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Sustainable School Food Procurement in Large K—12 Districts: Prospects for Value Chain Partnerships

  • David S. Conner (a1), Betty T. Izumi (a2), Toni Liquori (a3) and Michael W. Hamm (a4)


Many scholars and activists are interested in the potential for school-based childhood nutrition programs to positively impact the U.S. agri-food system. This paper explores efforts of a national K-12 school food collaborative to procure more sustainably grown and healthful food products. After a review of literature on transaction cost theory and school food procurement, the paper examines the potential of strategic partnerships in a value chain framework to meet procurement change goals. Results from a qualitative study of two participating school districts suggest that partnerships can offer potential solutions to recurring procurement barriers found in previous research.



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