October 2016

Reserve Your Thanksgiving Turkey Today!

We’re taking orders for fresh, local Stonewood Farm Turkeys!  Come into the store and sign up at the registers, or just give us a call and we’ll reserve one for you!  What’s so special about Stonewood Farms Turkeys?  Let’s find out:

Their Turkey Friendly Barns are not over-crowded and are open-sided providing lots of fresh air & natural sunlight.  These birds are All Natural –  raised free of  hormones or antibiotics, and never fed animal by-products.    Stonewood Farms Turkeys receive Humane Care “ Just plenty of Vermont air, cold nights, good feed and tender loving care on our family farm” — Paul Stone (Grandpa Stone).  A USDA processing plant is located at the farm and operated by the Stone family.  All turkeys are individually hand graded to ensure the highest quality.

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All of this adds up to what Stonewood promises to be the finest All Natural Fresh Turkey, of superior flavor and juiciness.  The slow growth of the turkeys ensure a delicious and naturally self-basting turkey.

Still hungry for more?  Go to http://stonewoodfarm.com/

We’re Two-Thirds of the Way There!

Our Member Loan Drive is underway and we’re over two-thirds of the way to our goal! We are SO EXCITED and wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to those who have invested in the future of our Co-op thus far. We truly are growing together!

The positive feedback from member-owners has been overwhelming and has served as a helpful reminder of why this project is so important. Here are some of the wonderful words of encouragement we’ve received:

  • “The Co-op is more than my source for healthy foods and products; it’ my community. It has invested in our local economy, and I am delighted to invest in the co-op’s next expansion.”
    —Abi Sessions, educator, grandmother, community volunteer
  • “MNFC is one of the most critical centers for wellness in our community. The growth and well-being of our families, friends and neighbors depends on all the goods—literally and figuratively—that our local Co-op provides.”
    —Jack Mayer, MD, MPH Rainbow Pediatrics
  • “The Co-op reflects our values…. Backing the expansion means enlarging our ability to create fair wage jobs, to support local farmers and food companies, and to provide healthy foods to a broader segment of our community. We’re in!”
    —Amy Sheldon, state representative & Ashar Nelson, architect
  • “We see loaning money to the Co-op for its expansion as an investment in community prosperity.”
    —Will & Judy Stevens, Golden Russet Farm, producers
  • “MNFC exemplifies environmental responsibility, but also community connectedness. It’s one of the places that makes Addison County what it is!”
    —Bill McKibben, environmental activist, author & Sue Halpern, author

If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out the details of the proposed expansion and the Member Loan Drive, we invite you to click here and read all about it!

Interested in checking out the latest site plan from the architects? Click here!

Are you ready to invest in YOUR community Co-op?! Give us a call at 388-7276, or email our Member Loan Drive Coordinator, John Barstow, at jbbarstow@gmail.com. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have and if you’re ready to invest, we’ll send a packet containing all of the information needed to complete the process. Our deadline is December 1st.

Thank you for your continued support. Whether it’s helping to provide capital for our next evolution through the Member Loan Drive, or the support you offer every time you choose to shop here at the Co-op, we’re extremely grateful! Stay tuned to the Big Carrot at the store entryway to track our progress!

 

Glenn & staff eagerly checking out the plans
Glenn & staff eagerly checking out the plans

 

Spotlight on Scott Farm

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Scott Farm this week to shed a little light on the work they’re doing to preserve heirloom and unusual apples on their 571-acre land trust in Southern Vermont. All of their organic apples and quince are 20% off for member-owners this week! Read on to learn more about this unique organic orchard and its rich history:

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Scott Farm Orchard is a 571-acre gem located in the rolling hills of Dummerston, VT. The orchard is home to over 120 varieties of heirloom and unusual apples. The farm itself is something of an heirloom, settled in 1791 by Rufus Scott. The orchards were planted in 1915, and in 1995 Scott Farm was gifted to the non-profit historic preservation organization Landmark Trust USA.

