Background image of Lunchtime at New Day Preschool. View from above. Two little kids eat from metal plates with salad, rice, winter squash, and a lentil stew.

BLOG

Helping schools source local chicken

Very few schools can source chicken raised without antibiotics. Ecotrust is working to fix the problem.

Demand for locally produced and responsibly raised chicken has grown steadily among Oregon’s institutions — including schools, hospitals, government facilities, and corporate cafes, all serving hundreds of thousands of people each day. But supply is lacking. Although chicken is the “center of the plate” protein served most often by this major market sector, institutions have been unable to find local suppliers able to meet their sourcing criteria.

To address this gap, Ecotrust has received a USDA planning grant that will lay the groundwork for a targeted, long-term effort to build Oregon’s supply chain of locally-produced chicken raised without antibiotics for our local institutions. Key partners on the project include Portland Public Schools, Beaverton School District, and Oregon Health and Sciences University.

This planning project will: 1) analyze Oregon’s existing supply of regionally produced chicken raised without antibiotics; 2) assess demand for this chicken from local institutions, including schools and hospitals; and 3) develop a plan to address gaps in the supply chain for this type of chicken. With this plan in hand, our long-term objective is to boost consumption of and access to local, raised without antibiotic chicken, increasing market opportunities for Oregon’s regional chicken producers and processors.

Read more about local schools’ quest to serve chicken raised without antibiotics, at OregonLive.com.