Organic is the heart of our business. For us, organic certification is the boldest statement a farmer, producer or manufacturer can make in their commitment to taking care of the soil, animal welfare, the ecosystem that they rely on to make their product and—ultimately—the people who enjoy it.
In our sourcing and cafés
We prioritise organic
We’ll do everything we can to source an organic version of any product. We continuously look for opportunities to increase our range of organic products, and to replace products that we’ve found an organic alternative for. Where possible, we aim to source entire product lines with organic certification.
We’re especially careful to prioritise organic when a product contains a significant proportion of an ingredient that comes from long and distant supply chains that are often open to unsustainable or unethical practice, such as soy, cocoa and nuts.
We believe that organic provides an extra level of reassurance especially sourcing meat and dairy products, and so take particular care to make this a priority in our sourcing, as well as produce from local farmers who practice sustainable, high welfare farming. Where we cannot source an organic meat or dairy product, we take steps to check welfare standards and will continue to look for organic alternatives.
As well as this, all our cafés have been awarded 4 stars in the Soil Association’s Organic Served Here scheme. This is in recognition of the fact that around 93% of the produce that we use in our cafés is organic certified.
We look at the bigger picture
Not everything in our stores is organic; we might stock a non-organic product if there is no organic alternative, or if we think that sourcing a non-organic product has other positive impacts, such as supporting local producers. We’ll always prioritise practices that are good for people and planet.
Where we can’t source sufficient amounts of an organic product to meet demand, we’ll still try to make it easier for our customers to choose organic alternatives, as well as working with our suppliers to try and increase the range of organic options.
In our practice
We’re an organic certified business
We don’t just source organic products, our business is Soil Association organic certified itself. This means that we can handle organic ingredients and unpackaged organic products, and legally sell them as organic. Our premises and our practices are regularly audited by Soil Association to ensure that we’re working by their standards.
We share the benefits of organic with our community
Our team benefit from our commitment to organic too, from a free freshly-made, organic lunch available each day, to organic cotton aprons, and opportunities to volunteer at and learn from some of the organic farms we work with.
We think that organic certification is a useful tool for small brands to gain recognition and trust from their customer base, and can help to embed good practice from early on. It’s also a great way for more established producers to maintain quality and standards. That’s why we’ll try and help local, fledgling producers to gain organic certification, and encourage bigger brands to expand their organic range.
Where we want to be
We think we have the widest range of organic products in Bristol, but there’s always room for more and we’ve set ourselves a target of increasing the proportion of organic certified products we sell, as well as setting a number of targets to increase specific lines of organic products.
How are we keeping an eye on this policy and putting it into practice?
We ask all new suppliers to tell us about their organic certification status and any organic ingredients they use in our sourcing questionnaire. As well as this, our buying team, health and bodycare manager and fresh produce manager actively seek out organic products, and will replace non-organic products when a certified alternative is available. We are currently reviewing all lines to see where we can increase our supply of organic products, and reduce non-organic lines.
Read more on this policy
That’s Symbol Enough – What is organic certification and why does it matter?