Non-GMO

Spotlight on Immaculate Baking Company

Sometimes we might feel like getting out the flour and the baking powder and doing the measuring and mixing, but other times call for a quick baking fix and that’s when we like to reach for products from Immaculate Baking Company! They’re featured in our Member Deals Spotlight from November 5th – 11th, a perfect time to ease into the holiday baking season, and all of their products will be 20% off for member-owners. Read on to learn more about this “honestly delicious” company and their humble roots:

It was back in a garage in 1995 that Immaculate Baking Company founder Scott Blackwell started his business with a simple dream: bake great-tasting treats and inspire the natural artist in all of us. Immaculate has grown beyond his wildest dreams, but it still remains true to those original values. And Scott’s baking ventures began even before that day in the mid-nineties. In first grade, he sold candy bar kits, and, sensing a budding love for food, Scott’s grandmother taught him the art of home baking.

So, was it easy to go from his grandmother’s kitchen to become the founder of the Immaculate Baking Company? Hardly. Scott paid his way through college baking and supplying 28 restaurants with pies. After college, he became a distributor for a major ice cream brand then moved to South Carolina where he opened a restaurant, Immaculate Consumption. Visitors loved his sandwiches, baked goods, and fresh-roasted coffee. Inspired by patrons’ enthusiasm for his coffee and treats, Scott sold the restaurant and worked out of his garage to sell fresh-roasted coffee beans and cookies, all wrapped in plain brown paper.

For years, Scott struggled to get his business out of the garage and into the mainstream. To boost his spirits, he’d take road trips around the southern U.S where he discovered folk art. He was inspired by their stories, their frequently hardscrabble lives, and how resourceful and creative they were in constructing their beautiful, deceptively simple pieces. Scott decided to pay tribute to these often unsung artists by featuring their work on his cookie and coffee packaging. And their resourcefulness inspired him to get creative.

In 1997, Scott went to a food trade show on the West Coast and handed out cookies. The next week, orders began to roll in from high-end food retailers and just two years later, his cookies began winning awards at food shows. Immaculate Baking quickly outgrew Scott’s garage and rapidly graduated to a huge facility in North Carolina. Over time, the brand expanded from refrigerated cookie doughs made with organic flour and sugar to include convenient canned dough products like Cinnamon Rolls, Biscuits and Scones, and even many gluten-free options.

Fast forward a few years to 2012, when Immaculate Baking Company joined the family of passionate bakers at General Mills. Nowadays, they make a whole bunch of certified organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO products that they know you’ll love because they love ‘em too. And, after all these years, they still stick to those original values from Scott’s garage in ‘95… They celebrate creativity and soulful goodness by making honestly delicious goodies wrapped in a gallery of inspiring folk art. What’s not to love about that?

Check out their webpage to learn more and check out their fantastic collection of recipes!

 

 

Spotlight on King Arthur Baking Company

Are you gearing up for the holiday baking season? What a perfect time to stock up on local baking supplies from King Arthur Baking Company! They’re featured in our Member Deals Spotlight from October 29th – November 4th, so member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on their full line of baking products! Read on to learn more about America’s oldest flour company and its mission to create and deliver superior products and knowledge so that consumers experience the joy and passion of baking, all informed by their values as a 100% employee-owned Benefit Corporation:

 

King Arthur is an employee-owned company on a mission to be the ultimate resource and inspiration in the kitchen, to inspire connections and community through baking, and to use their business as a force for good. They were first founded over 230 years ago and while much has changed over the years (including a recent name change from King Arthur Flour to King Arthur Baking Company), they remain committed to the principles upon which they were founded. They believe in the power of baking to make a difference — for people and the planet. They work to build stronger communities and increase access and connection to real foods. They take pride in their responsible sourcing and their “never bleached” guarantee. And they work closely with farmers, millers, and suppliers in a continued commitment toward sustainability.

King Arthur Baking Company Headquarters in Norwich, VT

 

King Arthur Baking Company is a certified B-Corporation and they measure their progress with a triple bottom line — people, planet, and profit. Their products are non-GMO Verified by the third-party Non-GMO project and they source their wheat from American farms, helping grow a strong, sustainable agricultural economy. In partnership with their farmers, they’re working to limit pesticide exposure while increasing sustainable yields in a changing climate; promoting our planet’s health for many years to come. They carry on their centuries-old heritage of stewardship through the quality of their brand, and the steps they take to preserve the vitality of the community and the earth on which we live. Click here to view their Mission & Impact documented through the annual B Impact assessment.

