Maine Course Values Statement

The Maine Course is Sodexo’s commitment to make a positive economic impact in the state of Maine through the purchase of local products, produce, services and responsibly harvested underutilized seafood from the Gulf of Maine by creating inclusive market opportunities for local producers with intentional collaboration and transparency across multiple dimensions of diverse communities* in Maine to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion in our market opportunity.

*SWMBE, gender, sexual orientation & gender identity (LGBTQ+), generations, race/cultures/origins, disabilities

Maine Course Goals

  1. Foster a strong Maine economy through the creation of inclusive market opportunities for local producers, aggregators and fisherpeople 
  2. Promote a sustainable food system culture by ensuring that all foods are used for their highest and best purpose and not considered waste 
  3. Cultivate intentional collaboration and transparency across multiple dimensions of diverse communities** as foundational to our work to ensure racial equity and continue with a concerted effort to remove structural barriers for market entry. **SWMBE, gender, sexual orientation & gender identity (LGBTQ+), generations, race/cultures/origins, disabilities
  4. Inspire Sodexo chefs and managers with the resources they need to expand their local impact

The Maine Course is aligned with the goals and values of Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow 2025 plan and Sodexo’s Supplier Code of Conduct.

Maine Course Governance

Maine Course governance is made up of a combination of Sodexo employees and Maine food system stakeholders.  This provides Maine Course internal advocacy and support as well as expertise and perspective from the broader Maine food system.  

Maine Course Accounts

  • The University of Maine System
  • Southern Maine Community College
  • Maine College of Art
  • Maine Maritime Academy
  • Thomas College
  • Central Maine Health Care Center
  • P & G Tambrands

Maine Course Local Definition(s)

  • Maine-Made: Maine grown, harvested and produced products
    • In order to count as local, the item must tick two out of three boxes:
      • Maine grown
      • Maine owned
      • Maine produced/manufactured/processed

    • UMS Local Definition:
      • Ingredients produced within 175 miles (as the crow flies) from any of the 7 primary campuses
      • Processed foods with at least 51% local ingredients as defined above
      • Water will not be considered a local ingredient or a processed food
      • Non-indigenous foods prepared and processed in Maine by an in-state owned and operated company where the majority of the owners are Maine community members with full autonomy and decision-making authority with respect to business practices
      • Processed foods made from locally unavailable ingredients but prepared and processed in Maine by an in-state owned and operated company where the majority of the owners are Maine community members with full autonomy and decision-making authority with respect to business practices 

Maine Course Current Commitments

Priority Products
  • Commitment to source local Priority Produce Products 100% when in-season and available from partners
  • Includes: Apples, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrots, Corn (fresh & frozen), Green Beans, Onions, Potatoes (chef, red, russet), Squash, Tomato, Blueberries 
Seafood Commitment
  • June 2015, Sodexo committed to purchasing 100% GMRI certified responsibly harvested fresh white fish by 2020. This was accomplished by January 1, 2020
  • This commitment was made in partnership with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.   
Maine Grain Commitment
  • Over the next five years Sodexo chefs at all Maine locations will double the number of menu items that include local grains as well as increase local grain purchasing by 50%.
  • Products that count towards this commitment:
    • Barley, Farro, Yellow Pea (whole & flour), Rolled Oats, Flour (Maine grown wheat), Maine grown beans/legumes
  • Expectations of the accounts:
    • Double the number of menu items that include local grains as well as increase local grain purchasing by 50%
    • Maine grown grains must be menu'd at least three times a week and include daily menu'd scratch cookies. 
Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership
  • Sodexo is proud to sign on as a Northeast Organic Family Farm partner to support organic dairy farms in the Northeast and to help secure the future of organic dairy. We're committed to purchasing organic dairy products from brands that source their milk from our region. 
  • To learn about our commitment and the partnership, please visit:

Partnership with University of Maine

In June 2016, Sodexo took over six of the University of Maine accounts. Sodexo committed to purchasing 15-20% local food within the first year of operations as part of the Maine Course initiative. Minimum of 20% local spend with a minimum of a 1% increase year over year end goal of 25-30% in 2020.
  • Hit 19.5% in the first year (Sodexo alone)
  • Hit 23% by December 2017 (Sodexo and Orono)
FY19 (July 1st, 2018 – June 30th, 2019): UMS: 23.7%
  • USM: 22.1%, UMA: 14.9%, UMF: 25.2%, UMM: 26.6%, UMPI: 26.1%, UMFK: 24.2%
FY20: UMS: 25.7%
  • USM: 25.5%, UMA: 22.7%, UMF: 25.5%, UMM: 27%, UMPI: 29.8%, UMFK: 22.7%
FY21: UMS: 25.4%
  • USM: 27%, UMA: 27.8%, UMF: 25.5%, UMM: 28.1%, UMPI: 25.3%, UMFK: 15.1%
FY22: UMS: 25.9%
  • USM: 25.6%, UMA: 21.7%, UMF: 25.4%, UMM: 29.3%, UMPI: 24.9%, UMFK: 22%

Goals and Relevant Projects: What are we doing?

