Non-vegetarian Food

Non-vegetarian Food | Credit: Mickaela Scarpedis-Casper on Unsplash

Includes fishing; fish farming and aquaculture; mainly dairy and eggs; meat production and processing; poultry production and processing

Restored & Protected Environment


  • At least 50% of the product line or revenues have to be generated from certified organic products according to USDA standards
  • If any non-organic ingredients include cottonseed, canola, soy, corn, zucchini or crook-neck squash- might be genetically modified therefore ineligible
  • No pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers made with chemicals or treated sludge 
  • No hormones or antibiotics (unless absolutely necessary in very rare cases)


  • All environmentally friendly packaging (recycled, recyclable, etc.) 
  • Livestock eats organic grains
  • Use of a green office or facility, including resource reuse and maximum use of post-consumer recycled resources as well as maximum water and energy efficiency This includes storm water management if companies have access to the exterior of their buildings or property. 

Social & Economic Justice


  • Includes an accurate and complete ingredient list
  • Social and environmental mission and vision statement for your business on website
  • If importing ingredients or buying from non-local suppliers, ensure that no child labor is used in their planting and harvest
  • Local, organic and fair trade have parity in food, but companies must explain their definition of “local” and what the affordability and accessibility issues are, if any
  • Comprised primarily of whole foods, minimally processed
  • Care of animals from which your food is made
    • No CAFO like conditions
    • Slaughter conditions maximize fast and painless, including transportation and hold pre-slaughter
    • Slaughter house workers are paid a living wage
    • Slaughter house workers have access to appropriate safety gear
    • When animals are fed grain, at least half is GMO-free
    • Livestock grazes on pastures
    • Any eggs must come from free-range chickens


  • Use of fair trade ingredients where possible, particularly coffee, tea, olive oil and sugar
  • Ingredients are locally-grown
  • Labeled with or accompanied by information on appropriate use relative to diet and personal health concerns 

Standard Review

This standard was revised in 2015. We held a 45 day public comment period and solicited feedback on the standard from our Certified Green Businesses.

We also took guidance from the following organizations (does not imply endorsement):

  • Animal Welfare Approved
  • Business Alliance for Local Living Economies
  • Friends of the Earth
  • National Organic Program of the USDA
  • Non-GMO Project
  • Organic Consumers Association
  • World Fair Trade Organization and Fair Trade USA