Gluten-Free Baking Made Simple with King Arthur Baking Company’s Gluten-Free Baking Mixes

At King Arthur Baking, they have always believed that everyone deserves equal access to the joy of baking. They strive to ensure that their values are reflected in all that they do. To maintain and extend a history of putting community, their employee-owners, and the planet first, they recognize that they must also address the social injustices that challenge those very values. They have committed themselves to this work not out of obligation, but because it’s ingrained in who they are as a company. They recognize that the work of fostering an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion will never end; there will always be more humbling, difficult, and meaningful work to do. And they commit to rising to the challenge time and time again — because of a strong sense of responsibility to break down barriers that hinder access to baking, a universal craft that has the power to unite people from all walks of life. Click here to read more about their ongoing work towards diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Whether you’re a brand new baker or a seasoned professional, King Arthur Baking is there for you with an incredible volume of resources to help you bake your best. There are handy tips for what to do when your bread falls flat and your cookies crumble, excellent instructional videos to help you understand everything from bulk fermentation to baking the perfect pie crust, and recipes for anything you could ever dream to bake. And if you’re a professional baker, King Arthur Baking offers a library of reference materials and information that will be helpful in bakeries, restaurants, and production facilities. They also offer live classes for every type of baker at every skill level at their facility in Norwich, Vermont. Classes range from introductory demonstrations for beginners to intensive week-long professional courses, with a wide variety of hands-on classes for adults and children. Let them be your ultimate go-to resource for all things baking.

Baking School at King Arthur Baking Company
 

 

 

 

Spotlight on Equal Exchange

October is Co-op Month, Fair Trade Month, and Non-GMO month, so it seemed like the perfect time to shine our Member Deals Spotlight on Equal Exchange – a cooperative that is revolutionizing the fair trade of organic, non-GMO coffee, chocolate, cocoa, tea, bananas, and avocados from small farmers. All of their co-op produced, fair trade certified goods are 20% off for member-owners from October 15th – 21st! Read on to learn more about the ways that this cooperative is creating powerful change in industries dominated by profound social, environmental, and economic exploitation:

History:

Equal Exchange was started over 30 years ago to create an alternative trade paradigm where small farmers could have a seat at the trading table. The existing predominant trade model favors large plantations, agri-business, and multi-national corporations. Equal Exchange seeks to challenge that model in favor of one that supports & respects small farmers, builds communities, supports the environment, and connects consumers and producers through information, education, and the exchange of products in the marketplace.

Today, Equal Exchange is a thriving model of Fair Trade that has exceeded its founders’ original vision. With over 30 years of experience — a history replete with successes, failures, innovative partnerships, exciting new products, and inspiring stories — they are nevertheless humbled by just how far they still need to go. Over the next few decades, Equal Exchange seeks to engage and collaborate with like-minded partners and stakeholders throughout the Fair Trade system in an effort to continue to transform how business is done. Their vision includes breaking new ground by bringing Fair Trade home—by fostering direct relationships with family farmers here in the United States. Their collective achievements of the past 30 years prove that they can create change beyond their wildest dreams. To read more about their history, click here.

 

Equal Exchange – Who We Are. from The Perennial Plate on Vimeo.

Mission:

Equal Exchange’s 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.

Authentic Fair Trade:

Authentic fair trade is central to their mission at Equal Exchange. The fair trade model gives small-scale farmers collective power and financial stability while improving farming communities and protecting the environment. To do so, it utilizes a particular 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, farmworkers, 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

 

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

Bananas:

According to the USDA, the average American eats 27 pounds of bananas per year. That’s a whole lot of bananas – and a big opportunity for impact. The banana industry is infamous for unfair labor practices, dangerous working conditions, and perpetuation of global inequalities. You can read more about that here. Equal Exchange envisioned a total departure from this system when it first ventured into fresh produce in 2006 with bananas. Equal Exchange works directly with three small farmer cooperatives in Peru and Ecuador: AsoGuabo, CEPIBO, and APOQ. Through these democratically organized co-ops, farmers leverage collective resources and obtain access to global markets – maintaining agency over their business, land, and livelihoods. 