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The renowned apple maestro, Ezekiel “Zeke” Goodband, took over the management of the orchard in 2001. His search for old varieties has taken him to abandoned orchards throughout New England and as far as Kazakhstan, the birthplace of apples. A long time ago, Zeke learned that the less he sprayed the orchard, the less he had to spray. Zeke’s formal educational training was in the field of ecology and he realized early in his orcharding career that if he respected the orchard as an ecosystem there were fewer “pest” problems.

Scott Farm orchard before harvest

Their goal at Scott Farm has been to enhance the biodiversity of the orchard ecosystem – the more complex the ecosystem, the more stable it becomes, minimizing the potential for significant pest explosions. They have moved beyond organic into what they refer to as ecologically grown fruit. Scott Farm produces 120 varieties of ecologically grown apples – with beautifully poetic names such as Roxbury Russet, Belle de Boskoop, and Cox’s Orange Pippin, along with unusual apples like Winter Banana and Hidden Rose. Other fine fruits include quince, gooseberries, medlars, Asian pears, plums, elderberries, table grapes, pears, blueberries, nectarines. The apples and quince can be found at the Co-op, and the remaining fruits are sold directly through the orchard’s Farm Market which is open every day at 707 Kipling Road, Dummerston, Vermont from Labor Day to the day before Thanksgiving. Over 75% of the Scott Farm crop stays in Vermont!

Visit their web page to learn more, and don’t miss these fantastic recipes!

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Spotlight on Lotus Foods

We’re casting our Co-op spotlight on Lotus Foods this week to bring awareness to their grassroots rice revolution that is helping to bring sustainably grown, organic, and non-GMO rice to your dinner table! All of their products are 20% off for member-owners this week. Read on to learn more about the groundbreaking agricultural practices that are making this possible, and the impact that it’s having in rice-growing parts of the world:

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Lotus Foods was founded in 1995 with the intent and vision to support sustainable global agriculture by promoting the production of traditional heirloom rice varieties, many of which may otherwise be extinct, while enabling the small family rice farmer to earn an honorable living. They learned that up to one-third of the planet’s annual renewable supply of fresh water is used to irrigate rice and recognized that this practice is not sustainable. These wasteful agricultural methods are depleting our water resources faster than they are being recharged, creating water scarcity. For this reason, in 2008, Lotus Foods committed to partnering with small-scale farmers who radically changed how they grow rice, using less to produce more.

Lotus Foods feels strongly that sustainability is premised on an ethical framework that includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, and a culture of peace. They believe that eradicating poverty and promoting social and economic justice must begin with agriculture and must be accomplished in a way that protects and restores the natural resources on which all life depends. At the crux of this challenge is rice, which provides a source of living to more than two billion people, most earning less than $200 per year.

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A Grassroots Rice Revolution

More Crop Per Drop is how Lotus Foods refers to their rice grown using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). SRI is a not a new seed or input, but rather a different way of cultivating rice that enables small-scale farmers to double and triple their yields while using 80-90% less seed, 50% less water, and less or no chemical inputs. That’s revolutionary!

Why is SRI so Important?

This unique agricultural method addresses some of the most important challenges we face this century – namely to feed several billion more people with dwindling land and water resources and without further degrading the planet’s environment. SRI has been largely grassroots driven, fueled by marginalized male & female farmers and the non-profit organizations (NGOs) who advocate for their welfare, like Oxfam, Africare, WWF and many dedicated local NGOs and individuals. The reason these farmers are so excited about SRI is because it represents an opportunity for more food, more money, better health, and more options – in short, for a way out of poverty.

