Hot off the press! New shared metrics for measuring the farm impact of institutional purchases

Hannah Leighton, Director of Research and Evaluation

New shared metrics for measuring local purchases! 

As part of the National Farm to Institution Metrics Collaborative, FINE has been working with a group of farm to institution organizations across the U.S. to identify a shared suite of key farm impact metrics that can be used by farm to institution practitioners across the country. Shared metrics allow farm to institution practitioners to track progress and impact, provide for consistency and transparency in reporting, support strategic development of regional value chains, and create learning across sectors. Standardized metrics can also reduce costs for distributors in tracking them, making it more likely they will do so! 

This year long pilot was funded by USDA AMS and led by a steering committee that includes Real Food Challenge, the Center for Good Food Purchasing, Health Care Without Harm, University of Kentucky, FINE, Community Health Improvement Partners, National Farm to School Network, Center for Regional Food Systems at MSU, and USDA OCFS, FNS and AMS. The project resulted in a set of six metrics, and an accompanying set of tools and resources to help practitioners track the impact of their local purchasing. These metrics are meant to work with your current tracking systems, goals, and standards and ultimately help you better understand and share the impact your purchases are having on the regional food system. 


The Metrics

Business type: Type and Location of Business that produced the FINAL PRODUCT  

Ownership: Is the business woman or minority-owned? 

Farm impact: Percentage of the item that consisted of ingredients sourced from farm(s) within the local region 

Farm identity: Does the item contain any local farm sourced ingredients that are identity-preserved (can be traced back to the original farm)?

Product type: What is the food category? 

Market Channel: How was the item purchased?  


Learn More

Learn more about the National Farm to Institution Metrics Collaborative, the farm impact metrics, and how you can get involved at You can also start by watching the short introduction video below. Are you a food service director, distributor, food hub, or anyone else in the FTI supply chain who is Interested in applying the metrics to your local food tracking? Contact hannah at to talk about what these metrics can do for you!