April 2019

Co-op Elections Process

It’s May! Spring is in the air! The flowers have bloomed after the April rains; people are planting gardens and opening windows for the first time. Of all the traditions and changes that come with May, though, I’m most excited about voting for my board directors at the Middlebury Coop!  While voting happens in May, the recruiting process happens throughout the year. Members of the Board Development Committee (BDC) typically start meeting with potential board members as early as November for the next year. As your board, we are always thinking about the future of the organization, and part of that is exploring who might be a good board member in the future. (Hey you- yes you- reading this- have you ever considered running for the board?)

This year the Board had a more formal “board recruitment/election” process starting in January. We started by inviting anyone interested in running for the board to come to an “Eat and Greet” conversation with current board members. There were three Eat and Greet sessions so members could come and learn about the board process, check out a board packet, and begin to wrap their mind around policy governance.  Policy governance is the formal set of rules the board abides by to make sure the coop is running smoothly. To be sure everyone interested had a chance to learn more about the board, we also set up a few sessions of tabling at the demo counter. We talked with dozens of potential new board directors!

The process to run for the board includes filling out an “application” that includes a short list of questions and meeting with a board member. The awesome staff at the coop compile the application Q/As into a ballot, which is sent out via snail mail as part of the Annual Report to all members. If you haven’t already received your ballot in the mail you will soon. This year we ended up with a slate of five candidates running for three seats on the board. If taking part in the most glorious tradition of democracy isn’t enough reason to vote, the ballot is also a coupon for $3 off your next shopping trip to the coop!

As you read through your ballot and consider your possible future board directors, consider this too: We will hold elections every May!  Do you think you would be a good candidate for the board? Come to a board meeting, or connect with one of us. We are always ready to have a conversation with you!

And as you ponder that, GO VOTE!

R.J. Adler is a Middlebury Co-op Board Member

RJ Adler ( Incumbent)

Spotlight on Wellness Pet Products

In honor of National Shelter Pet Adoption Day on April 30th, we’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on one of our favorite pet product brands – Wellness! All of their natural pet products are 20% off for member-owners from April 25th – May 1st! During this time, for every purchase of pet food you make, the Co-op will donate the equivalent item to Addison County’s Humane Society – Homeward Bound!  Read on to learn more about Wellness and their philosophy of care for creatures great and small:

 

At Wellness, they know that healthy doesn’t have to be hard. That’s why they offer a simple, holistic approach to pet food that focuses on real ingredients with real benefits. In the 1990s, their dedicated team began working with animal nutrition experts, veterinarians, and scientists to develop a food that would revolutionize the pet food industry. Since then, they have continued to push forward to represent a new generation of natural pet food, supporting their local communities and creating long-term sustainability initiatives along the way.

Quality Ingredients

The team at Wellness recognizes that mealtime is more than just a bowl of food. They’re committed to your pet’s overall wellness and offer thoughtfully prepared recipes that are crafted to be as delicious as they are healthy. They include superior nutrients and probiotics to provide the foundation for whole-body health and wholesome, natural ingredients to satisfy every appetite. Click here to read more about their ingredients.

Rigorous Safety Standards

Their mission is to provide you with wholesome, natural pet food that is the best it can be. They require all suppliers to meet stringent requirements and adhere to the highest standards, exceeding even the strictest requirements from the FDA. They are determined to go further, to do better, and to take as many precautions with your pet’s food as is taken with food for humans.Click here to read more about product safety standards.

Sustainability

Wellness demonstrates their dedication to long-term sustainability by embracing and supporting recycling efforts. Through a unique partnership with upcycling and recycling leader TerraCycle®, they created a program allowing you to recycle your Wellness pet food packaging and providing you the opportunity to donate to your favorite school or nonprofit organization. Join the 230,000+ people currently participating in this program and register to Recycle Your Wellness Packaging. It’s free and only takes a couple of minutes. You can sign up as an individual or sign up to create a recycling hub at your child’s school, your office or your favorite local community organization.