Community members of Asoguabo Co-op and Equal Exchange Worker Owners in Ecuador

Together, Equal Exchange and their banana partners are creating a trade model that respects farmers, builds communities, and supports the environment. Buying Equal Exchange bananas from your local food co-op not only keeps money cycling through our community but also ensures that communities of farmers in Ecuador and Peru are receiving a fair price for their products, which then keeps money flowing through their communities, as well. In a way, eating fair trade bananas gives you a two-for-one, as you are able to support both your community and the cooperative community of farmers that grew the fruit. It may not have been grown physically close to our Co-op, but it creates an interconnected network of solidarity between communities. You are choosing to connect yourself to these courageous banana farmers who are making history for themselves, and quite possibly, for the entire banana industry. Click here to read more about the progressive small farmer banana cooperatives that partner with Equal Exchange.

 

Avocados:

In 2013, Equal Exchange partnered with pioneering farmer cooperatives in Mexico to establish a supply chain for Fairtrade, organic avocados. Their farmer partners are located in Michoacán, Mexico, considered the ‘avocado capital of the world’. Working together, they circumvent a largely consolidated and volatile industry to provide U.S. avo-lovers with the popular fruit.

Equal Exchange visiting the farmers from the PROFOSMI avocado cooperative

These two small-farmer cooperatives, PRAGOR and PROFOSMI, export directly to Equal Exchange. PRAGOR is composed of 20 producer members who each own an average of 10 acres of land, all 100% organic. Many of the members transitioned to organic 10 or more years ago, a revolutionary move at the time. On several of these farms reside the oldest Hass Avocado trees in the region, now 60 years old, still producing avocados. Despite the excitement each producer has for the future, a major challenge is finding trading partners who believe in their mission and will engage in the respectful and fair business relationship their members deserve. As you can imagine, there are not many organizations like Equal Exchange. PRAGOR’s strength and perseverance is a lesson for anyone committed to working for change in the world.

Farmer cooperatives increasingly recognize that production through industrialized agriculture methods has placed pressure on the natural environment, and have elected to weave environmental sustainability into their missions, vision, and goals. One such initiative is Las Mujeres Polinizadoras de Tingambato, a women’s apiculturist cooperative that was established by Equal Exchange’s partner cooperative, PROFOSMI. The initiative seeks to offer entrepreneurial skills to economically disadvantaged women through beekeeping. PROFOSMI used fair trade premium dollars to offset the cost of materials and technical training, and the women soon had the tools they needed to become an autonomous and independent cooperative. 

Equal Exchange’s Ravdeep Jaidka and Meghan Bodo with farmer-partner Alfredo stand beside rows of hives from the women’s beekeeping cooperative

 

In an effort to maintain a year-round supply of organic, fairtrade avocados, Equal Exchange began a partnership in 2018 with LaGrama, a Peruvian company providing essential services to small-scale farmers in Peru. A major advantage for Peruvian avocados lies in their seasonality for exports, which roughly extends from May to August. This serves as a good complement to the Mexican export season, which lasts from August to May. After extensive research with industry partners and a sourcing trip to Peru,  Equal Exchange was thrilled to find partners like LaGrama that align with their mission and vision for change in the avocado industry. 

 

Coffee:

This is where it all began! Way back In 1986, the founders of Equal Exchange started their journey with a Nicaraguan coffee — which they called Café Nica — and they haven’t looked back. The impact over the years has been incredible and your purchases of fairly traded coffee have helped build pride, independence, and community empowerment for hundreds of small farmers and their families. One of their latest projects, the Women in Coffee series, highlights women leaders across the Equal Exchange coffee supply chain and represents an opportunity to spark community discussions around Fair Trade, gender empowerment, and relationships across food supply chains. You can find the featured Women In Coffee Series coffee, Congo Rising, in our bulk department.