Lotus Foods sees SRI as a logical extension of their mission. They offer six exceptional SRI-grown rices, and call them More Crop Per Drop to bring to special attention to water as a diminishing resource. Fully one-quarter to one-third of the planet’s annual freshwater supplies are used to irrigate and grow the global rice crop. And in Asia, where most rice is grown and eaten, about 84% of water withdrawal is for agriculture, mostly for irrigating rice. Water scarcity is having an increasingly significant impact on agriculture. According to the WWF, “The SRI method for growing rice could save hundreds of billions of cubic metres of water while increasing food security.”  Check out this cool video from the Better U Foundation to learn more about SRI:

What about Organic Certification, Fair Trade Certification & Non-GMO Verification?

Most of their rices are already certified organic, while others are in the process of becoming certified, and still others are working to help develop a certifying program in their country of origin. These organic and transitional rices are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or ionizing radiation. Their rices are 100% fair-trade certified and non-GMO verified. Lotus Foods has also been B-Corp certified since February of 2012. B corporations are legally obligated to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, consumers, and their environment. Lotus Foods shares the conviction that we can change the world for the better with how we choose to do business.

At the Co-op, you’ll find several varieties of Lotus Foods rice in our bulk department, and in the grocery department you’ll find their packaged rice and also their delicious rice ramen noodles. Visit their website for excellent tips and recipes!

 

Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op is Ready to Grow!

You, our loyal member-owners have been asking for it. Now, together we’ll build it!

We’ve officially launched our Member Loan Drive, and it’s off to an exciting start! We’re thrilled with the support we’ve received thus far from member-owners and we’re making steady progress toward our goal.

Why Member Loans?

Member Loans provide the Co-op member-owners with a strong local investment they can visit every day, and provides the co-op with cost-effective financing. Co-ops across the country have relied on member-owner investment programs as a long-standing method to raise money and community support for their stores. Member-owner investment demonstrates the commitment of loyal customers, convinces banks to loan additional money, and reduces debt service, making our Co-op stronger!

Thirteen years ago, in 2003, you, the member-owners invested nearly $500,000 to help build our current store. All of these loans were paid back, with interest, within the term limits. Now it’s time to grow again and become an even better version of the store you love. This time around, our goal is to raise $1 million in member loans, and we’re off to a great start! We’d like to extend our gratitude for those who have already invested. If you’d like to be part of this exciting next evolution of your Co-op, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact Member Loan Coordinator John Barstow at jbbarstow@gmail.com

Here are the goals for this expansion:

  • 50% more retail space overall
  • Wider aisles and better layout for ease of shopping (and visiting…)
  • 100% more fresh meat, prep room, and coolers
  • New Co-op Cafe with double current seating and own entrance
  • 100% increase in cheese retail space, with new island
  • Commitment to expand without increasing our carbon footprint
  • Improved deli, with 75% more retail space, hot bar, and more
  • Enlarged deli kitchen for more prepared food, faster service
  • New customer service desk
  • Improved store entrance with air lock
  • Wider, longer, safer driveway entrance
  • More open produce layout with 20% more space
  • Better insulated, more energy-efficient building overall
  • Expanded bulk selections
  • Two public restrooms

Construction is planned for Spring 2017!

Click HERE for more details

Click HERE for the Frequently Asked Questions

Click HERE to check out the latest site plans from the architects

Glenn & staff eagerly checking out the plans
Glenn & staff eagerly checking out the plans

Spotlight on Alaffia

As our celebration of Co-op Month and Fair Trade Month rolls on, we’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Alaffia. All of their Fair Trade Certified, Co-op-made body care products are 20% off for member-owners this week! Read on to learn more about Alaffia and their efforts to alleviate poverty and empower communities in West Africa through the fair trade of shea butter, coconut, and other indigenous resources:

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Alaffia was founded in 2004 with Fair Trade as the fundamental foundation of their organization, which is comprised of the Alaffia Village in Sokodé, Togo; the Alaffia Coconut Cooperative in Klouvi-Donnou, Togo; and the Alaffia headquarters in Olympia, Washington. Their cooperatives handcraft indigenous raw ingredients , and the Alaffia team in Olympia creates the finished products. Proceeds from the sales of these products are then returned to communities in Togo, West Africa, to fund community empowerment and gender equality projects.

