Dining

Socially Responsible Practices

Fair-Trade – Since 2001


The Oberlin College campus has used fair-trade coffee exclusively since 2001. Both Pura Vida and Crooked River Coffee Company are fair-trade, organic coffee companies. Pura Vida Through a passion to directly impact the way the world looks at the business practices and procurement techniques of coffee companies, the Crooked River Coffee Company® was born. The Crooked River Coffee Company® has improved the coffee business for many growers by following only the most responsible practices:

  • We conduct fair trade to ensure a sustainable living for farmers and their workers;
  • We pre-finance the crop to provide living expenses for the farmers;
  • We use only environmentally responsible farming techniques.

The mission of the Crooked River Coffee Company® has been to increase awareness of the need for economic and environmental justice for coffee growers, while providing its customers with the best cup of coffee on the planet.
We seek out cup quality beans with social justice and environment justice in mind. We presume you will too.

Antibiotic Reduction – Since 2003

Our poultry is raised without the non-therapeutic use of medically important human antibiotics. This policy began in 2003 with chicken and was extended to turkey in 2005.

As of March 2007 all of the hamburgers we serve are made from "natural" ground chuck. While there is no strict legal definition of "natural," Our supplies commit to using: No antibiotics(ever); No added growth hormones(ever); No animal by products in feed (ever); Humane treatment required.
As viable commercial supplies of other reduced antibiotic meats come available, we will expand our preference for these wholesome products.

Natural, rBGH-free Milk – since 2003

Since 2003, Oberlin College has served milk produced at Hartzler’s Family Dairy. The cows at Hartzler’s Family Dairy are free to graze on the chemical-, herbicide- and pesticide-free grasses from the family farm. This innovative family even ensures that each cow has a mattress to rest upon at night. The family found that the cows are more content and productive. Oberlin College is reassured that the students are drinking milk that is free of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, antibiotics and pesticides.

Seafood Watch – Since 2004

All of our seafood is purchased in accordance with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guidelines for sustainability.
After becoming aware of the state of our oceans and fisheries, we recognized that serving sustainable seafood is the right thing to do at all our locations. We began a nationwide rollout of the Seafood Watch program in 2002 and made adherence a non-negotiable food standard in 2004.

We have since taken our commitment to promoting sustainable seafood choices beyond the four walls of our cafés. Bon Appétit co-sponsored the making of the Emmy-nominated documentary "Farming the Seas" which was shown on PBS stations and at schools and museums around the world. The Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation and the Seafood Watch program were joint recipients of a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to create the Save Seafood Tour to educate people about the issues surrounding seafood and activate them to make sustainable choices. The Save the Seafood Tour came to Oberlin College in 2005 and 2006.

Cage-free eggs – Since 2005

In November, 2005 Oberlin College began to purchase all of our shell eggs cage-free.