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Utilize local resources of our ocean to provide healthy food to our clients while simultaneously helping the local economy

Utilizing our unique coastal position to better source and distribute our aquaculture as we positively strengthen our food systems by 2060.

Photo of Nancy Wiseman
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Chartwells Dining Services: Nancy Wiseman, Operations Director & Kirby Roberts, Marketing Director

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Large company (over 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buzzards Bay, MA Chartwells Dining Service- Luther Fritzinger, Director of Dining Northeastern University, Boston MA Chartwells Dining Service- Tim Cooney, Resident District Manager Red’s Best Seafood Boston, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, New Bedford, MA Laura Orleans, Executive Director Atlantic Sea Farms- Kelp producer

Website of Legally Registered Entity

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Dining Services Department-

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

United States

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

New England is a northeastern region of the U.S. comprising the states of ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI making up 71,992 mi².

What country is your selected Place located in?

United States

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

New England has a unique coastal position in the U.S. It enjoys 473 miles of coastline which includes the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.  The lead applicant, UMASS Dartmouth is just 7.5 miles to the ocean and to the LARGEST fish port by value in the entire United States.  Mass Maritime, one of our other partners is on the ocean and their training ship the T. S. Kennedy is adjacent to campus.  Northeastern University is 4.5 miles from the ocean.  These three University Dining applicants in addition to our business and community partners are ALL ocean based entities.  So the interest in using the ocean as a better asset to feeding people seems like a natural fit.  These partners have worked together for almost 2 years as former Kendall Foundation Prize winners.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

The three University applicants are so incredibly diverse making for some very interesting partners. 

The thing that unites the partners is that all three University applicants are all operated by Compass Group.  "Compass Group is a British multinational contract foodservice company headquartered in Chertsey, England. It is the largest contract foodservice company in the world. Compass Group has operations in 45 countries and employs over 600,000 people." Wikipedia

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is a rural/suburban university located in the southcoast of MA.  It draws many of it's 7000 student body from the local area but also boasts of students from 53 different countries.  The university is located in an area known locally for its predominance of people with Portuguese and Cape Verde heritage.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy is the second oldest maritime academy in the entire United States.  It has a student body of approximately 1,700  It's website reports: " Massachusetts Maritime Academy is a fully accredited, four year, co-educational state university offering Bachelor and Master of Science degrees that are highly regarded in the worldwide maritime industry and beyond.  Located on Cape Cod, at the mouth of the scenic Cape Cod Canal, Massachusetts Maritime Academy is the ideal college to pursue your love for the ocean, your concern for the environment, your interest in math and science, and your thirst for adventure. "

Northeastern University is a public University in the heart of Boston with over 20,000 students.  Northeastern's website reports " ...Northeastern has redefined the global university, expanding co-op and other experiential learning opportunities to more than 128 countries and creating new educational and research partnerships that align with the increasingly global nature of higher education.

Together, these three University applicants are 2018 Kendall prize winners on two fronts.  UMASS Dartmouth is leading a successful effort on using under utilized fish species with the dining menu.  Mass Maritime is leading the way on utilizing kelp within the dining menu.  All three are sharing partners, sharing recipes, projects, events and excitement for spreading the word on our efforts.  One of the most important parts of the projects has been to bring in heavy student involvement.  Our goal has been to create excitement, knowledge and ownership with students to ignite the next generation of involvement to carry out our mission and sustain our efforts.

All of our combined 28,700 student base plus faculty and staff have been able to take part in trying new species of fish and using locally grown kelp as part of their food source. The cultural and economic diversity among our group is enormous but our service, teaching, and excitement has truly been shared.

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Challenges the fishing industry faces are fishing regulations and consumer demand. Underutilized fish are abundant in New England but due to sourcing, it's not abundantly popular. Another challenge is educating students and consumers about consuming underutilized fish. Climate change is another challenge one that our future depends on. Change in dining habits is an incredibly slow process but by introducing new species to college students, students who are at the forefront of defining themselves, their diet, their health, their life objectives...this couldn't be a better place to start.  Our student interns have assisted us on so many aspects of the projects and have contributed greatly.  The amount of local fish that is exported is overwhelming.  Creating a better market for local fish locally is part of the benefit of our project.  Our goal is to insure that 75% of the fish we serve is caught locally.  This helps our local economy, our sustainability efforts and our health.

In the area of introducing kelp into the diet has been at a slower rate.  The palate for the kelp has not really been quite developed.  But it offers boundless opportunities.  Our Culinary staffs in all three institutions have a new sense of creativity working vigorously to find new ways to introduce the kelp.  Smoothies, homemade pasta, noodle bowls, beignets and just some of the new menu items. And it has and will continue to effect the economic market of the fishing industry. We need to start looking at finding new ways for lobster fishermen and oyster farmers to work on the water while improving the health of our oceans. With kelp farming, we can not only make a dent in ocean acidification but also feeding New England with an alternative food source.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Our goal is also to bring the community, students and consumers closer to the front line of understanding the cycle of this very important and available food source for both kelp farming and underutilized fish.  

We have held so many events to carry our messages of using locally caught underutilized fish an locally raised kelp.  We are going to attach some of our work thus far.  

We are excited and pleased with our efforts but one thing is clear and that is our work is not done.  With additional funding we can continue to raise awareness to our efforts, continue to help the economy with locally raised kelp and locally caught fish while simultaneously improving the health of our students and staff, improving knowledge and establishing life long healthy eating habits to our students.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Through global seafood supply chains, it has become easier and less expensive to source seafood from thousands of miles away, than it is to purchase fresh, local, 100% sustainable seafood. It has been reported by the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center and their research that around 90% of seafood consumed in the US is imported, and nearly half is farm-raised. This provides an immense opportunity for business partners to grow the commitment to local fishing by 2050 and with consumer education it could take off. Kelp Farming is another aquaculture venture that could take off and help offset lobstermen and oyster farmers in their off season.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Our vision is to educate and raise awareness for the underutilized fish species in New England and to introduce different types of locally raised kelp into the diets of our students and staff.

We have formed an incredible team of three diverse Universities, a local community partner, the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center and two vendors that have been instrumental in making it all work. The people associated with New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, Red's Best Fish, Atlantic Sea Farms are leaders in their fields.  They have made connections, offered introductions and broadened the scope of our touch at all the Universities involved and beyond.

Our program is in place but our job is not done.  With all our efforts we have had an impact but we strongly feel we can effect more lives with knowledge, improve the dietary options offered, affect long term eating habits for the good and help the local economy.  All of those things have been effected positively by our group already but there is more work to do.  With additional funding, community programs will continue, knowledge will grow and most importantly we will find more students to carry on the mission.

Compass Group is a very large company and they too have been aligned with our efforts and assisting heavily in the achieving sourcing changes to make these things happen.  We want to continue to share with all of our colleagues the new knowledge and level of excitement we have with our project.

Contributing money to our efforts will be money well spent because we have already had success, we have conquered some of the hurdles and we are on fire with excitement.  That's what makes for continued growth and success. 

Some of the fishermen we are working with have already reported seeing actual economic progress with our change to buy more local under utilized fish.   Students love it!  

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Email
  • Prize partners
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Attachments (4)

Kelp Farming v02.mp4

Kelp Did You Know?

Kelp and Fish.mp4

Intro about initiatives

All our videos.docx

Video Link

Kendall Report.docx

Work so far


Join the conversation:

Photo of Archiebold Manasseh

Nice project! the ocean is source for both food and energy for mankind.... all the best

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