Why certify a restaurant as organic ?
Certified organic restaurants are important as the last link at the end of a production chain of
carefully grown and handled products adhering to organic standards. Essentially they provide
assurance that what you buy is organic from paddock to plate – sustainable, non-chemical farming,
no irradiation, no GMOs, no chemical processing and care taken in storage, transport and packaging.
As organic foods become more popular there are more cases of people claiming to be organic or to
stock or serve organic food without the guarantee that certification provides.
In certified organic retail stores, organic produce is clearly labeled with a certification number
for the consumer’s reassurance. Certified products are only labeled as such where accompanied by an
organic transaction certificate or equivalent for traceability.
In certified organic restaurants, at least three menu items must use a minimum of 95% organic ingredients.
Whenever possible, organic ingredients are to be used in all menu items, with organic ingredients clearly
identified. Preference is on locally sourced, in-season organic ingredients.
Certification also encourages store or restaurant management to adopt an environmental focus. This
includes use of pest control and cleaning products and practices that are natural and/or registered
as approved for use in organic facilities, checking energy usage and waste control, assessing
contamination risk, and educating staff in Standard requirements. Lets not forget, organic certification
adds as competitive edge to a business and is bound to put a smile on those seeking an organic menu!
See ‘Restaurants & Prepared Food Suppliers’ section of the
Australian Certified Organic Standard
for more information on restaurant certification requirements