What is Values-Based Purchasing?

National Farm to School Network
June 3, 2024

As interest continues to rise in local food purchasing, the conversations around them are expanding beyond prioritizing purchases based simply on whether they are “local” foods. While local food purchasing is a form of values-aligned purchasing in its own right, there is growing momentum in communities that are digging deeper and making purchasing decisions based on factors that encompass more than price or even where the product was grown.

Values-aligned purchasing, also referred to as values-based purchasing, looks into the attributes related to the foods that are purchased and the people producing them. Institutions should consider values-based purchasing not only for the immediate benefits it brings to local communities but also for its broader societal and environmental impact. This resource is intended to provide an overview of values-aligned purchasing and a framework for categorizing values.

go back to resources