The University of Georgia Costa Rica 2014-2015 Sustainability Report UGA Costa Rica 2014 - 2015 Sustainability Report - Page 26

67+20+13 UGA Costa Rica Percentage of Food Purchases May 2013 – April 2015 13% 20% 67% On-site farm production Within Monteverde Outside of Monteverde subsist from the on-site organic farm alone. Additional food purchases first come from the surrounding farms in the San Luis Valley and then towns in the Monteverde region. Bulk purchases are made through the supermarket in the nearby towns of Santa Elena, Puntarenas, and the San José farmer’s market. Virtually all of the food consumed on campus is produced from within a 200-mile radius of the campus. In some cases, it makes good sense for UGA Costa Rica to produce on-site vs. buying externally, even if external purchases do directly support the local community. In the cases of on-site production, the 26 University of Georgia Costa Rica intent is not to displace purchases from the immediate local community, but rather to utilize the campus’ resources in the most efficient manner possible, and when possible, have on-site production serve as a demonstration, and outreach opportunity for local producers and visitors. By purchasing local produce and meat, UGACR actively invests in the communities surrounding the campus. Local farmers are encouraged to produce using sustainable practices, avoiding many of the negative repercussions for human and environmental health often associated with industrial agriculture, such as chemicals in water runoff, loss of biodiversity, and pest problems. The families who produce the food for the campus live on their farms and are highly motivated to protect the land, ensuring crops are sustainably grown to meet UGACR standards. Another important environmental benefit of buying locally is the reduction in carbon emissions, as food travels shorter distances between the local farms and the UGACR campus. Overall, purchases made by UGACR represent an important source of income for these farmers, helping the community as a whole maintain a secure lifestyle and increase its prosperity by providing a guaranteed market for their products. At any given time, the campus supports at least 20 farmers in the San Luis community alone. An initial economic study carried out by a visiting economics student from Kyushu University suggested that for each dollar spent in the local economy by UGA Costa Rica, there is at least an additional $0.67 multiplier effect impact within the local community.