Who We Are
Farm to Institution New England is a six-state network of nonprofit, public and private entities working together to transform our food system by increasing the amount of good, local food served in our region’s schools, hospitals, colleges, correctional facilities, and other institutions. The FINE network consists of non-profit organizations, government agencies, institutions, foundations, farms, food distributors, food processors, food service operators and others.
By 2030, we envision New England institutions and the FINE network playing leadership roles in cultivating a region that is moving towards self-reliance. We envision an equitable and just food system that provides access to healthy and abundant food for all New Englanders, and is defined by sustainable and productive land and ocean ecosystems.
FINE’s vision is in alignment with those of many other food system entities, including the New England Food Vision created by Food Solutions New England. The vision we hold places emphasis on both the way that institutions and the farm to institution network will be operating, and the cultural conditions we see existing by 2030.
Collaboration Networks of diverse actors working together with a spirit of trust and generosity toward shared goals.
Community & Place Place-based multi-state approaches that build on the unique geographic identity and history of our New England communities and region to promote relationships and foster productive change.
Diversity A wide range of opinions (or “ways of knowing”), traditions, approaches, backgrounds, and communities.
Equity Fair and just access to resources and opportunities for all within the food system and beyond, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, educational level, economic status or other characteristics.
Healthy Ecosystems The integrity and biodiversity of natural systems. From recycling nutrients to promoting healthy fish stocks, crop diversity, soil and water quality, energy conservation, and resilience in the face of changing climates, we recognize that the well-being of people and planet are inextricably linked.
Strategic Disruption Actions that directly challenge elements of the food system that run counter to our values.
The Right to Food The belief that everyone deserves access to nutritious, affordable, sustainably produced, culturally appropriate food.
Thriving Local Economies Economies that cultivate socially equitable, financially viable, and environmentally healthy food systems and ensure that economic power resides locally to the greatest extent possible. This includes ensuring decent and dignified livelihoods for farmers, community-based fishermen and all supply chain workers.
Transparency Open access to information that has the potential to create positive change in the food system, and a commitment to honesty regarding goals and purpose when working in collaboration.
Commitment to DEI
FINE is committed to addressing the inequities on which our current food system is built and which we as food systems practitioners perpetuate when we accept the status quo.
FINE works in three primary ways. We (1) serve as the backbone for the farm to institution network in New England, (2) catalyze collaborative projects that address key barriers in the New England institutional supply chain, and (3) advance a policy and programmatic agenda.
Meet our staff and network advisory council!
We're working to ensure that students and patients at schools, colleges and hospitals across New England have access to healthy, regionally grown food.
Network Advisory CouncilExecutive Director of Auxiliary Services, Smith CollegeFounder and CEO, FATBOY FoodsState Campaign Manager, Share Our StrengthGulf of Maine Research InstituteMaineGeneralUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstExecutive Director (ret.), The John Merck FundEastern Regional Director of Innovation & Equity for the Healthy Food in Healthcare Program, Health Care Without HarmML Design StudioNew Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & FoodStrategic Accounts Manager, Native Maine ProduceHealthy Communities of the Capital Area / Maine Farm to InstitutionCatering and Special Events Director, UMass Dartmouth Dining ServicesExecutive Director, Farm Fresh Rhode IslandFood Entrepreneurship Director, CitySeedDirector of Food Strategy, Rhode Island Commerce CorporationDirector of Food System Policy at the City of New Haven, CTHarvest Table Culinary GroupEngagement Manager, Boston Waterfront Initiative, The Trustees of Reservations
Farm to Institution New England is generously funded by the following foundations and agencies:
The Whitehead Foundation
Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation
Henry P. Kendall Foundation
United States Department of Agriculture
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Farm to Institution New England (FINE) was launched in 2011 as a joint initiative of the Regional Steering Committee of the National Farm to School Network and a collaboration of New England agricultural commissioners. Since inception, FINE has focused on developing cross-sector connections between K-12 schools, colleges and universities, hospitals and other institutions such as day cares, health centers, assisted living facilities, prisons, government facilities and corporate campuses. Today, FINE serves those at the forefront of the farm to institution movement in the region, providing a forum to connect and share ideas, models, resources and support. Learn more about our network by reading our story as a book chapter, and in this case study.
Food for Thought: A New Way to Measure “Farm-to-Campus” Operations
New England Journal of Higher Education | January 2022
Can Small Farmers Make it Big in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island Monthly | October 2019
Big Food Paybacks to Cafeteria Operators Spark Controversy
Food & Power | September 2018
Stonehill seeks to unite New England campus farms
Wicked Local Easton | February 2018
Bushel of New England Campus Farms Visit Stonehill for Summit
Stonehill College | February 2018
Designing A Food Hub Network for New England
KK&P | January 2018
National Farm to School Month Interview with FINE's Network Director
iEat Green on Progressive Radio Network | October 2017
Sodexo in New England Plays Major Role in FINE Summit
Sodexo Magazine | Spring 2017
117 Organizations to Watch in 2017
FoodTank | December 2016
Farm to Institution Lessons Learned
Vermont Farm to Plate | December 2016
Farm to cafeteria table: The new local food frontier
GreenBiz | October 2016
Tips to Grow the Farm to Institution Marketplace
Vermont Farm to Plate | October 2016
Why Farm-to-Institution Sourcing is the Sleeping Giant of Local Food
Civil Eats | August 2016
Region's distributors cite lack of supply, high prices of local foods (only available to subscribers)
Sustainable Food News | August 2016
New Report Reveals Farm to Institution Trends in Food Distribution
UVM Food Feed | August 2016
Bring local food movement to University of Maine System campuses
Portland Press Herald | October 2015
Maine’s Public Universities to Increase Use of Local Food
Boston Globe | August 2015
Maine’s universities should walk the talk on local foods, farms
Bangor Daily News | August 2015
The Fight For Local Food Arrives at the University of Maine
Modern Farmer | August 2015
Advocates urge UMaine System to dish up local foods to students
Portland Press Herald | July 2015
Maine food producers call on universities to think local when feeding students
Bangor Daily News | July 2015
Group Wants UMaine System to Buy More Maine-Grown Produce
MPBN | July 2015
Locally grown food for UMaine campuses offers sustainable food path and helps farmers
Maine Insights | July 2015