  • Increase purchasing of local Maine produce, proteins, and products
    • Robust local purchasing tracking system for all Maine accounts
    • Launched Priority Products: Priority Products are products Maine Course has identified as products that are best-fit for use in Maine institutional markets, based on local supply and institutional demand 
    • Work closely with the Maine Course, and the ad-hoc Priority Product sub-committee, made up of stakeholders from across Maine’s food system, to identify local purchasing opportunities
    • Use local purchasing data to create purchasing goals for products and individual accounts
    • Host statewide training and networking forum between Sodexo and Maine producers, distributors, technical assistance service providers, food hubs, and other food system stakeholders
    • Communicate product demand throughout the Maine supply chain
  • Grow  partnerships with our local community 
    • 2016: Hired Maeve McInnis, Maine Course Director, to manage and grow relationships with Maine agriculture community
    • Coordinate tours of area farms and food businesses for our Maine accounts
    • Host networking and local food themed events and meals
    • Partner with local organizations and sponsor events and gatherings that are in line with Maine Course goals  

  • Develop shared values and bring awareness of Maine products and sustainable practices to our customers in all dining locations
    • Marketing materials in each dining unit to identify the local products featured in the menu, the Maine Course goals, and the stories of the producers and processors supplying our food.
    • Student internships to increase awareness about Maine Course, offer peer-to-peer engagement on campus, and educate students about the Maine and regional food system.
    • Dedicated Data Intern assists in formatting monthly data report alongside Maine Course Director

  • Provide Sodexo chefs and managers with the resources they need to expand their local impact
    • Offering a “Local Food Buying Guide” for chefs and managers at each account, identifying how to identify local food options through current vendors and maximize local purchasing opportunities
    • Strengthening the network and means of communication between all Maine Course accounts to share best practices and local sourcing tips 
    • Collaborating and training accounts on implementing local food purchasing tracking system and support in analysis of results


2015-2016 Accomplishments

  • June the creation of the Maine Course initiative in partnership with GMRI with our underloved whitefish commitment
  • Creation of the Shark Bites in partnership with GMRI, Maine Shellfish and Elevated Brands

2016-2017 Accomplishments

  • Automated Data template created with Maine Course and Sodexo Finance
  • Central Maine Meats partnership
  • Scaling Up event
  • Working with UMS economist to do an economic feasibility study on our local commitment, and the state impact
  • Maine Farm to School, October 2016
  • Conference presentations: FINE, April 2017 and National Farm Viability Conference, May 2017
  • 12.5% Local for Maine Course (year one)
  • 19.5% Local for UMS contract

2017-2018 Accomplishments

  • 13.5% Local For Maine Course
  • Sodexo and Orono hit 23.7% local by December 2017 (FY18) ahead of that year’s target
  • Recognized at the 2018 Agricultural Commissioner’s Luncheon at the Agricultural Trade Show in January 2018 that we hit our target 3 years ahead of schedule
  • Committed to Local Produce Priority Products
  • Partnership with Circle B Farms – Northern Maine Local produce distributor
  • Introduced Jarva cakes to PFG for distribution
  • Added Local Poultry to contract with Central Maine Meats
  • Conference presentations: AASHE, October 2017 and Maine Farm to Institution Summit, February 2018 
  • Working group: Frozen produce pilot run with Lakeside Family Farms and Central Maine Meats (Further research required to understand the viability of project)

2018-2019 Accomplishments

  • FY19: 13.5% Maine Course, UMS 24.1%
  • Frozen Produce Pilot (Research intern completed study on regional frozen produce businesses)
  • Conference Presentations: Farm to Institution New England Summit, April 2019
  • Farm Tours

2019-2020 Accomplishments

  • Local Purchasing for FY20: 17.2%; UMS percentage: 25.7%
  • Achieved commitment to shift 100% of our fresh whitefish to Gulf of Maine Responsible Harvested whitefish (Celebrated achievement at the Blaine House)
  • Made the Maine Grain Commitment – see above for details
  • Won a Kendall Food Vision Prize with UMF, UMPI and Good Shephard Food Bank for our frozen broccoli project
  • Conference Presentations: Maine Agricultural Trade Show, FINE Farm to Sea Webinars: Sustainable Seafood and Maine Grains
  • In March, the pandemic hits and everything shuts down

2020-2021 Accomplishments

  • Local Purchasing for FY21 16% (UMS percentage: 25.4%)
  • Conference Presentations: Maine Agricultural Trade Show
  • Pandemic: No in person dining, only serving take out meals, majority of students studying remotely 

2021-2022 Accomplishments

  • Local Purchasing FY22 17.9% (UMS percentage 25.9%)
  • Milestone with Kendall Food Vision Prize: planting first broccoli crop
  • Signatory of the Northeast Organic Family Farm partnership
  • Good Crust pizza tasting at all campuses
  • Kelp Tasting events on all campuses
  • Farm Tours: Bixby Chocolate Co in Rockland Maine, Atlantic Sea Farms in Biddeford Maine, Passamaquoddy Wild Maine Blueberry barrens and Circle B Farms Caribou Maine
  • Pandemic: Continues to cause inflation and supply chain issues

2021-2022 Accomplishments

  • Won a Kendall Food Vision price in partnership with Good Shephard Food bank to continue work we’ve done on bringing frozen Maine grown broccoli to the institutional and retail markets in New England