April 2023

Spotlight on Seventh Generation

Are you gearing up for some spring cleaning? Keep it green with Seventh Generation! They’re basking in the glow of the Co-op Spotlight this week and member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of products from May 4th – 10th! Read on to learn more about their energy-efficient practices, socially responsible business model, their fight for labeling transparency for cleaning products, and their impressive efforts to tackle climate change:

More than 30 years ago, a group of like-minded individuals came together to create Seventh Generation, a company dedicated to nurturing the health of the next seven generations. They do that by creating everyday products using plant-based ingredients, and by creating positive policy change through their mission and advocacy work. They’re on a mission to transform the world into a healthy, sustainable & equitable place for the next seven generations.


As a mission-driven founding B-Corps business, Seventh Generation aims to pioneer a more mindful way of doing business. They remain committed to examining their impacts as a business and considering the principles that matter to them as a company:  responsible sourcing; using materials from plants, not petroleum; ensuring the health of our planet and the people on it; having an engaged, motivated workforce; and caring for their community. They track their progress toward these goals and present them with total transparency. Click here to check out their most recent climate impact assessment.

Not Business As Usual

Our planet’s future and the health of generations to come are far too important for business as usual, which is why Seventh Generation constantly strives to make their products more sustainable, why they’re racing to reduce their carbon footprint and become a zero-waste company by 2025, and why they’re advocating for climate justice. They stand with the Youth Climate Movement and seek to use their platform to elevate the voices and initiatives championed by the leaders of the Movement who have heard the call and stepped up to lead the charge. 

As many climate activists have noted, though, this movement is about more than just switching to a renewable energy economy and curbing our fossil fuel usage. It’s about demanding true Climate Justice. It’s about changing our energy usage in a way that is fair and equitable so that frontline communities and those among us who are most vulnerable aren’t compromised in the process—as they often are. It’s about the need to divest from fossil fuels and invest in a renewable energy economy that prioritizes the health of people and planet over the health of the fossil fuel industry. The students have raised their voices and the team at Seventh Generation feels compelled to not only stand beside them but also to take action and use their own ability to affect change to help the movement grow and create the healthy future all of us deserve. As a sustainable business, Seventh Generation feels a responsibility to fight for that future and they invite you to join them. Click here to read more about their ongoing Climate Justice efforts.




Envisioning A Zero Waste Future

Packaging is more than just a container to the folks at Seventh Generation. In every packaging decision they make, they consider the impact on the health, safety, and sustainability of people and the planet. And as industry leaders in their use of post-consumer recycled plastic, their sustainable packaging embodies their mission to nurture the health of today and the next seven generations. By 2025, they plan to ensure that all of their packaging is sourced from 100% biobased or PCR (post-consumer recycled). By 2025, they also plan to ensure that 100% of their materials are reusable and reused, recyclable and recycled, or biodegradable and degraded. 

But recently, the company doubled down and shifted tactics to involve moving away from plastic completely, starting with a new line called Zero Plastic Homecare.

“What we realized is that we really need to take action and move ourselves as a business away from plastic, because as good as the plastic is or as little you use, recycling alone will never solve the problem,” says Seventh Generation CEO Joey Bergstein. In the U.S., according to an EPA report last year with the most recent data, only around 9.1% of plastic waste is recycled; another 15.5% is burned. The rest—26 million tons per year—ends up in landfills. That’s despite years of effort to improve recycling rates.

To eliminate plastic in the new line, the company rethought the products themselves. By using non-liquid products, the containers don’t need plastic to act as a “moisture barrier.” “If we remove plastic from the equation, that means removing the liquid from the equation as well,” says Joe Giallanella, who leads the company’s growth incubator, the team tasked with eliminating plastic from packaging. The cleaning power of these liquid-free tablets and powders is activated with water when you are ready. A fundamental clean is achieved without the use of dyes, bleach, wrappers, or plastic. And they will biodegrade once you are done with your cleaning routine.

For now, these products are available exclusively through a small handful of online retailers. This will allow Seventh Generation to test the products with a smaller audience before going more mainstream. We look forward to seeing how these work!

