Food Products: General

Green Business Standard

GA Seal 300wIncludes online stores for which food is 80% of sales; supplements

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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)
  • Non-GMO certified is acceptable instead of USDA Organic IF the company demonstrates that it is moving towards the elimination of chemical herbicides and fertilizers 


  • 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


  • Must include 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
  • No GMOs
  • Comprised primarily of whole foods, minimally processed

Care of animals

  • Livestock grazes on pastures 
  • Any eggs must come from free-range chickens 
  • Vegetarian food


  • 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

Certification Questions? Contact Us

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