Policy Summary

This ordinance requires "City departments and agencies requiring procurement or service contracting of foods" to "adopt Good Food Purchasing Standards as a framework for guiding values driven purchasing." Values that are recognized by the ordinance as part of the Good Food Purchasing Standards include support for small and mid-sized agricultural and food processing operations; support for producers that employ sustainable production systems; protection of worker' rights; paying farmers a fair price for their products; healthy and humane care for farm animals; and promoting health and well-being by offering "generous portions of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains; reducing salt, added sugars, fats and oils; and by eliminating artificial additives."

Background Information

State Massachusetts
Jurisdiction Name Boston
Jurisdiction Type City,
Population Size 200,000-800,000
Legal Strategies
  • Requires something, sets standards
Reach Limited scope
This law is an administrative policy. It only applies to City department and agency food and food service procurement.
Food System Category Grow; Distribute;

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?

See, e.g., references to "disadvantaged and minority Communities," and "local minority, disabled, and/or women-owned businesses." § 1.

Emergency management?
Health-related linkage?

See e.g., language regarding "safe and healthy working conditions, " "health insurance," and "health and well-being." § 1.

Environmental linkage?

See e.g., this language "conserve soil and water; protect and enhance wildlife habitat and biodiversity; and reduce on-farm energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions." § 1.

Economic linkage?

See e.g., language regarding "supporting small business owners;" "connecting Boston food procurement to Massachusetts food producer;" and "support[ing] small and mid-sized agricultural and food processing operations within the local area or region." Ordinance No. 0139 (in "whereas" language" and at § 1 adding § 4-9.1 to Chapter IV of the City of Boston Code).

Includes findings?

Findings are included in the "whereas" clauses, including, e.g., "individual and collective choices regarding food purchasing and consumption affect the health, sustainability, working conditions, and economic opportunity in our communities;" and "the Good Food Purchasing Program was developed in 2012 as a national standard for local procurement to incentivize public institutions to procure Good Food produced through values-driven purchasing standards." Boston, Mass., Res. No. 0139 (Mar. 13, 2019) (in "whereas" language).

Has a stated intent or purpose?

"In order to leverage the City of Boston's purchasing and procurement to improve public health, sustainability, fair working conditions, and local opportunity across the City and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston embraces the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) as a strategy to help improve our region's food system through the adoption and implementation of Good Food Purchasing Standards...." § 1.

Includes definitions?

Addresses implementation?

Numerous implementation details are laid out in section 1 in the language that adds sections 4-9.2 and 4-9.3 to Chapter IV of the City of Boston Code. These include timeframes for communicating Good Food Purchasing standards to suppliers; developing and adopting an action plan with benchmarks to measure success; incorporating Good Food purchasing standards into new procurement requests and contracts; releasing baseline assessments; and holding public hearings to receive testimony on the baseline assessments; along with additional steps to ensure transparency in agency procurement decisions. § 1.

Enforcement provisions?

Evaluation component?

"Within two years of completion of the baseline assessments, each participating department and agency will begin requesting an annual assessment from the Center for Good Food Purchasing. The departments and agencies will hold public annual hearings where departments and agencies will present their GFPP assessment to receive public comment on the progress made by each respective Department or Agency... Community stakeholders will have sufficient time to ask question and make public comment." § 1

Requires extra investment?

The ordinance calls for convening of a Community Advisory Council and utilization of a representative from the Office of Neighborhood Services. § 1. However, it is not indicated whether these would be new positions requiring additional salaries/stipends.

Code context and ordinance history

This is an uncodified ordinance. History: although not reflected in this report, it was adopted by the City Council on Mar. 13, 2019.


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