Another fantastic project brewing at Equal Exchange is their Congo Coffee Project. Equal Exchange founded the Congo Coffee Project with the Panzi Foundation as a means to bring Congolese coffee to market in the United States and raise awareness about the alarming rate of sexual violence that takes place every day. Sexual violence has affected thousands of people in the Congo over the last two decades, and for women, men, and children in need of medical attention there are not many options; they are sometimes ostracized, abandoned, or ignored with nowhere to go.  Survivors of sexual violence seek refuge and assistance at the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, DRC, a bustling place with more than 360 staff and thousands of visitors each year.  The hospital treats patients with various ailments but has become known as a safe place for survivors of sexual violence to seek treatment and heal from their trauma.   

Since inception in 2011, the Congo Coffee Project has raised more than $80,000 for survivors of sexual violence and Dr. Denis Mukwege, the physician responsible for treating survivors of sexual violence and raising awareness of their plight, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. You can read more about that here and you can support Dr. Mukwege’s work by purchasing the Congo Project coffee in our Bulk Department.

 

 

Chocolate:

The global cocoa and chocolate industries are riddled with profound social and economic problems. Workers on cocoa farms are often subject to unacceptable forms of exploitation, including debt bondage, trafficking, and the worst forms fo child labor. The standard models for global cocoa trade have left farmers impoverished, economically vulnerable, and powerless to advocate for better conditions.  The small farmer-grown cacao sourced by Equal Exchange demonstrates the power of alternative trade in an industry built on exploitation and forced labor. Under Fair Trade standards, the farmers and co-operatives must abide by key covenants of the International Labor Organization, including those forbidding inappropriate child labor, and forced labor. All Equal Exchange cocoa is sourced from Fair Trade, organic small farmer co-operatives in the Dominican Republic, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru. Even the sugar in their chocolate bars is fairly traded and sourced from a small-farmer co-op in Paraguay. To read more about child labor in the cocoa industry and the efforts made by Equal Exchange thus far to eradicate this issue, click here

Laura Bechard of Equal Exchange and Orfith Satalaya Tapullima of Oro Verde cacao co-op

Supporting Small Cooperative Farmers During the Pandemic:

Equal Exchange works with farmer co-ops in over 20 countries, and their model is to actively seek and partner with marginalized farming communities. These remote communities face significant challenges during the best of times. During
a pandemic, the challenges become more acute. Equal Exchange intentionally works with farmers who have organized themselves into democratically-run cooperatives. They believe this structure helps change the balance of power long-term. They’re seeing that during the pandemic, the co-op systems have provided lifelines to farmers, helping them in ways that would not have existed were it not for the existence of the co-op.

Here are a few of the ways that these democratic farmer co-ops realized and responded to their members’ needs, in ways that their national governments or health care systems could not:
  • Cocoa co-op Acopagro in Peru used recent advanced Fair Trade premium payments from Equal Exchange to provide food, masks and cleaning supplies to co-op members in 2 different communities where they work. 
  • Coffee co-op members from San Fernando in Peru focused on the fact that they had productive land at a time when many of their children were living or studying in the city without reliable access to healthy food; they collectively filled a truck with their homegrown produce and delivered the food to their children. 
  • Banana co-op AsoGuabo in Ecuador used Fair Trade premium funds to purchase PPE for medical workers in the community and mobilized its logistics operations to transport medicines and supplies to local hospitals. This was critical support at a time when transportation was significantly restricted as a result of curfew measures.
  • Sugar Co-op Manduvira in Paraguay donated money to local health clinics, intentionally directing part of their limited resources to other trusted organizations that in turn help their members.
Manduvira-Co-op in Paraguay

Spotlight on Lotus Foods

Happy non-GMO month! 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, fairly traded, regenerative, organic, and non-GMO rice to your dinner table! All of their products are 20% off for member-owners from October 8th – 14th. 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 regions of the world:

lotus-foods-logo

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.

do-the-rice-thing-logo

A Grassroots Rice Revolution


In 2008 Lotus Foods committed to partnering with small-scale farmers who radically changed how they grow rice, using less to produce more. 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 that 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 its mission. They offer exceptional SRI-grown rice varieties 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 meters 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 rice varieties 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. In 2016 Lotus Foods became a fully certified B Corp or Benefit Corporation. B corporations are legally obligated to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, consumers, and environment. It’s our conviction that we can change the world for the better by how we conduct our business.

