FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kevin Coburn, 802-287-8926
Green Mountain College Announces Bon Appétit’s Helene York as Visiting Scholar for Graduate Program POULTNEY--Green Mountain College is pleased to announce that Helene York, director of purchasing strategy for Bon Appétit Management and director of the Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation, will be a visiting scholar for the College’s M.S. in Sustainable Food Systems (MSFS) program.
Bon Appétit Management Company provides café and catering services to corporations, colleges and universities, with over 400 locations in 32 states.
“Helene and the Bon Appétit Company share many of the same goals and values as GMC,” said Philip Ackerman-Leist, MSFS program director. “She is a strong advocate for combining culinary expertise with a commitment to socially and environmentally responsible purchasing practices. Her background in weaving sophisticated sustainability practices into the fabric of what is arguably the most progressive food service corporation in the country will help our students understand leverage points for change in the corporate sectors of our food system.”
York will attend the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) Winter Conference with GMC undergraduate and graduate students February 16-17, and she will then visit the GMC campus February 18-21, the residency period for 41 students in the MSFS program. The four-day residency will include lectures, discussions, informal conversations and at least one public presentation.
York earned an undergraduate degree at Harvard and a master’s degree at Yale. As director of purchasing strategy at Bon Appétit, she is responsible for identifying new products, managing supply chains, and performing supplier relations for the company’s Farm to Fork program. As director of the Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation, she educates chefs and consumers about how food choices affect the global environment. In April 2007, she launched the company’s successful Low Carbon Diet program to raise awareness of connections between the food system and climate change, and to reduce emissions associated with Bon Appétit’s food service operations. She was instrumental in shifting corporate purchasing away from threatened fish species toward sustainably sourced supplies. She was a founding board member of FishChoice.com and is currently a director of Humane Farm Animal Care. Since 2009 York has been a regular contributor to the Atlantic Monthly online.
York recently led Bon Appétit’s commitment to ensure that all the company’s pork will be sourced from farms that don’t use gestation stalls (densely packed metal cages that imprison sows in spaces so tight they can’t turn around) by 2015.
“Good animal welfare isn’t just about the animals,” York wrote in a recent column that appeared in Civil Eats. “It’s about starting to dismantle a system that has enormous costs for our society, including the loss of medically important antibiotics, the pollution of our air and water from animal waste, and horrible working conditions in factory farms.”
Green Mountain College recently announced its intention to become the first higher education institution in the U.S. contracted with a major dining services provider to purchase all animal products from humanely managed sources.
Green Mountain College’s MSFS degree program prepares future leaders in the burgeoning local food movement with an interdisciplinary understanding of sustainable agricultural production and a deep knowledge of economic, ecological and social forces driving food systems. The MSFS is the nation’s first distance-learning graduate program focused on sustainable food systems, and the program’s first MSFS cohort will graduate in December 2013.