News Sustainability

Yeo Valley Canteen organic commitment lands top award

Yeo Valley Canteen and Garden Café have achieved an Organic Served Here award with four stars for their commitment to a menu serving 75-95% organic ingredients.

Organic Served Here,an award scheme run by the Soil Association, celebrates and raises awareness of restaurants’ and cafes’ commitment to serving organic food, using a star rating for the percentage of organic ingredients on the menu.

Yeo Valley’s staff canteen opened to the public in 2015 so that visitors could enjoy locally-sourced, organic food.

Paul Collins, Yeo Valley’s Food Ambassador said: “Our ethos here is to keep it local, organic and simple. That approach to food runs right through the Yeo Valley business and our Canteen.

“Whether it’s our dairy products, the beef we rear on our farms or the veg we grow in our organic garden, we have the same attitude. It’s not fine-dining, but I think that’s what our customer like about us.”

UK sales of organic food and drink in foodservice grew by an unprecedented 10.2% last year, linked to a growing demand for traceable and sustainable food.

Recent Soil Association research revealed that 50% of people are more likely to choose a restaurant that highlights its ethical and sustainable credentials and 43% of people think that having organic on the menu makes a restaurant more appealing.

Organic Served Here award-holders are audited by experts from Soil Association Certification to ensure they source an agreed percentage of their ingredients from certified organic suppliers.

The higher the percentage of organic ingredients, the higher the number of Organic Served Here stars they hold (Five stars: 95 – 100%; Four stars: 75- 95%; Three stars: 50 – 75%; Two stars: 25 – 50%; One star: 15 – 25%.)

Organic products must be legally certified to a set of standards under EU law, and many Soil Association standards are higher still.

Products certified as organic are always free range, produced with fewer pesticides and contain no artificial additives or no GM ingredients, while livestock are not routinely treated with antibiotics.

Sarah Jupp, Business Development Manager for the Soil Association said, “Having helped Yeo Valley to find additional organic certified food suppliers, we understand the lengths to which they’ve gone to serve responsibly sourced ingredients to their customers.

“We’re very proud to reinforce their sustainable ethos through the Organic Served Here award.

“With 40% of meals now eaten outside of the home, chefs can play an important role in shaping the food we eat and how it’s grown.

“By sourcing organically, Organic Served Here award holders are helping to reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, providing a better quality of life for animals, and reducing the use of pesticides in our food.”

Tom Hunt, Eco Chef, Food Writer and Soil Association Ambassador, said: “Organic certification is a clear and trustworthy indicator that your food has been produced in the most sustainable and responsible way.

“Couple that with local produce farmed by small family farms who care about the land and you have some of the most nourishing and regenerative food the Earth, soil and sun have to offer.

“I applaud any restaurant or café with Soil Association’s Organic Served Here award for committing to a percentage of organic on their menu. With 40% of meals eaten out of the home, we urgently need more chefs to choose organic if we are to protect our wildlife, ecology and soils to feed generations to come.”

 

To find out more about Organic Served Herevisit http://www.soilassociation.org/osh and follow the hashtag #organicservedhere.