Projects are a great way for students to get involved and gain first-hand experience doing food policy work. If you are interested in working on a project, please contact Projects Chair Erin Schwartz at email@example.com.
Local Food Procurement
In recent years there has been increasing interest in local food consumption, and many states have enacted legislation to promote the use of food grown within the state. Under Massachusetts law, state agencies and institutions of higher learning are required to give preference to locally-grown foods in their procurement practices. In spring 2012, the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic prepared a report analyzing the law and its implementation by state colleges and universities. The Clinic also created a list of recommendations to increase the purchasing of local foods by these institutions. In fall 2012, the Clinic conducted a similar project with regard to local purchases by state agencies, and student volunteers assisted with a fifty-state survey of agency local procurement efforts. Our goal was to identify states that have significantly increased local food purchases to serve as models when we considered potential policy recommendations for Massachusetts.
Our client for this project was the former President of a major national food retailer who now wants to use his knowledge of the retail food industry to reduce food waste and bring high quality, excess food into food deserts through a new type of retail store that would utilize these food items. Students working on this project analyzed the code date rules for food products in various states and localities and helped make policy suggestions to amend these laws to reduce food waste.