Going Beyond Organic

Lotus Food’s traditional White and Brown Basmati Rice has qualified for Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC™) Silver. It is the first rice to achieve this rigorous new standard, which goes beyond existing Organic and Fair Trade certifications in promoting farming that enriches rather than degrades soil and values animals and workers. ROC certification requires organic certification as a baseline while adding additional criteria for soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness.

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 and Pad Thai noodles. Visit their website for excellent tips and recipes!

Cambodian More Crop Per Drop™ farmer

Spotlight on Barbara’s

From March 19th – 25th our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on Barbara’s! During this promotion, member-owners can enjoy 20% off all of Barbara’s products, so it’s a great time to stock up and save! Read on to learn more about what makes Barbara’s shine:

At Barbara’s, they believe that being happy and healthy go hand-in-hand—which is why they’re passionate about bringing you the best tasting cereals and snacks. They believe in the goodness of whole grains and the healing power of laughter.

They believe that healthy food should be accessible to all because what we put in our bodies shapes how we feel, and how we show up in life.

At Barbara’s, they believe that few things are as meaningful as sharing food with someone you care about.

They believe in wholeheartedly putting their values into action, and that caring can change the world. They remain committed to bringing you only the most wholesome and simple ingredients and they encourage you to take a close look at what goes into their products. That’s why we list their ingredients on every box.

They believe in Non-GMO Project Verified and whole grain goodness. They know you’re concerned about GMOs, that’s why Barbara’s made a commitment to achieving the rigorous standards required to receive a Non-GMO Project Verified seal—consumers’ most recognized seal for GMO product alternatives.

They believe in transparency and enjoy making wholesome and nourishing food for you to share with your family. It’s their way of putting a little more care and kindness into the world. And they’re committed to providing honest answers to all your product, nutrition and ingredient questions—so you can make sure you are making the best choices for your family. Visit their webpage to check out their FAQs.

Barbara’s has been a long time proud supporter of Project Puffin and The National Audubon Society. Project Puffin dates back to 1973, when The National Audubon Society began to address the issue of a declining puffin population by restoring habitats throughout the Gulf of Maine. Project Puffin now has a seasonal staff of 50 people who work tirelessly on behalf of these beloved birds.

Spotlight on Lundberg Family Farms

This week, the Co-op Spotlight shines brightly on Lundberg Family Farms!  Member-Owners can enjoy 20% off their entire line of rice, rice chips, rice cakes, and risottos from March 12th – 18th! Read on to learn more about this family-owned company and their commitment to socially and environmentally responsible practices for more than 80 years:

Since the company was first founded by Nebraska natives Albert & Frances Lundberg in 1937, Lundberg Family Farms has remained a family-owned and operated company committed to producing the finest quality rice and rice products for your family, while respecting and sustaining the earth. Today, over 80 years later, the third and fourth generations carry on the family heritage by using eco-positive farming methods that produce wholesome, healthful rice and rice products while improving and protecting the environment for generations to come.

Founder Albert Lundberg, a survivor of the dust bowl, understood the importance of caring for the soil. He recognized that the dust bowl resulted from poor soil management and short-sighted farming techniques. With this in mind, the Lundberg’s made a choice to avoid growing typical conventional rice.  Their Certified Organic and Eco-Farmed rice is grown with a concern for the environment. They treat the soil, air, and water as important resources, respecting the delicate balances of nature. They are a proud participant of the Non-GMO Project, and positioned their company as an early leader in organic farming, energy conservation, use of renewable energy, providing safe and fair working conditions, and many other environmentally responsible and socially responsible practices.

Lundberg Family Farms was founded on the belief of “leaving the land better than you found it.” This belief originated on the farm and helped them become a leader in organic farming. Over time, this belief has been integrated into all operations, from growing rice to producing products. Sustainability is written into every job description. It is part of everyday work on the farm and in their facilities.

Lundberg Family Farms has been a TRUE Zero Waste Certified facility since 2016 and diverts 99.6% of their waste from landfills.