The Fight for Ingredient Disclosure

Seventh Generation firmly believes that you have the right to know what is in the products you buy, which is why they helped launch the #comeclean campaign. Through this campaign, they aim to air the cleaning industry’s dirty laundry. They support state and federal legislation to require manufacturers of both consumer household and industrial cleaning products to disclose all intentionally added ingredients, including fragrance components, on their product labels and on their websites.  Thanks to their vigilant efforts, landmark legislation (SB 258-California’s Cleaning Product Right to Know Act) was passed which required that, by 2020, companies must list certain ingredients on their packaging and website. It’s a major step forward in the fight for ingredient transparency and affirms our collective right to know what’s in the products we buy.  This victory wouldn’t have been possible without the emails, calls, texts, and tweets from our collective community.

Spotlight on Violife

This week’s Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on Violife! All of their plant-based products are 20% off for member-owners from April 20th – 26th, so it’s a great time to stock up on their award-winning dairy-free delights. Read on to learn more about Violife and the mission that drives them to succeed:

Back in the early ’90s, three friends in Greece were bemoaning how much they missed cheese during the dairy-free Greek Orthodox holidays (100 days/year). They couldn’t find any good substitutes, so they decided to create their own and thus, Violife was born. Violife comes from the Greek word Vios, which means Life. So it’s actually, life squared, encouraging us to live life to its fullest. They are a vegan-dedicated community based in the beautiful surroundings of Thessalonica in Greece. They’ve been committed to making delicious, 100% vegan, non-dairy, non-GMO foods since the ’90s, in their production plant in the small town of Drama in Northern Greece. They are proud and humbled to be a favorite brand for so many Vegans, Vegetarians, and Flexitarians in over 50 countries around the world.

At Violife, they understand the frustration of finding a product you love only to find that it will exacerbate your allergy, intolerance, or condition. Rest assured that all of their plant-based foods are free from common allergens lactose and gluten as well as being soy and nut free.  Their foods are Kosher certified and safe for those with lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, nut intolerance, soy intolerance, or celiac disease. Their products are also free of GMOs and preservatives, plus they’re enriched with Vitamin B12. 

With more than 30 years of vegan products development and production experience, Violife is the world leader with a global footprint, backed by the world’s largest plant-based food transformation company, Upfield. They’re humbled and honored to be the number one award-winning vegan alternative to cheese. 

So, why choose Violife?

  • Variety: styles, flavors, and formats for all preferences. Slices, blocks, shreds, and spreads – in a variety of flavors such as Cheddar, Gouda, Mozzarella, Smoked…
  • Functionality: their products melt, grill & grate, toast & roast, they are easy to cook with and to spread.

Whether you enjoy it sliced in your sandwiches, spread on your bagel, sprinkled on your pasta, or melted in your macaroni and cheese, Violife is the alternative that tastes and cooks just like cheese! Whether you are already living a vegan lifestyle, or are enjoying a more flexitarian way of living, Violife is here to help you get some great taste in your life.


Spotlight on Jyoti Natural Foods

Looking for tasty ready-to-eat meals for those nights when time is short and the to-do list is long? You’re in luck! We’re shining a bright Member Deals Spotlight on Joyti Foods this week and all of their tasty vegetarian Indian meals are 20% off for member-owners from April 13th – 19th! Read on to learn more about the family who founded Jyoti foods and their mission to produce high-quality, nutritious foods for all to enjoy!



JYOTI Natural Foods was founded in the USA in 1979 as a pioneering venture to produce, package, and supply high-quality, nutritious Indian Foods to all who were familiar with Indian Cuisine; and to introduce the wonderful tastes, aromas, and virtues of Indian home-style cooking to the unfamiliar. There were a handful of Indian Restaurants in the larger cities, but no prepared Indian foods or even ingredients were to be found in supermarkets. Founders Vijai and Jyoti Gupta chose ‘shelf-stable foods in cans’ to present the cuisine of India to customers through specialty foods shops and supermarkets. 