What impact have your Alaffia purchases had in these communities thus far?

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Each year in West Africa, 160,000 women die due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Over her lifetime, an African woman has a 1 in 32 chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth, compared to 1 in 2,400 in Europe (UNICEF, 2012). There are several reasons for the high maternal mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa, including extreme poverty and inadequate infrastructure. The Alaffia Maternal Health Project follows the World Health Organization’s recommendations for reducing maternal mortality rates both directly, through providing funds for pre- and post-delivery care, and indirectly, through the Alaffia Women’s Clinic Project, which provides training and information for women’s health issues including nutrition, prevention of genital mutilation practices, and more. Alaffia product sales have funded the birth of over 4,142 babies in rural Togolese communities through the Togo Health Clinic System.

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The future of African communities depends on the education and empowerment of young people. Since Alaffia founded their shea butter cooperative in 2003, they’ve provided school uniforms, books, and writing supplies to children in Togolese communities to offset the financial burden these items have on poor families. They also donate desks and install new roofs on schools to make learning a more enjoyable experience. Since 2011, Alaffia product sales have funded the construction of ten schools throughout Togo and provided school supplies to 23,700 recipients. They now partner with retail stores to collect school supplies – if you would like to help collect pens and pencils for this project, please contact Alaffia at 1-800-664-8005.

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In rural areas of Togo, students walk up to 10 miles a day to attend school. There are no buses, and families cannot afford private transportation. As a result, school becomes very time-consuming, and most students decide to quit school in order to fulfill their family obligations. In rural areas, less than 10% of high school-aged girls and only 16% of boys attend school (UNICEF). In 2004, Alaffia began collecting and sending used bicycles to Togolese students to encourage them to stay in and complete school through their Bicycles for Education Project. Now, with over 7,100 bicycles sent and distributed, they are seeing a real impact on exam scores and retention in rural schools. 95% of Bicycles For Education recipients graduate secondary school.
They collect used bicycles in and around their communities in Washington and Oregon, with the help of their retailers, volunteers, and Alaffia staff. All costs of this project – from collecting, repairing, and shipping bicycles, to customs duties, distribution costs, ongoing maintenance, and follow-up – are paid for through the sales of Alaffia products. This project brings communities in the US and Togo together. Bicycles that would otherwise be destined for the landfill are encouraging students in Togo to stay in school so they can lead their communities out of poverty. To find out how you can be involved, visit alaffia.com or email communications@alaffia.com

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Deforestation and climate change have had a devastating impact on West African farming communities. Alaffia product sales have funded the planting of 53,125 trees by Togolese farmers to help mitigate erosion and improve food security for their families. They also conduct trainings to discourage the cutting of shea trees for firewood and charcoal to preserve this important indigenous resource for future generations. Through their Alternative Fuels Project, they investigate sustainable fuel alternatives, such as bio-gas and bio-oils, to reduce the demand for wood and charcoal.

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n Togo, it is extremely difficult for visually impaired people to obtain eyeglasses. An eye exam costs as much as one month’s wage and a pair of eyeglasses can cost up to four months of wages. Through their Eyeglasses ProjectAlaffia collects used eyeglasses at retailer locations throughout the US and employs an optometrist in Togo to correctly fit and distribute the glasses. A pair of eyeglasses is life-changing for a child struggling in school, the elderly with failing vision, and adults who have never been able to see clearly. To date, Alaffia has collected and distributed over 14,200 pairs of glasses.

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As part of their Maternal Health Initiatives, Alaffia aims to educate women about the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), or excision. FGM includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. The procedure can result in severe bleeding, infections, life-threatening complications in childbirth, and increased risk of newborn deaths (World Health Organization).

Abidé Awesso is the Maternal Health & FGM Eradication Coordinator in the Bassar region of Togo and has been working with Alaffia since 2012. Hodalo Katakouna was one of Abidé’s first patients and one of the first women to be supported as part of our Maternal Health and FGM Eradication project. Click here to read Abidé’s account of Hodalo’s story.