As they grow and expand, they will continue to implement energy conservation and renewable energy, waste reduction and resource efficiency, safe and fair working conditions, along with many other practices that are environmentally and socially responsible. Lundberg partners with the Sustainable Food Trade Association (SFTA), One Step Closer to an Organic and Sustainable Community (OSC2), and the Climate Collaborative (CC) to help reduce their climate impacts as an organization.

In March 2020 Lundberg will be launching a new recycling program for their flexible plastic packaging! This program will accept 8-ounce wild rice bags, 12-pound rice bags, rice cakes bags, rice cake films, rice chips, ready to heat pouches and plastic film from their risotto meals! They are working hard to get the program ready for you. In the meantime, they recommend stockpiling all of your Lundberg packaging so you can begin recycling on day one!! Click HERE to learn more about how this will work.

Spotlight on Late July

Are chips and dip part of your game day spread? Then you’ll be thrilled to hear that our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on Late July this week! All of their products are 20% off for member-owners from January 30th – February 5th. Read on to learn more about them:

 

 

Late July is named for that sweet spot of summer when life feels simple, pure & good and it’s also their philosophy on snack-making. They believe that the best parties need a few simple things — great friends, good stories and delicious food! At Late July, these three things always come together around a big bowl of delicious tortilla chips. That is why they take so much care in using the highest quality ingredients without sacrificing on taste. They care deeply about using organic and non-GMO ingredients and making chips for everyone at the party. 

Their snacks stand out in a crowded snack aisle, not just because of their delicious taste, but also because of their commitment to sourcing the highest quality organic and non-GMO ingredients that are free of toxic persistent pesticides, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. You’ll find a variety of gluten-free, vegan, Kosher and nut-free offerings to please every palate.

They hope that you enjoy eating their snacks as much as they enjoy making them!

 

Spotlight on Field Day

We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Field Day this week! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off all Field Day products from January 23rd – 29th. You may recognize these products as part of our Co-op Basics lineup, so you’ll be thrilled to hear that the discounts run even deeper this week! Read on to learn more about this company with a goal to fill consumers’ homes with a wide selection of value-priced items that they can use and feel good about every day.

Field Day believes in understanding where our food comes from. At every step of the way, they ensure that their products meet the highest quality standards. All of their ingredients and products undergo third-party certifications such as USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project, Whole Grains Council, Gluten Free and Fair Trade. You will never find preservatives, artificial colors or artificial flavors in any of their products. What you will find is delicious, good-for-you and genuinely simple products.

Values

  • Real food: Promoting organic and natural products with a commitment to Non-GMO.
  • Real flavor: Producing genuinely simple products that are not only good-for-you but taste good.
  • Real people: Field Day works as a team, from their valued employees to their inspiring retailers to their treasured consumers, every step of the way.
  • Real fun: Creating memories one family meal at a time.

 

Mission

Their goal is to fill your home with a wide selection of value-priced items that you can use and feel good about every day. Their harvest of Non-GMO, organic, and quality products are delicious and genuinely simple. They take a less-is-more approach with ingredients and packaging. No confusion, just what you need. That’s Field Day.

 

Promise

  • To sell only the highest quality of products. Field Day ensures that offerings adhere to the most rigorous of standards through third-party certifications.
  • To provide great taste. What they leave out in artificial flavors, colors, and unnecessary preservatives, they make up for in pure deliciousness.
  • To remain value priced. With the cost of living and organic food on the rise, Field Day believes that healthy eating should be an achievable lifestyle for every family.
  • To have you and your family’s best interest in mind. From the growth of an idea to the moment it hits your dinner table, Field Day acknowledges what their products mean to your family.

 

 

Organic

What does it mean? This means knowing exactly where our food comes from, how it was made, and that it meets the highest quality standards along the way. Bearing the USDA Organic seal ensures that products are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing soil qualities, animal raising practices, the use of additives and more. 

How does it affect your family? Organic foods are cleaner for your family and the environment because they do not allow toxic persistent pesticides, GMOs and antibiotics and growth hormones. They prohibit the use of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. 

What are is Field Day doing about it? Whenever possible they source organic ingredients to produce USDA Certified products that you can use and feel good about every day.

 
 

Non-GMO

What does it mean? The Non-GMO Project defines GMOs as genetically modified organisms that have been “artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, creating unstable combinations of genes that do not occur in nature.” 

