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Ethical sourcing

As part of our commitment to sustainability, McGill's very own Macdonald Campus Farm is our largest supplier of fruits & vegetables in season (Aug-Oct), such as apples, melons, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, artichokes. In fact, over the course of the 2010-2011 financial year, McGill Food and Dining Services purchased 20,000 lbs of produce from the Macdonald Campus farm, mostly during the harvest.

We are happy to announce that since November 7, 2012 all whole eggs intended for use in the five residential dining halls are sourced exclusively from the Macdonald Campus Farm, an initiative that was made possible in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability. The Macdonald Farm was granted Federal Certification for the sale of eggs. The repercussions of this announcement affect many by ensuring a viable campus economy. Grading the eggs in-house create extra work for students from Animal Science, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to name a few.

We've teamed up with the McGill Food Systems Project to adopt sustainability standards which specifically define local foods. The standards include purchasing seasonal produce grown within a radius of approximately 500 km, with the exception of citrus. All local food purchases must meet these criteria 75 percent or more of the time during summer, 50 percent or more in autumn and 25 percent or more in spring. 

(within 500km)
OrganicMore sustainableStudent researched

Milk produced on Quebec dairy farm Limited use of anti-biotics by law in Quebec (In Quebec farmers by law may use antibiotics twice during per year on any given cow, where the intention is the treatment of disease, as opposed to continual dosage of antibiotics in the feed which is a common practice on US dairy farms.)

Most chicken raised on Quebec farm 2% of chicken purchased organic 10% of chicken purchased from independent producers (self-operated locations only) Yes

Pork from Quebec produce

Raised without anti-biotics

Raised humanely


Beef & Lamb
Occasional purchases of natural beef


Most whole eggs are produced on Quebec and Ontario farms.

As of November 7th, 2012, all eggs used in the five Residential Dining Halls are sourced from the Macdonald Campus Farm.

100% of whole eggs from cage-free hens

Multi-grain feed

Soy Products
100% of tofu produced in Montreal 100% of tofu organic

Fruits & Vegetables

75% of total produce (summer) including frozen

50% of total produce (fall) including frozen

25% of total produce (winter/spring) including frozen

Partnerships with organic producers like Macdonald Horticultural Centre

Dry Goods, Oils & Spices

Grains and flakes are certified Quebec Vrai.

Flours are certified Quebec Vrai.

Coffee & Tea
Most coffee served is certified organic 100% of coffee served is fair trade certified or equivalent Yes

Seafood & Fish

All fish & seafood comes either recommended or certified by MFDS’ chosen “eco-labels”: Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) by the Aquaculture Certification Council (ACC) or Ocean Wise. In particular:
 a) As available, MSC certified products are prioritized in sourcing from wild fisheries and are otherwise sourced from wild fisheries recommended by Ocean Wise
 b) As available, BAP-ACC certified products are prioritized in sourcing from aquaculture farms and are otherwise sourced from farms following aquaculture practices recommended by Ocean Wise.

As sustainable seafood is a dynamic emerging industry, all newly available certification regimes will be evaluated on ongoing basis according to the definition of sustainable seafood & principles contained in an ENV 401 research report on sustainable seafood.