The inn is owned by Emil and Kathrine Rask Bahr, who took ownership of the inn in late 2018.
Emil Rask Bahr tells about their structured process and how they have now obtained the Silver Organic Cuisine Label.
Why did Sdr. Bjert Kro obtain the Organic Cuisine Label?
“We’re motivated by taking care of our nature and working with sustainability. As professionals we want to take responsibility. That is the mindset I bring with me from my co-ownership of Restaurant Hærværk in Aarhus. However, working with the Organic Cuisine Label process here at the inn has been a larger and somewhat different process, because our volume is greater than at the restaurant in terms of large events that require large-scale sourcing.”
Did the Organic Cuisine Label impact your menu?
“We carefully consider how to include more vegetables when we create our menus. Our four-course menu always includes a vegetarian dish – simply to introduce more vegetables. Increasing the number of vegetarian dishes and vegetables offsets the slightly higher cost of, for example, organic meat.”
How does the Organic Cuisine Label impact your way of working?
“First of all, it requires careful consideration and planning of the menus. For example, introducing more vegetables but also ensuring that we use all of the ingredient. We no longer buy cuts of meat from the supplier. Instead we buy half a cow and cut it up ourselves. This means that we remove the cost of the intermediary but spend a few extra hours of work. Ultimately, it is cheaper – and more fun – because we reintroduce this classic activity in our work.”
What was the first thing you did?
“We took a very cost-conscious approach from the beginning. We found a supplier who supplies basic organic products at a reasonable price. It’s very important to negotiate a good price from the start. We consume a lot of basic products so they represent a large share of our total costs. Beverages were the next item on the agenda. There are products that we simply want to offer, so we made the decision early on to apply for the Silver Organic Cuisine Label to be able to include non-organic beer from our local brewery. In return, we only offer organic soft drinks, because regular coke will tip the scale.”
What are the challenges of complying with the Organic Cuisine Label?
“The challenge lies in being able to use products that are both organic and sustainable but don’t carry the Danish organic label, the Ø-label. Therefore, we chose the Silver Organic Cuisine Label because it gives us the freedom to buy great products that don’t carry the Ø-label. I also think that it would be great to focus on other things such as food waste and cleaning agents. We can do better than the labels require us to. They provide the guidelines, we provide the final result.”
How do you use the Organic Cuisine Label in your marketing?
“We’ve chosen to work with the Organic Cuisine Label – not from a marketing perspective – but because it makes sense. Perhaps because we’re living in an area where people are a bit more conservative than they are in large cities, and customers believe that we’re more expensive because we serve organic cuisine. That’s a misperception which we’re trying to get away from. We would rather present a cuisine label for care and respect.”
What would you say to people considering an Organic Cuisine Label?
“They need to link the process and the work to the classic craft of cookery instead of buying bags of ready-made products. Next, they should tell the guests about their sourcing strategy and their approach, be a great sparring partner who challenges traditional thinking. For example, why is beef tenderloin always the main course at dinner parties? You also have to be careful not to be too set on your menu, because a flexible menu allows some wiggle room when buying products.”
What is the biggest professional gain?
“As mentioned, it’s amazing to be able to reintroduce the classic craft of cookery. We may spend more hours in the kitchen, but we’ve become much more impassioned and we love working together – even when it’s hard. Furthermore, the flavours of the ingredients are also different. Organic dairy simply tastes better. And I’m just glad to be serving fruit and vegetables that are completely pesticide-free.”
Sdr. Bjert Kro, Gamle Bjert 16, Bjert, south of Kolding, Denmark