How does it affect your family? Many of the foods that are popular among families and children contain GMOs. In North America, over 80% of our food contains GMOs, meaning that these unwelcome additions are likely present at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their use and consumption could lead to harmful effects on both the environment and human health. 

What is Field Day doing about it? All of Field Day’s products are currently verified by or enrolled in the Non-GMO Project, a third-party organization that tests and certifies a product does not contain GMOs. The seal indicates that any at-risk ingredients are continually monitored and tested through a rigorous verification process. Field Day works to source organic products, support sustainable farming practices, and give you the right to make an informed choice. Therefore, by choosing Field Day, you are committing to live Non-GMO.

 

 

Made in the USA

What does it mean? The majority of Field Day’s products are produced in the USA with some containing domestic and imported ingredients.

How does it affect your family? By taking pride in our country and the work that our farmers put in every day, sourcing Made in the USA and local growers we work in supporting your communities and bringing the fruits of their labor directly to you!

Spotlight on New Chapter

Looking to step up your wellness game in 2019? We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on New Chapter this week and all of their supplements are 20% off for member-owners from January 9th – 15th. Read on to learn more about this Brattleboro-based B Corp that has been honoring natural well-being by nurturing body, soul, and Earth for nearly 40 years:

 

New Chapter was originally founded in 1982 by Paul and Barbi Schulick out of a passion to promote health through innovative botanical formulations made with 100% real foods and herbs. The company has grown and evolved over the past 38 years, but it still remains firmly rooted in Brattleboro, VT where they proudly employ more than 150 area residents.

 

Mission

  • To deliver the wisdom of Nature, thus relieving suffering and promoting optimal health.
  • To advance the organic mission, nourishing body and soul with the healing intelligence of pure whole foods and herbal supplements.
  • To nurture and sustain Mother Earth, the source of natural healing.
  • To honor and reward personal growth, for enlightened teamwork depends on the vitality of every member of the New Chapter® family.

 

Commitment to Sustainability

At New Chapter, concern for the planet is expressed not only through careful sourcing and formulation principles but also with every action they take as a company. New Chapter is proud to be a Certified B Corporation, which means they define success in holistic terms that encompass not just profit but people and Earth too. 

  • Sustainable Sourcing – They travel the globe to identify and build relationships with supplier partners who share their commitment to sustainable sourcing. Knowing their suppliers and the origins of their crops helps to uphold a supply chain that is both socially responsible and environmentally conscious.
  • Welfare of People – Throughout the supply chain, from Vermont to India, New Chapter aims to engage partners whose workers are treated with respect and provided with working conditions that are safe, healthy, and balanced.
  • Climate Friendly Farming – New Chapter is proud to be a part of the growing regenerative agricultural movement. Replacing industrial practices with regenerative ones can reboot plants’ natural cycle of removing carbon from the air by sequestering it in the ground. Along with adherence to organic standards, soil regeneration practices include rotating crops, composting, using cover crops, and avoiding deep tilling. These techniques create healthy, carbon-rich soil that is full of organic matter and holds water like a sponge.
  • Waste Reduction – New Chapter is able to compost, recycle, or reuse more than 80% of the waste they produce – everything from lunch leftovers and office paper to pallets and shrink-wrap. And they’re now certified Zero Waste to Landfill, which reduces their carbon footprint and uses energy recovery to convert their waste into clean energy.

 

Giving Back

As environmental stewards focused on human health, New Chapter works to increase accessibility to organic food, farming, and traditional herbal medicine. And as a Certified B Corp, they endeavor to use their business resources to help solve social and environmental problems—in communities around the world where our ingredients come from as well as locally right here in Vermont. Partners include Kindle Farm and the Vermont Food Bank.