Members…Vote For Your Board of Directors by May 31st!

The candidates are ready and the ballots are in the mail…you should see one in your mailbox next week.  The ballot packet includes information about the election, candidate bios and photos, a preview of our Annual Meeting Celebration and our Annual Report.  You can link directly to everything but the ballot (the ballot will only be in your mailbox!), RIGHT HERE.  After you’ve filled out your ballot, bring it to any cashier to redeem your Coupon for $3.00 of Any Vermont Product (this will be attached to your ballot).  All ballots need to be in before 7 pm on May 31st.  Happy voting!

 

Spotlight on SunRidge Farms

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on SunRidge Farms this week! All of their products are 20% off for member-owners from April 18th – 24th. Read on to learn more about their commitment to offering nutritious, ecologically respectful, and sustainable foods for more than 30 years!

The Company

SunRidge Farms is a family-owned business that has been producing high-quality foods for more than 30 years. Their organic and natural food offerings can be found throughout our bulk department and are a reflection of the company’s commitment to a healthier lifestyle – a commitment that extends to the environment, the supply chain, and their community. They carefully source quality ingredients from suppliers who share their values and source organic, non-GMO, and Fair Trade ingredients whenever possible. They choose to offer their products in bulk as a way to demonstrate the value of purchasing foods in a manner that reduces cost and waste. Their facility, located in Royal Oaks, California, is completely solar-powered and their fleet of trucks run on bio-diesel. They also pay an extra $5 per day to their team members who choose to bike to work. These measures add up to a greatly reduced carbon footprint for their company and a lineup of products that you can feel good about.

The Mission

  • SunRidge Farms is committed to providing the healthiest products to their customers by producing foods without highly processed or refined ingredients. We are dedicated to sourcing Non-GMO (genetically modified) ingredients.
  • SunRidge Farms is committed to the planet and supports organic farming and sustainable practices.
  • SunRidge Farms sincerely believes that it is essential to aid in the conservation of ecological diversity, wildlife, and natural terrain in order to preserve our world. Their contributions include substantial donations toward the successful resolution of environmental, social, food-related issues on both local and global levels.

The Vision

SunRidge Farms is committed to offering nutritious, ecologically respectful, and sustainable foods to their communities. Their complete line of certified organic and naturally grown products aids and supports an authentic lifestyle and display a commitment to food safety, ecological integrity, and excellence.
Their Green Commitment is centric to all of their business decisions. The manufacturing facility is solar-powered, and they support sustainable farming practices, energy usage, recycling, and freshness. Their goal is to enhance connections between consumers, retail stores, farmers, and suppliers.
They also embrace the many opportunities to contribute toward ecological diversity, wildlife, and the preservation of natural terrain. Reducing the impacts of global climate change and respecting the earth and its beings are vital to all that they do. Their support includes substantial donations toward environmental, social, food-related, educational and world hunger issues.

 

Spotlight on If You Care

We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on a company that is on a mission to create the most environmentally friendly kitchen and household products, which are not only good for the environment but good for your cooking and household needs as well. Member-owners can enjoy 20% off our full line of If You Care products from April 11th – 17th. Read on to learn more about why this company is deserving of the Spotlight:

 

History:

It all began nearly 30 years ago with the first unbleached coffee filters in North America. Unbleached parchment baking paper and baking cups soon followed, making If You Care the first company to offer a line of chlorine-free paper products.

In 2004, the very first aluminum foil made from 100% recycled aluminum was launched. This product featured a 95% energy savings compared to conventional aluminum foil. Then in 2007, heavy-duty aluminum foil for grilling and barbecuing, also from 100% recycled aluminum, and waxed paper, from unbleached paper coated with soybean wax, were launched. By 2009, the brand was launching innovative and unique products every year, including 100% carbon neutral firelighters, made from FSC certified wood and vegetable oil, sandwich and snack bags from unbleached greaseproof paper, all natural sponge cloths and reusable paper towels from cellulose and non-GMO cotton, Fair Trade household gloves among others. 

