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Best Bites program

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The Best Bites program celebrates outstanding local food businesses, and recognises the industry’s commitment to food safety, health and wellbeing, practicing sustainability, and ensuring access and inclusion for all.

Best Bites is an initiative of the Mornington Peninsula Shire. It is an industry development program that supports the growth of local food businesses in providing safe, healthy, and sustainable food.

The benefits

What does your business get out of being part of the Best Bites program? Businesses involved in the program report the following benefits:

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Savings

Once your business qualifies for the Best Bites program across at least one of the Areas of Excellence you will receive around a 20% discount on your annual food business registration (applied in the next financial year).

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Recognition

All Best Bites accredited businesses receive a door sticker to highlight their participation in the program, along with promotion on the Mornington Peninsula Business website, newsletter and social media.

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Learning

As a Best Bites accredited business, you will be part of an exclusive local food network giving you the opportunity to participate in networking events and training opportunities where you can meet with and learn from your peers.

Read what participating businesses say about being in the Best Bites Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

The program recognises businesses in the food industry by evaluating three areas of excellence:

  1. Health and wellbeing – your business promotes health-conscious food and practices, aligning with the growing interest in nutrition and well-being
  2. Sustainability – your business adopts environmentally sustainable practices, addressing the global concern for the environment.
  3. Accessibility and inclusion – your business prioritises making your premises accessible and inclusive to all, emphasising the importance of diversity and inclusivity

Upon completing the Best Bites assessment, your business receives a comprehensive report that can be used to benchmark your business’s performance year after year, to help train staff, and to identify areas where improvements can be made.

Read about the 2024 Best Bites program here.

If you have any questions about the Best Bites program, contact the team by email or phone 5950 1446.

The Best Bites program is open to any businesses with a registered food premises including:

  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Mobile food vans
  • Take-away shops
  • Childcare centres
  • Supermarkets
  • Aged care facilities
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation
  • Any other food related establishment

You can find a list of all the food businesses currently in the Best Bites program here.

As a registered food premise, first you must achieve a minimum 95% compliance on your annual Shire Food Safety Assessment. Then you have the option to be assessed for the Best Bites program.

The assessment process takes approximately one hour and involves a site visit by a Best Bites committee member who will ask questions across three Areas of Excellence:

  1. Health and wellbeing – your business promotes health-conscious food and practices, aligning with the growing interest in nutrition and well-being
  2. Sustainability – your business adopts environmentally sustainable practices, addressing the global concern for the environment.
  3. Accessibility and inclusion – your business prioritises making your premises accessible and inclusive to all, emphasizing the importance of diversity and inclusivity

You must successfully attain at least one of Area of Excellence to be in the Best Bites program.

Contact the Best Bites Committee for a site visit

Nothing. It’s free! In fact, it saves you money. Once your business qualifies, you will be eligible to receive around a 20% discount on your annual food business registration (applied in the next financial year).

The Best Bites program is coordinated by the Best Bites Steering Committee, consisting of representatives from Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Peninsula Health, and other relevant organisations with knowledge and experience in the program areas of access and inclusion, nutrition, and sustainability. The committee operates under specific Terms of Reference to ensure effective guidance and decision making.

Email us if you’d like to be involved in the committee.

The Best Bites program was originally collaboratively developed by a steering committee consisting of food businesses, consumers, and trader’s groups – including representatives from Peninsula Health, All Abilities Consultative Committee, Western Port Biosphere Reserve, Monash University, Second Bite, Heart Foundation, Mornington Peninsula Produce and Sustainability Victoria. Their diverse expertise and perspectives contributed to the program’s comprehensive approach.

In recognition of its excellence, the Best Bites program won the prestigious National Award for Economic Development Excellence in 2012. This accolade highlights the program’s exceptional contributions and impact on economic development.

To ensure the Best Bites program was continuing to provide the best recognition for businesses, the Shire conducted an extensive review in 2023 and implemented several changes.

With these updates, the Best Bites program has evolved to create a more comprehensive and inclusive platform for recognising and supporting local food businesses to achieve best practice standards and beyond. By encouraging businesses to excel across the three areas of excellence, we aim to go beyond basic food safety practices and make a meaningful impact.

As part of these changes the traditional printed food guide is no longer part of the Best Bites program.

Prior to 2023, Best Bites businesses were eligible for the Best Bites Awards program. This awards program has now been integrated into the Mornington Peninsula Business Excellence Awards. All food businesses, regardless of category, must now be involved in the Best Bites program to be eligible for the awards.

This means that excellence in the food industry is no longer assessed in isolation but as part of a broader business context. This integration allows for the acknowledgment of excellence across multiple business sectors, highlighting the importance of food businesses within the local economy.

Find out more about the Business Excellence Awards program.

Read about the 2023 Mornington Peninsula Business Excellence Award winners

Read about the 2022 Best Bites Award winners

Businesses are assessed annually between February and November and are then included in the program for the following 12 months.

You can see a full list of current participating businesses here.


Resources

The Best Bites Program recognises businesses in the food industry by evaluating three areas of excellence:

  1. Health and wellbeing
  2. Sustainability
  3. Accessibility and inclusion

There is an abundance of online resources to help you deliver excellence across these areas in your business, including success stories from local businesses. We have put together the following to inform and inspire change within your business.

Content reviewed and updated: December 2023


Best Bites
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Frequently asked questions

We’ve compiled a list of common enquiries along with some helpful information and solutions.

How we can help
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