Equipped with a graduate degree in Nutrition, Jyoti developed vegetarian recipes that used only fresh ingredients, reasonable fat and salt quantities, and no preservatives. A mini cannery was set up and they worked to achieve the desired authentic taste. After a few product recipes were perfected, production was started using co-packers. An occasional complaint from the customers was that of finding ‘stones’ in the foods like ‘Dal Makhani’ and ‘Punjabi Chhole’. The Co-packer had a well-known state-of-the-art ‘de-stoner’ for removing stones and cleaning the beans, but its performance was inadequate.

Out of necessity, Vijai invented a radically different but very simple technology for the cleaning of beans that are free from foreign debris like stones, metal, glass and sand, and even twigs and stems. With that invention, they decided to build their own food processing plant, using their own technical and financial resources. This gave them ultimate control of their quality assurance so that they could feel confident about the products they offered to their customers. 

They’ve grown and expanded over the years, but their mission has remained the same:

  • Make safe, healthy foods that offer pantry storage convenience without preservatives.
  • Increase the portion of vegetables and legumes in every diet with delicious dishes.
  • Introduce the wonderful flavors and virtues of Indian home cooking and spread the aroma of spices from India to every kitchen and every dinner plate.

Spotlight on Lake Champlain Chocolates

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight this week on a local favorite – Lake Champlain Chocolates! All of their mouth-watering Fairtrade Certified chocolates are 20% off for member-owners from April 6th – 12th. Read on to learn more about this local confectionery that has called Vermont home for 40 years and its commitment to responsible sourcing:



The story of Lake Champlain Chocolates began back in 1983 when founder Jim Lampman dared his pastry chef at Burlington’s Ice House Restaurant to create a better truffle than the ones he had been buying for his staff as holiday gifts. Together they began making the most amazing hand-rolled, creamy truffles and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sourcing Matters:

From the very beginning, long before eating local was cool, Lake Champlain Chocolates has been committed to sourcing Vermont-grown ingredients whenever possible. They knew that using high-quality Vermont honey, maple syrup, and fresh dairy from local farmers and producers would result in superior chocolates.

The goal is to bring you their best. To make high-quality chocolate that amazes with exquisite flavor and creates a moment of pure joy. It’s also why they’ve never added preservatives, extenders, or additives, and why they’ve worked diligently to remove GMOs from all of their chocolates and use organic and Fairtrade certified ingredients whenever possible. With each new product, the goal remains the same – to create something special, and to give you the best experience.

Eric Lampman in the Dominican Republic

A Family Affair:

Lake Champlain Chocolates is a second-generation, family-owned business, just like the generations of Vermont family farmers that provide them with fresh butter, cream, maple syrup, and honey. And just like the generations of cacao farmers in places like the Dominican Republic and Guatemala — with whom they have direct partnerships. Today, Jim’s son and daughter, Eric and Ellen, are defining the future of Lake Champlain Chocolates by developing award-winning organic products and spearheading sustainable sourcing initiatives. Along the way following the Lampman family principles: Dare to do better. Always do it with Passion. And do it your way.

The Lampman Family

Fair Trade:

Making great-tasting chocolate is hard work and the team at Lake Champlain Chocolates believes that every person in this process should be treated and compensated fairly and that their actions should make a positive impact on local and global communities. When you purchase Fairtrade chocolate, more money goes back to the farmers, allowing them to lift themselves out of poverty and build a better life for their families. It also allows these farmers to invest additional Fairtrade premiums in community development, ensures a ban on forced labor and child labor, and encourages environmentally-sustainable farming practices. Go ahead and indulge your sweet tooth and feel good knowing that 100% of the chocolate they use at Lake Champlain Chocolates is Fairtrade certified.

Why Buy Fairtrade Certified Chocolate?

