Food is an integral part of sustainability. Where and how it is produced, how workers are treated and paid, how animals are raised, the chemical inputs and waste outputs, the nutritional value of products and the need to preserve farmland and communities are all factors that need to be taken into consideration. RIT’s Dining has begun to make noticeable strides in this area.
Whenever possible, RIT Dining purchases local and seasonal produce manufactured in upstate New York. Our dairy supplier, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. is a food and beverage cooperative owned by dairy farmers in the Western New York State area and local coffee suppliers, Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters are served in a number of dining locations. Our primary food supplier is Palmer Food Services, a local family owned company that is 1 mile from our campus. Additionally local companies we do business with are the following: B. Giambrone and Co. (Produce) and Regional Distributors (paper/plastic/ cleaning supplies). Using locally produced food significantly cuts transportation costs and reduces associated carbon emissions.
A majority of dining locations offer Fair Trade coffee. Fair Trade products ensure that the growers and laborers who produced the product are provided fair living wages and labor conditions. In addition to food items, The Market at Global Village features a variety of Fair Trade gift items as well.
As demand increases for seafood around the globe, many fisheries are stressed and on the verge of collapse. Recognizing this issue, RIT Dining Services is currently working with food suppliers to identify sustainably harvested seafood from suppliers with clear sustainability standards.