Sustainable Food Purchasing in Public Institutions: the 3P Mentorship Program

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Public Purse Procurement (3P) Mentorship Program, delivered by My Sustainable Canada (MSC) and MEALsource with support from the Greenbelt Fund, cultivates champions of local and sustainable food purchasing who use the buying power of public institutions to put public dollars toward the public good, and ultimately transform the food system.

The program works to leverage the $750 million dollar buying power of the public sector to support a culture of local sustainable food purchasing. Through mentorship, they build a community of practice and knowledge, guiding the cohort to discover how sustainable purchasing fits with their facilitiesʼ priorities.

The four Ontario public institutions in the first cohort represented more than $10 million in food purchasing power. Together they collaborated on a shared vision to get more local food into their facilities.

The first cohort launched in 2014 included mentees from a hospital, university, long-term care home, and college: 

• Health Sciences North, Sudbury
• Queen’s University, Kingston
• Sunnyside Seniors’ Services, Region of Waterloo
• Humber College, Toronto

A review has now been conducted for the first cohort, finding that 43% of the cohort’s $10 million buying power is now spent on local food!

Be sure to view the full 2014 Year in Review for some more impressive numbers, data on local food, program activities, value metrics, lessons and next steps.

Below are the 4 insightful and inspiring case studies from each institution, provided by My Sustainable Canada:













My Sustainable Canada is looking to grow the local food procurement community, and currently accepting applications of interest for the next cohort. Confident that any institution has the potential for increasing their sustainable procurement, the program will meet institutions wherever they are – whether they have an existing food service contract or not. Interested institutions can get more information on the My Sustainable Canada website