January 6, 2017


The Saffrron ethos

Food tells a story. Make it a good one.

Food sustains us. It must be sustainable.

Food brings people together. No one should be harmed in the making of the feast, and everyone’s invited!

Food is the spice of life. The mouth should water, and the eyes too – if you like extra chilli.

Food is life – and life is sweet! Save room for the dessert!

Our sustainability philosophy is pretty simple really – be true to who we are, do the best we can to create a positive impact for our community, and leave things in the best possible shape for the generations to come.

Without our community, without our natural environment, there is no ‘us’ in the equation at all.

We believe that responsible businesses practices are good business and contribute to a healthy, sustainable and vibrant community from which everyone benefits.

At Saffrron we

Source local

We source our local produce from Darwin’s best markets or directly from the grower. Why is this important? Local produce generally means healthier, fresher, tastier food that also delivers a real sense of place and season, but it also means we’re supporting local food systems towards future food security.

You’ll find 100% NT seafood on our menus, from Darwin’s award-winning and highly reputable Mr BarraHumpty Doo Barramundi, local banana prawns and baby squid, and NT Spanish mackerel, to name a few delicious species.

Humpty Doo Barramundi farm says:

“We pride ourselves on our rigorous environmental management systems. We have reduced our water discharge to almost nil by recycling it through a purpose built constructed wetland system to deliver the highest quality produce, while protecting our unique environment.

Our water treatment system is the first of its kind in Australia. We recirculate our salt water using a manmade wetland to ensure optimum water quality for our fish while minimising the need to release water back to the Adelaide River.”

It means a lot to us to be able to help keep our farmers on the land and our local fishing industry in business, and to know we’re not contributing to overfishing, depletion of global fish stocks, or dubious labour practices where the supply chain is unknown.

Learn more about the benefits of eating local at:

Learn more about sustainable seafood and NT seafood at:

Use innovative Takeaway packaging

All our takeaway packaging are one-use, genuinely biodegradable (recyclable or compostable), made from renewable resources such as bamboo and bio-plastics, right down to the bags and straws.

Learn more about our takeaway packaging at BioPak website.

Look carefully at food waste

You know what’s really cool about our biodegradable curry bowls? When you want to take any uneaten curry home, you just whack a lid on it – too easy! We don’t frown on doggie bags at Saffrron or let our customers feel uncomfortable about asking for food to be packaged up to take home – we encourage it!

Plate waste and food waste in general is a huge sustainability issue for restaurants. Other ways we minimise food waste include smart stock management and kitchen prep practices.

Save water and energy

When we renovated Saffrron in 2015, we installed waterless woks and a skylight. We no longer need to turn lights on in the kitchen during the day.

And you can enjoy air-conditioned comfort knowing that we installed an energy-efficient system with help from Eco-Biz NT.

Saffrron has always used energy-saving lighting and water-saving aerated taps and dual flush toilets.


We reuse and repair when possible and replace only when it’s the smarter option. When the new kitchen went in at Saffrron, most of the existing equipment was re-installed in the Alawa premises – even tables, chairs and fridges.

At Saffrron, we recycle all glass and packaging (it’s mind-boggling how many businesses still don’t do this). Even our waste cooking oil goes off to Fryer Fuels Darwin, a fantastic local business, where it’s made into bio diesel.

Use safer cleaning products

We source environmentally better cleaning products from local manufacturer Shamrock Chemicals for our kitchen dishes, floors and sanitising.

In our bar and front-of-house we use vinegar for glass and eucalyptus oil for tables, and methylated spirits for the restaurant floor. Baking soda helps out at times.

Undertake accreditation

Saffrron was the first restaurant in Australia accredited with Climate Action Certification, and the first restaurant in the NT to receive Green Table certification.

Participate in sustainability awards

Entering sustainability awards programs helps us to keep looking at where we are doing well and how we might do things differently.

Saffrron has received recognition at the annual Earth Hour Awards, Banksia Sustainability Awards and the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards. Read more at our Awards page.

Seek community engagement

Community engagement is at the heart of our sustainability approach, celebrating or sharing ideas and information around sustainable dining, using local produce and other great projects that benefit the community.

We love inviting the community into Saffrron, or taking Saffrron out to the community, for all kinds of fun events.

Over the years we’ve participated in Vindaloo against Violence, Harmony Day, World Environment Day, Earth Hour, the Sustainable Living Festival, and Festival Under the Stars, to name a few.

We’ve worked with FoodBank NT, the Northern Territory Seafood Council, Slow Food Darwin & Top End, Wanderers Football Club, Three Sisters and the Darwin Vegan Society.

Our major event of the year is Saffrron’s annual NT Seafood Festival, held every July over 5 days.

Subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom to stay updated with our community events.