If You Care products are produced with a view to reducing the amount of waste in our waste streams. If possible, nothing should remain after the product has been used and properly disposed of. The packaging is made from unbleached recycled cardboard or paper which should be recycled again.

Mission:

If You Care kitchen and household products are carefully and deliberately crafted to have the least environmental impact and the lightest carbon footprint possible, while at the same time, delivering to the consumer, the highest quality and most effective results. If You Care is the leader in pushing the limits of environmental and social responsibility in its categories. If You Care analyzes the entire life cycle chain in developing products, from raw materials sourcing, to production process, to packaging, to disposal. Every step is considered in assessing environmental and social impacts. If You Care is committed to ethical sourcing. If You Care bases its environmental claims on the best available science, and in accord with national and international standards and regulations. If You Care backs its environmental claims with third-party verification and certification by the leading national and international certifying bodies.

Click HERE to check out great recipes from their webpage at ifyoucare.com

Spotlight on Shaker Maple Farm

To celebrate sap season in Vermont, we’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Shaker Maple Farm! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of maple syrup products from April 4th – 10th, so it’s a perfect time to stock up on local liquid gold!

Shaker Maple Farm is owned and operated by Steve and Leah Willsey of Starksboro, VT. They have been sugaring for over 30 years and currently boil from 26,500 taps. Many of these taps come from maple trees on their beautiful 300-acre farm in Starksboro and some taps reside on two neighboring properties from whom they buy sap. Last year they were excited to sign a new land lease, adding an additional 250 acres to their sugarbush!

The 2018 season yielded 11,000 gallons of syrup at Shaker Maple farm. The Willsey’s sell about half of their syrup wholesale and the other half is sold in bulk. You can find their syrup at a variety of local grocery stores, co-ops and restaurants. You’ll also notice that their syrup is certified organic, which may lead you to wonder, “isn’t all maple syrup organic?”. The answer might surprise you! Organic certification ensures that:

  • No pesticides or chemicals were used to manage the forest. Like any crop, a forest can be sprayed to control insects. The same organic standards for field crops apply to maple forest to regulate things like buffer zones and runoff and ensure that no fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals were used.
  • A healthy forest is maintained. Organic standards limit the number of taps allowed in each tree to sustain the health of the tree. Organic certification ensures sustainable management of forestland to promote tree health, biodiversity, and reduce erosion.
  • No lead, filtering agents, or chemical defoamers. Certified organic maple farms must adhere to strict regulation when it comes to things like lead in equipment and the use of filtering agents and chemical defoamers.

 

Business of the Month: Vermont Sun Fitness Centers

Could your wellness routine use a Spring makeover? Check out Vermont Sun! They’re ourfeatured Co-op Connection Business this month and they offer 10% off to Co-op member-owners!

Vermont Sun has been keeping our community fit since 1985. Whether you’re visiting their facilities in Middlebury or Vergennes, you’ll find their clubs geared up with the essential elements of a great workout. Their fitness equipment vendors are the best in the industry, and their club owners stay current with the latest technology! They offer a wide variety of cardio, strength, and free weight equipment to ensure that you get the best possible workout.

If you’re looking for great group fitness classes, you’ll find over 250 each month, including Yoga, Spinning, Zumba, Body Pump, Arthritis Aqua Aerobics, Senior Fitness classes, Self-defense classes, and more! There’s something for every age group from kids to seniors.

Their facilities also offer racquetball courts, saunas, and indoor pools for lap swimming, rehab, or recreation.

Need help to ease safely back into a workout routine? Or maybe you’re just looking to set some new fitness and nutrition goals and could use a professional guide? Vermont Sun offers Personal Training services and Nutritional Counseling from a knowledgeable staff of certified, credentialed specialists.

In short, Vermont Sun has everything you need to help make your New Year’s Resolution a reality! Stop in and find out for yourself why they are voted the #1 Fitness Center in the region year after year! And don’t forget to tell them you’re a Co-op member-owner!

 

 

 

 

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