Part of Insiyah’s goals for this week involved investigating what it might take for CERO to break into an anchor institution like MIT. To this end, she reached out to some colleagues at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning who did a research project on the procurement office at MIT last term. From their report, we were able to glean that MIT has a Supplier Diversity Program that CERO could benefit from. This program connects MIT buyers with suppliers of diverse background, including small business that are minority owned, women owned, owned by people with disabilities, and others. This program also supports local purchasing. Insiyah reached out to Rositha Durham, a Procurement Manager at MIT to learn more about this program; we are still waiting for a response on this. Insiyah also called and left messages for folks at Rita’s Catering (one of MIT’s largest suppliers), to try and learn more about their composting practices.
Ben’s goal for this week was to follow up with some of the restaurants, grocery stores, and (via restaurants) building managers we visited and interviewed last week in order to reach the decision makers. We have also entered our leads into CERO’s lead, contact, and deal tracker, Base. This, as has been CERO’s experience, has proven much more difficult than talking with front-line staff and even managers, who, as we learned last week, don’t know where the waste goes after they put it in bins. Waiting on calls or e-mails back (or sufficient time to pass to follow up again) from Thomas at Morton’s The Steakhouse, the head of procurement at Legal Seafoods corporate (locations will not divulge any information), Miguel at Harvest Coop, and most interestingly, the real estate and building management services behemoth JLL, which we know to compost at some locations at least and to talk up a good environmental sustainability game, http://www.us.jll.com/united-states/en-us/services/corporates
Part of Jason’s goal for this week was to investigate deeper into the food festivals and see if there is a way for CERO to market more to these people. The questions asked were centered around how connected the local food community is and if they practiced composting. But this time around, it was to the people that was attending as attendees and not just vendors. He e-mailed about 10 buyers and food suppliers from around Boston that attended the festivals as attendees. Only about two of them responded and the foundings were extremely similar to the results from last week, which was that people attended a lot of these festivals as way of networking and a way to get the word out there about their business. This is indication that potentially CERO can maybe do the same thing. One of the respondents is actually a Chef of a restaurant in JP, and has done a lot of work in promoting local foods and such. We will be having a phone call with her on thursday.
Part of Husayn’s goals for this week was to reach out to WhatsGood, a vendor at the trade show at Northeastern he went to last week. He e-mailed them requesting a list of the restaurants that the chefs that partnered with local farmers worked at. He also asked for more information regarding what institutions most often used their service. This will help us figure out if trade shows and the local farmer scene is a good area for CERO to target. If the institutions/restaurants that use WhatsGood to partner with local farmers/food producers actually compost, maybe it’d be good for CERO to attend these trade shows and people who are in these circles. We haven’t heard back from WhatsGood yet.