”
Greener Fields Together targets and will measure farmers’ “green” activities in areas such as energy use, water and waste management, pesticide/herbicide use, packaging and transportation. Farmers large and small partnering with PRO*ACT in the initiative will be expected to make continuous, documented improvements in sustainability. PRO*ACT distributors, too, have pledged to make Greener Fields Together a strategic priority and are implementing improvements such as energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration, recyclable totes and pallet wraps, backhauling and building long-term partnerships with local farms, including financially supporting local farmers’ food safety education and certification efforts.
Working with PRO*ACT has enabled Delaware North to streamline its large-scale produce supply chain, purchasing through PRO*ACT rather than directly from farms. The new Greener Fields Together program will further increase the ability to track products from farm to fork for better food safety and traceability. Delaware North will begin displaying the Greener Fields Together emblem in its U.S. operations as a commitment to customers that they are being served fresh, safe, locally sourced produce.
“Becoming a hospitality partner in Greener Fields Together aligns with Delaware North’s commitment to environmental sustainability through our award-winning GreenPath®environmental management system,” said Anne Marie McManus, director of environmental affairs and sustainability for Delaware North.
“We’re proud to have Delaware North as the first major Greener Fields Together hospitality partner,” said Max Yeater, PRO*ACT president. “We understand that they and others in the foodservice community are working hard to increase their use of fresh produce in general and of local produce in particular. We also know that moving toward a more sustainable produce supply chain – from farming through distribution through foodservice operations like those operated by Delaware North – is a shared strategic priority. Greener Fields Together is designed to help us get there, together.”