  •  Farmers and workers are justly compensated and have safe working conditions (this includes prohibiting the use of forced labor and child labor).
  • Farmers are empowered to lift themselves out of poverty and help to build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities.
  • Cocoa farmers and co-ops receive an additional premium for investing in community development.
  • Farming communities develop skills that help them use the free market to their advantage.
  • Farming villages become better stewards of the environment — using sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices to preserve local habitats and increase biodiversity


B Corp Certification:

Lake Champlain Chocolates joined a growing community of more than 2,500 certified B Corporations worldwide who are united under one common goal – to redefine success in business. Rather than focus solely on profits, certified  B Corporations are leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good. They meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Unlike other certifications that look at individual products, B Corporation evaluates the entire business — assessing the yearly impact on the environment, workers, customers, community, and government.  This new type of corporation is purpose-driven to create benefits for all, not just shareholders, working together to be the change we seek in the world.

For Lake Champlain Chocolates these performance standards provide a valuable third-party measurement tool, assuring customers and suppliers that LCC’s business practices meet the highest standards. “Achieving B Corp Certification is the next step towards fulfilling our company’s vision to become the gold standard of chocolate companies in the United States, a respected leader other companies aspire to be,” says Eric Lampman, LCC President. “For more than 35 years, our practices have been guided by one core value – ‘everything must measure up to the chocolate.’  And this includes making a positive impact on our local and global communities by respecting our employees, fostering long-term partnerships with our suppliers, and practicing environmental responsibility.”




Co-op Connection Business of the Month — FLORA

FLŌRA offers our community a comfortable, clean, relaxing place to purchase high-quality, lab-tested, premium cannabis products from Vermont growers and they offer a 10% discount to card-carrying Co-op member-owners. Read on to learn more about this relatively new local business and the duo who brought it to life:


Act 164, a law passed in 2020 which allowed adult Vermonters to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana, two mature cannabis plants, and four immature plants, also signaled the green light for retail sales of recreational cannabis beginning on Oct. 1, 2022. FLŌRA, located in the heart of downtown Middlebury, became one of only three fully licensed and permitted cannabis retail shops statewide to open for business on that historic October day. Blazing the trail to make this possible were FLŌRA co-founders Dave Silberman and Mike Sims. As a Middlebury attorney and longtime advocate for the legalization of recreational cannabis in Vermont, Silberman was well-positioned to navigate the permitting process to make the retail store possible, having provided input for Act 164, and being well-versed in its requirements.

An estimated crowd of 1,000 people visited the store on its opening day at 2 Park Street, the line stretching almost to the Cross Street bridge roundabout with visitors eager to peruse and purchase cannabis flower and an assortment of related products. FLŌRA’s product lineup currently includes dozens of strains of premium Vermont-grown cannabis flower, many from right here in Addison County, plus pre-rolled joints, vaping cartridges, topicals, and a wide range of edibles ranging from gummies to chocolates and even pure maple candy infused with THC. FLŌRA also carries a wide assortment of CBD products, pipes, grinders, herbal vaporizers, and more.     

The FLORA team on opening day, October 2022

In an article in the Addison Independent, Silberman shared that he’s particularly proud to do business with a Bristol-based grower who had previously been sentenced to federal prison for selling cannabis around a decade ago. “Now he is doing it legally,” he said of the Bristol grower. “To me, that’s one small way we can help right the wrongs of the War on Drugs, and it’s the path we need to travel on now. It’s not enough to just legalize and open stores, no matter how beautiful and well-received they are.”

Those who haven’t yet visited FLŌRA might be surprised by the experience, which creates a spa-like atmosphere. FLŌRA staff have undergone state-mandated training and are well-versed in store protocols and legal requirements. Patrons are greeted at a check-in counter upon arrival, where they must show a valid picture ID to verify they are at least 21. Once inside, a store “bud-tender” is available to help customers explore the product lineup, and answer questions. A recent addition to the services provided by FLŌRA is an online ordering system where customers can make their selection in advance of their visit, show up at the store with a valid ID and proof of purchase, then leave with their order.  You can even pre-pay right online!

FLORA has received strong support from residents, the local business community, and town officials alike.  For his part, Sims said he believes FLŌRA will be a boon to the community and is quoted in the Addison Independent shortly after opening day expressing that “It felt really great to open our doors to the community…downtown has been packed. All the other stores have been crushing their numbers. It felt great to see people on both sides of the sidewalk shopping at all the stores. I was proud of that.”