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March 27, 2019

2 minutes read

Harvard Business School Joins Farm Forward’s Leadership Circle

“Through thoughtful procurement policies, institutions like Harvard Business School meet growing consumer demands for more ethical and sustainable food. By making this commitment today, the school improves farmed animals’ welfare—at no increased cost.”
— Andrew deCoriolis, Farm Forward Executive Director

We’re excited to welcome Harvard Business School (HBS) to Farm Forward’s Leadership Circle. Business leaders from around the world look to HBS as the gold standard for business education. We hope that HBS’s policy prioritizing animal welfare will inspire many others.

HBS is the fourteenth institution to join the Leadership Circle, which includes other leading universities and businesses such as Bon Appétit Management Company, Burgerville, University of California Berkeley, and Villanova University.

As a member of the Leadership Circle, HBS has committed to buying 100 percent of its eggs—including both liquid and shell—from certified higher welfare farms aligned with our sourcing requirements. To implement these changes, HBS partnered with their on-site dining management company, Restaurant Associates (RA), a company of Compass Group, to identify higher welfare suppliers and to shift their purchasing. Restaurant Associates leveraged the expertise of Food Buy, the largest foodservice procurement organization in North America, to assess the impact of changing the egg supplies to operations on campus and found that switching to a higher welfare products did not increase costs to HBS. The change will impact more than 15,000 hens over the next ten years.

Farm Forward applauds HBS for adopting a kinder, more sustainable food policy. As HBS invests in this growing sector of the food economy, the school paves the way to making to higher welfare, more sustainable products readily available to other institutions and large buyers. Moving forward, HBS will explore other ways to sensibly incorporate highest welfare eggs and continue to integrate plant-based food options into their dining services, thereby improving the health and sustainability of our food system.

HBS and RA were inspired by the forthcoming Sustainable Healthful Food Standards developed by the Harvard Office for Sustainability in collaboration with Harvard’s Multidisciplinary Faculty Food Standards Committee and Council of Student Sustainability Leaders. Harvard’s Sustainable Healthful Food standards includes a recommendation that other Harvard schools work with Farm Forward to create a baseline of farmed animal welfare and to work with the Leadership Circle to develop and implement strategies to improve their dining operations. Farm Forward is pleased to support Harvard’s commitment to continuous improvement on these issues.