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To encourage the stewardship of natural and human resources, Dining Services supports growers and producers who practice sustainable agriculture methods. For Dining Services, sustainable agriculture includes ecological growing practices, humane animal treatment and social responsibility such as working and living conditions of laborers, the needs of rural communities and consumer health and safety.

UC Davis Dining Services relies heavily on third-party certifiers to guarantee sustainable agricultural practices from select vendors. These certifications include, but are not limited to:


In order to be labeled "organic" products must meet the federal organic standards as determined by a USDA-approved certifying agency. Organic foods cannot be grown using synthetic fertilizers, chemicals, or sewage sludge; cannot be genetically modified; and cannot be irradiated. Organic meat and poultry must be fed only organically-grown feed and cannot be treated with hormones or antibiotics.

UC Davis Dining Services is committed to offering organic products throughout the academic year. Part of our commitment is to provide food that is as pure as possible with the least amount of processing. We provide the following options for our students and guests:

Food Alliance Certified

Food Alliance is a nonprofit organization that operates a third-party certification program for socially and environmentally responsible agricultural practices. Food Alliance certification distinguishes farmers and ranchers who:

  • Provide safe and fair working conditions
  • Ensure healthy and humane care for livestock
  • Do not use hormones or non-therapeutic antibiotics
  • Do not produce genetically modified crops or livestock
  • Reduce pesticide use and toxicity
  • Conserve soil and water resources
  • Protect and enhance wildlife habitat
  • Demonstrate continuous improvement

UC Davis Dining Services offers the following Food Alliance Certified items standard or on rotation in the resident dining rooms:

Humane Animal Treatment

In order to ensure our animal proteins are sustainably raised, we take into consideration the way the animals were treated. UC Davis Dining Services relies on Food Alliance Certification, Certified Humane Raised and Handled and American Humane Certified to ensure select animal proteins meet our goal for sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable raised animal proteins are part of our program on a daily, weekly and monthly basis in the dining rooms.

When it comes to seafood, UC Davis Dining Services recognizes the importance of purchasing sustainably caught or farmed seafood in order to protect our oceans and waterways. As of November 2009, UC Davis Dining Services purchases only seafood from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program's "Best" or "Good" seafood categories, with the exception of tuna.



Fair Trade Certification ensures that farmers are provided above market value prices for their products, as well as safe and fair working conditions, direct trade, transparent organization and democratic decision making, community development and environmental sustainability.

UC Davis Dining Services has committed to purchasing only Fair Trade Certified Starbucks coffee for all drip coffee served in the resident dining rooms and convenience stores since fall of 2007.

We also provide other certified Fair Trade options in our convenience stores:

UC Davis Dining Services also relies on Food Alliance Certification to ensure that select vendors for domestic products are providing safe and fair working conditions for employees. We are currently researching ways to expand our role in a more safe and fair domestic food system and supporting the Domestic Fair Trade movement.

In February of 2012, UC Davis Dining Services launched the Fair Trade February banana promotion, encouraging students to vote with their food dollar for more just and ecologically sound bananas at UC Davis. To learn more about this program, and its impacts, please see the UC Davis Fair Trade Banana February 2012 report.

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