Sustainability and Resiliency

Food Sourcing

Brown actively supports its local community by sourcing food products from local farms and vendors.

Brown's commitment to buying local is guided by the following criteria:

  • Small farms, orchards, or mills that grow plant-based products.
  • Small producers of meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and cheese.
  • Owner-operated.
  • Produced within 150 miles or less.
  • Annual profit of less than $5 million.

Brown Dining Services works with a network of local and regional farmers to source local ingredients whenever possible. Some of the farms include:

  • Winsor Dairy, Johnston, RI
  • Schartner Farms, Exeter, RI
  • Kitchen Garden Farms, Sunderland, MA
  • Young Family Farm, Little Compton, RI
  • Confreda Farms, Hope, RI
  • Four Town Farm, Seekonk, MA
  • Wishing Stone Farm, Little Compton, RI
  • Moosup River Farm, Greene, RI
  • Narragansett Creamery, Providence, RI
  • New Harvest Coffee, Providence RI
  • Horse Listeners, Ashford, CT
  • Reds Best, Boston MA
  • Wayland Bakery, Providence, RI
  • Seven Stars Bakery, Providence, RI
  • Iggy’s Bread, Cambridge, MA
  • Pain D’Avignon, Hyannis, MA 
  • Black Bird Farm, Smithfield, RI
  • Rhode Island Mushroom, Exeter, RI

Bon Appetit

In July of 2016, BDS began a partnership with Bon Appetit Management Company (BAMCO). Individuals from BAMCO, including chefs and operations managers work alongside BDS staff. BDS manages all aspects of the Brown Dining operations including vendor and food sourcing, menu planning, and marketing with the support of BAMCO.

BAMCO is a pioneer in environmental sound sourcing practices and they’ve developed programs that address local purchasing, overuse of antibiotics, sustainable seafood, the food-climate change connection, humanely raised meat and eggs, and farmworkers’ rights.

Farm to Fork Program

Brown has proudly worked directly with local farmers, vendors, and artisans for many years and it continues to expand and enhance these partnerships. The University believes in buying directly from farmers and local producers. For example, Narragansett Creamery has been a BDS partner for years. In 2019, BDS won a $250,000 Henry P. Kendall Foundation Prize to support sustainable cheese production locally.


produce comes from within 150 miles


fluid dairy is local

Sustainable Seafood

In addition to its local farm partnerships, Brown also partners with local, sustainable fish vendors including Red’s Best. The partnership with Red’s Best permits BDS to commit to:

  1. Traceability from boat to Brown's kitchen
  2. Support of individually owned and limited to $5 million per year per species
  3. Catch that is within 500 miles from dock or boat to Brown's kitchen
  4. Limited to low-on-the-food-chain species

Humanely Raised

Brown partners with meat and egg producers that are Animal Welfare-Certified by A Greener World, meeting a five-step rating: 

  1. No cages, crates or crowding
  2. Enriched environment
  3. Enhanced outdoor access
  4. Pasture-centered
  5. Animal-centered — no physical alterations; entire life on one farm

2022 Statistics

35 %

of all food purchases are from New England vendors

100 %

of eggs are cage-free

100 %

of raw chicken spend is certified humane

95 %

of pork is gestation-crate-free

100 %

of pizza cheese is sourced locally