Certified Local Program
The Certified Local Program recognizes and celebrates Northern Colorado restaurants that support the local food economy. The program verifies that restaurants listing local farms and producers on their menus are regularly purchasing from them, which ensures that the benefits of farm-to-table are shared with producers. In return for your commitment to growing our local food economy, this certification will recognize you for your efforts, and we will work to improve our local food system’s capacity to meet your needs as a restaurateur.
By applying to become Certified Local by the Foodshed Project, restaurants are agreeing to uphold the program standards, in return for a variety of benefits.
Who can apply? Currently, the Certified Local program is open to all sit-down restaurants within Larimer County.
How much does it cost? 2020 Certification is $75 per restaurant. All fees go toward administrative processing costs and to the development of added benefits for restaurants such as a local food map and guide, local food production database, and more. Certification is awarded and renewed annually.
All Certified Local restaurants receive:
- Inclusion on the Certified Local restaurant list (and future guide) including a direct link to online booking
- Promotional materials and logo rights including window decal, digital badge, and prewritten program copy for menu, website, and marketing materials
- Regular promotion in Foodshed Project print and digital media
- Yearly annual report with data related to local food and industry impact of program
- Access to database of local food production availability to facilitate purchasing (coming soon)
How It Works
Restaurants complete an application annually to showcase their local food purchasing practices and compliance with the Certified Local Standards (below). Applications may be completed online at the link below, or by printing and emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our team processes and reviews applications within 5-10 business days. This includes performing an audit spot check to verify the food purchases submitted, as well as to verify compliance with our Fair Marketing Standard.
Upon acceptance, restaurants will receive an email containing instructions for fee payment and a program guide with certification and licensing agreements for signature. Once the signed agreements and fee are received, we will deliver a marketing package with the above listed promotional materials and add the restaurant name to the Certified Local Restaurant list!
The Certified Local Standards were designed with consultation from chefs and restaurant owners. The two certification tiers available allows the program to meet restaurants where they are while ensuring that the accreditation is meaningful for consumers. The Core tier makes certification accessible and possible for all restaurants in our communities supporting local food, while the Exceptional tier allows restaurants that go above and beyond to receive special recognition.
- Fair Marketing – Within the past 30 days, restaurants must have purchased product from every farm listed on the menu, displays, or marketing materials (including website).
- Best practice: If a restaurant does not change its menu on at least a monthly basis, farm names and products should be displayed on a chalkboard or other changeable display.
- Colorado Purchasing – At all times, restaurants must offer at least one Colorado-grown or produced item from five or more of the following categories, if applicable to your menu.
- Honey and other processed foods (bread, mustards, jams, jellies, coffee, tea, etc.)
- Local Purchasing – Restaurants must have at least three local (Northern Colorado) agricultural products on the menu at any given time. Only items from categories i, ii, and iii above satisfy this criterion.
All Core standards, plus the following:
- Seasonal Menu – The main ingredients of at least one appetizer and one entrée must be entirely locally procured and seasonally appropriate, year-round.
- Local Purchasing Plus – Restaurants must have at least six local (Northern Colorado) agricultural products on the menu at any given time. These must include at least two produce items and at least one meat/fish item.
- Local Beer & Wine – The beer list features at least three Northern Colorado breweries, and at least two Colorado wines.