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Spotlight on Equal Exchange Co-op

October is Fair Trade Month and Co-op Month, so it seemed like an ideal time to shine our Co-op spotlight on Equal Exchange. Their Co-op produced, Fair Trade Certified goods are all 20% off for member-owners this week! Although they are best known for their gourmet coffees, you can also find Equal Exchange chocolate, bananas, and avocados here at the Co-op! Read on to learn more about this democratic worker-owned cooperative headquartered in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

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The Equal Exchange cooperative was founded in 1986 to challenge the existing trade model, which favors large plantations, agri-business, and multi-national corporations; support small farmers; and connect consumers and producers through information, education, and the exchange of products in the marketplace. They joined a growing movement of small farmers, alternative traders (ATOs), religious organizations, and non-profits throughout the world with like-minded principles and objectives. Underlying their work is the belief that only through organization, can small farmers survive and thrive. The cooperative model has been essential for building this model of change.

Their mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through their success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.

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So, What Does Authentic Fair Trade Entail?

Here’s the scoop from the Equal Exchange website:

Fair Trade is a way of doing business that ultimately aims to keep small farmers an active part of the world marketplace, and aims to empower consumers to make purchases that support their values. Fair Trade is a set of business practices voluntarily adopted by the producers and buyers of agricultural commodities and hand-made crafts that are designed to advance many economic, social and environmental goals, including:

  • Raising and stabilizing the incomes of small-scale farmers, farm workers, and artisans
  • More equitably distributing the economic gains, opportunities and risks associated with the production and sale of these goods
  • Increasing the organizational and commercial capacities of producer groups
  • Supporting democratically owned and controlled producer organizations
  • Promoting labor rights and the right of workers to organize
  • Promoting safe and sustainable farming methods and working conditions
  • Connecting consumers and producers
  • Increasing consumer awareness and engagement with issues affecting producers

The Fair Trade practices that advance these goals typically, but not always, include:

  • Direct trade relationships and long-term contracts between importers and producer groups
  • Sourcing from small-farmer or artisan co-operatives
  • Higher than conventional market prices, either through above-market premiums and/or price floors
  • The provision of affordable credit
  • Adherence to the policies of the International Labor Organization, especially those concerning child and forced labor and the right to collective bargaining
  • The prohibition of the use of more dangerous pesticides and herbicides
  • Substantial price premiums for the production of certified organic crops
  • External monitoring, auditing, and certification of these practices by independent third-parties

What Impact is Fair Trade Having on Farmers & Their Communities?

Check out this 10-year impact report:  10yearsofimpact

And here’s a look at the impact of your Equal Exchange banana purchases in 2015:

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Do you purchase Equal Exchange avocados? Check out the impact those purchases had for 2014-15: 2014-5avocadoimpact

Want to trace the path your banana takes from the farm to your kitchen table? Check out this cool video!

Buy Your Produce on October 6th and Share the Harvest!

We’re proud to be participating in Share the Harvest, NOFA Vermont’s annual fundraiser for the Vermont Farm Share Program. Farm Share provides subsidized CSA shares for limited-income Vermont families, helping to make fresh, local food available to all.

Buy your produce on October 6, 2016 and we’ll donate 30% of proceeds from that day’s Produce Sales to this great program.

Find out more, here!

 

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Co-op Connection Business of the Month: Marbleworks Pharmacy

Did you know that Marbleworks Pharmacy in Middlebury is part of the Co-op Connection? They’re our featured Business of the Month for October and we’re reminding member-owners that you can enjoy 10% off your non-prescription purchases when shopping at Marbleworks Pharmacy! They offer a wide variety of health and beauty products, vitamins, home health care supplies, cards, candies, jewelry and gifts (including lots of Vermont products!) with free delivery to select areas.

