Delaware North Companies, one of the nation’s largest hospitality groups, has signed an agreement to become the first major hospitality and foodservice company to join Greener Fields Together, the sustainability program recently launched by leading national produce distributor, PRO*ACT.
The food industry’s first comprehensive, national farm-to-fork sustainability program, Greener Fields Together is dedicated to continuous sustainability improvements at each touch point in the produce supply chain. This will ensure that Delaware North Companies and other hospitality operators have greater access to sustainably grown, safe produce at both the local and national levels.
PRO*ACT has served as Delaware North Companies’ primary produce supplier since 2009, supplying more than 425,000 cases of fresh produce annually to most of the company’s U.S. operating locations, including sports stadiums, entertainment complexes, airports, national and state parks, casinos and resorts.
“Delaware North and our clients are increasingly sourcing local produce to provide our guests with fresh, high-quality foods and seasonal cuisine,” says Michael Reinert, vice president of Delaware North’s Supply Management Services. “PRO*ACT’s Greener Fields Together program makes our operations more sustainable and ensures we are receiving produce from farms and produce houses that are being held to the highest sustainability and safety standards.”
Greener Fields Together encourages farmers to explore and develop “green” activities in areas such as energy use, water and waste management, pesticide/herbicide use, packaging and transportation. Farmers large and small partnering with PRO*ACT in the initiative are expected to make continuous, documented improvements in sustainability. PRO*ACT distributors have
also pledged to make Greener Fields Together a strategic priority and are implementing a variety of improvements to their environmental impact while also building long-term partnerships with
local farms, including financially supporting local farmers’ food safety education and certification efforts.
Working with PRO*ACT has enabled Delaware North to streamline its large-scale produce supply chain, purchasing through PRO*ACT rather than directly from the farms. The new Greener Fields Together program will further enhance the company’s ability to source products from local farms with a verified food safety record. Delaware North will begin displaying the Greener Fields Together emblem in its U.S. operations as a commitment to customers that they are being served fresh, safe, sustainably sourced produce. “Becoming a hospitality partner in Greener Fields Together aligns with Delaware North’s commitment to environmental sustainability through our award-winning GreenPath® environmental management system,” adds Anne Marie McManus, director of environmental affairs and sustainability for Delaware North.
“We’re proud to have Delaware North as the first major Greener Fields Together hospitality partner,” says Max Yeater, PRO*ACT president. “We understand that they and others in the foodservice community are working hard to increase their use of fresh produce in general and of local produce in particular. We also know that moving toward a more sustainable produce supply chain – from farming through distribution through foodservice operations like those operated by Delaware North – is a shared strategic priority. Greener Fields Together is designed to help us get there, together.”