University of California-Berkeley First Campus to Receive Organic Certification

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Type: Policy

Status: Announced in March 2006

Source File:


Organic Certification
Cal Dining received the nation's first organic certification on a college campus in March 2006. The first organic salad bar was launched in Crossroads dining commons in April 2006. Now all four dining halls (including Clark Kerr, Foothill, and Café 3) are certified and are now serving 100% organic salad bars as well. This certification was an important step to maintain the integrity of our continued environmental efforts.

Promise statement:

  • Following the national organic regulations set forth by the USDA, Cal Dining is Certified Organic through CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) in serving an organic salad bar in its residence halls.
  • Cal Dining is partnering with Piranha Produce and United Natural Foods, both of which are certified organic distributors of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as processed vegetables, beans, dried fruits, nuts, dressings, oils and vinegars. By purchasing from these distributors, we will be able to comply with having our salad bar maintain at least 95% organically certified produce.

Organic FAQ

Q: What does it mean when a product is labeled organic?

A: In 2002, the National Organic Standards Board of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) established a national standard for the term "organic." Any grower, manufacturer or processor who makes a claim of "organic" must be certified by a certifying agency accredited by the USDA. Furthermore, there are strict rules defining varying degrees of "organic."

  • "100 percent organic" - The product contains ONLY organically produced raw or processed material.
  • "Organic" - The product has 95% to 100% organic ingredients and may display the USDA Organic seal.
  • "Made with organic ingredients" - The product has 70% to 95% organic ingredients.
  • Products made with less than 70% organic ingredients may only list the organic ingredients on the ingredient label, not on the front panel, and may not display the USDA Organic seal.

Natural Products
Based on customer response, Cal Dining transitioned to natural, organic and trans-fat free packaged items in our retail locations and added several of these items on Cal Club, our online bulk grocery program.

In the residence halls, we always serve 100% organic salad bars, organic trans-fat free peanut butter and organic, cage-free eggs.

In addition to our edible selections, Cal Club and Bear Market also feature an entire line of biodegradable, earth-friendly health and beauty items (such as shampoo and sunscreen) and laundry detergent.