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If you need prescriptions filled, Marbleworks Pharmacy provides quick, reliable prescription services, one-on-one patient counseling, and hassle-free prescription transfers. New patients can even get a $25 Marble Works Pharmacy Gift Card by transferring a prescription to their pharmacy, and prescriptions can be refilled through their very handy 24/7 automated refill system. The website also offers helpful health resources and MedWatch safety alerts.

Need a flu shot? Marbleworks Pharmacy offers flu shots in the fall and there’s no appointment necessary! Just drop by the pharmacy during regular business hours.

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Marble Works Pharmacy prioritizes community preventative health and is proud to introduce Take Charge™ to Addison County! Take Charge™ is a low-cost, professional weight loss program that focuses on healthy lifestyle strategies for you through intense behavioral therapy and medical nutrition education. The 13-week program consists of weekly one-on-one meetings with one of our pharmacists who will guide you and help you achieve your goals of weight loss and improved health.

Ask Our Pharmacists How To…

  • Lose Weight
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Lower Cholesterol
  • Lower Blood Sugar
  • Feel Great!

For more information and to Take Charge™ simply complete this form or call 388-3784.

A Fair Deal

October is Fair Trade Month! Throughout this month-long celebration, we’ll feature many fun store promotions on Fair Trade Certified items. Look for them in our weekly sales, weekly Member Deals, and a coupon in the Addison Independent. We also want to spread the word about the meaning behind the Fair Trade Certified label. Read on to learn about this important certification and the impact that fair trade is having around the globe:

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We all want to feel good about our food choices, and buying produce from a local farmer makes it easy. But what about food that comes from afar? In some communities around the world, impoverished workers are paid low wages while their land is depleted by industrial agriculture. Luckily, the Fair Trade Certified label can help us steer clear of foods grown under such conditions.

When a product sports a Fair Trade Certified label, it means producers were paid wages that allow them to support their families and contribute to the betterment of their communities. Fair Trade farmers deal one-on-one with importers (rather than middlemen), and Fair Trade encourages democratic decision-making, transparency, gender equity, and independence.

By choosing Fair Trade, we can support the environment, too. Since Fair Trade supports small-scale farmers, it encourages biodiversity (think shade-grown coffee and cocoa, which protect wildlife habitats) and sustainable practices like organic farming. There’s no need to sacrifice quality with Fair Trade either; one emphasis of Fair Trade is supporting farmers in improving the quality of their crops.

Click here to check out the 2014-2015 Global Fair Trade Impact Report

Fair Trade Certification is not yet available for every kind of food, but it’s a growing trend; you’ll spot the label on coffees, teas, spices, chocolates, sugar, vanilla, fruits, wines and other foods. Fair Trade Certified non-food items like clothing and accessories, body care items and home and garden products are also available. There are more than 1,100 different Fair Trade products available in the United States. Fair Trade goods benefit over 1.5 million farmers and workers in 74 countries!

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On your next trip to the co-op, try looking for the Fair Trade Certified versions of your favorite products—and feel great about helping to improve the lives of farmers and conserve the environment. Here’s a list of some of the brands & products to look for in our Co-op offering Fair Trade Certified products:

  • Alaffia body care
  • Alter Eco quinoa
  • Bud’s Beans coffee
  • Frontier bulk black pepper
  • Bulk organic rainbow quinoa
  • Choice Tea
  • Dean’s Beans coffee
  • Divine chocolate
  • Dr. Bronner’s body care
  • Eco Lips
  • Eco Teas
  • Endangered Species chocolate
  • Equal Exchange coffee, chocolate, bananas, & avocados
  • Farmhouse Chocolates
  • Green & Black’s chocolate
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates
  • La Riojana wine
  • Lily’s chocolate
  • Love & Tea Co. tea
  • Mount Hagen instant coffee
  • Nutiva
  • Pascha chocolate
  • Runa Tea
  • Sunspire chocolate
  • Theo chocolate
  • Tierra Farm chocolate
  • Traditional Medicinals tea
  • Vermont Tea & Trading tea
  • Wholesome sweeteners

 

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