Organic Served Here
Lizzi Testani explains what it means for Better Food to receive Organic Served Here status
The Soil Association is delighted to announce that we have launched a new award for restaurants and cafes that use some organic food, called Organic Served Here, this January 2017.
This new award is unique in championing cafes’ and restaurants’ commitment to sourcing organic produce, from small to large. The aim is to help consumers easily find those businesses that stock and serve organic when they are out and about.
Organic farming means higher levels of animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers. Through more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment – it means more wildlife!
Last year saw research from the British Journal of Nutrition showing significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic farming. Professor Carlo Leigert of Newcastle University described the findings as ‘overwhelming’. This was very welcome news for the organic sector. It felt right that care from the point of sowing a seed, converted to actual nutritional differences in the end product. The public agree. In 2017, amidst all the political uncertainty, organic sales saw steady growth and outperformed non-organic sales, which were meanwhile in decline. This upward trend is set to continue.
Organic Served Here is a boon for people looking for cafes and restaurants they can trust. Unlike all other elements of the organic supply chain, from farms and food processors to distributors, there is currently no legal requirement for restaurants and cafes to verify their organic claims.
The first café in England to receive the award
Clearly, Better Food is all about transparency and traceability. Being a Bristol foodie, I have been unable to miss their proactive approach to these issues including regular ‘meet the supplier events’ and coach trips for customers to visit their South West suppliers. This provides a rare opportunity for urban dwellers to get some fresh air whilst finding out from whom and where their food comes from.
When cafes like Better Food choose to demonstrate their commitment by achieving such an award, it contributes to this mission. Better Food is the first English café to achieve an Organic Served Here award and their 4 stars reflect the fact that between 75-95% of ingredients used in the cafes are organic. This company continually finds innovative ways to turn values into practice and communicates these values widely and clearly. We are really pleased to have them on board and so early in the game. We hope that many other cafes are compelled to join them in creating a network of organic-oriented businesses across the country!
Lizzi Testani is the Catering Mark Project Manager for the Soil Association. To find out more about the award and to see if you can apply, visit: www.soilassociation.org/certification/food-drink/organic-served-here