 

 

Spotlight on Agricola Farm

Have you ever met someone so passionate about what they do that their enthusiasm is nearly palpable? Alessandra Reillini of Agricola Farm is just that someone and we’re excited to shine our Member Deals Spotlight on her farm this week. All Agricola Farm meats are 20% off for member-owners from December 26th – 31st, so it’s a great time to stock up the freezer. Read on to learn more about this ecologically-focused farm raising animals in the lush pastures of Panton, VT and the passionate Italian farmers that bring it to life:

About the Farmers

Agricola is a small diversified Italian farm in Panton, VT run by Alessandra (Ale) and Stefano (Steu). They, along with their small crew, are the farmers, the butchers, the vendors, and the chefs.  Ale originally founded the farm in 2007 with three pigs, four sheep, and big dreams. After earning a  Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale School of Medicine, she was lured to the Green Mountain State to UVM where she continues to serve as a Professor of Clinical Psychology when she’s not hard at work on the farm.  Stefano is an Agronomist and has a Masters in Agricultural Science from the University of Turin, in Italy. They share a love of good food, good company, an intense work ethic, and a strong commitment to environmental stewardship.

The Agricola “Farmily”

They specialize in raising and preparing gourmet meats and are particularly well known for their pasture-raised pork. On their farm, you’ll also find Icelandic sheep and heritage breed chickens, for both eggs and meat, along with apiaries for farm-fresh honey. In 2019 they also began raising ducks and geese and they grow many Italian varieties of vegetables and herbs, which you can sample if you’re lucky enough to attend one of their famous farm dinners, or you happen to visit their lovely farmstand during the summer months. At the farmstand, you’ll also find unique seasonal treats including fresh-baked bread, handmade Italian pasta, wildcrafted herbal teas, and artisanal soaps made with their pork lard, along with a stunning array of their fresh and cured meats.

Agricola Farm Stand in Panton, VT

The Italian Way

Ale, Steu, and the rest of their “Farmily” are committed to raising livestock the traditional Italian Way. What does this mean?

  1. The diet they choose to offer their animals promotes more natural growth. They use less sugar (no corn or whey) and fewer proteins (no soy) than the average pig diet. They also select non-GMO feed and avoid feed that speeds the oxidation process of the meat, such as brassicas and soy. Thanks to their diet and genetics, their pigs are predisposed to grow slower, reaching butchering weight at 14+ months, as compared to the usual 6 months for conventionally raised pigs. Why is this important? Muscles that grow slower are more flavorful. Many chefs describe Agricola Farm’s pork as complex and naturally flavored.
  2.  The animals can best express their pigness in pastures. Agricola Farm’s pigs are rotationally-grazed, moving to a new paddock bi-weekly, which allows them to graze the land naturally rich in grasses, legumes, parsnip roots, Jersualem artichokes, fruits, and hickory nuts. Running, digging, and grazing is a great exercise that keeps the pigs happy, entertained, and improves the flavor of the meat. According to Ale, “there is an unexplainable satisfaction in seeing pigs harvesting their own food straight from the land.” Ale and her farmily seed the pastures with grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables that they know the pigs will enjoy and they take great satisfaction in watching the pigs forage and feast.
  3. Agricola Farm processes their own meat following traditional Italian techniques for handling and cutting the meat. This allows them to celebrate their heritage while also maximizing the tenderness and flavor of their products. 

In short, the Italian Way means healthier animals, a more natural and enjoyable way of life for the animals, greater fertility for the land, and higher quality meat for the consumer. 

Happy pigs foraging in a fresh paddock

Looking Forward

Ale and her team have been hard at work rolling out an exciting new project — the opening of Agricola Meats in Middlebury! This meat processing facility will allow them the space, equipment, and flexibility to produce their own cured meat products, along with creating unique products for four other local farms. In her blog, Ale shares that, “the new facility allows us to produce a variety of cured meats such as prosciutto, coppa, pancetta, lonzino, and zillions of other products. We are so excited and ready for this shift! Our hearts also warm up because of the enthusiasm that we find for the project all around us: from the farmers that are happy to finally get a fair price for their livestock and create a unique quality product, from the shop owners that are proud to promote a product in which they believe, and from the people that buy the product and discover a delicious and nutritious way to promote responsible agriculture and be part of the green change that is happening at our farms. It has been a wild and happy ride to get this project going and we have countless people that helped us on the way.  I feel so humbled that so many people have just offered their time and their expertise and many of them have done that without asking for a compensation, only because they believed in the importance of the project… the importance of supporting Vermont Farms, the importance of supporting a type of agriculture that helps our environment and the importance of creating a top product that can make Vermont proud.”

Icelandic Sheep on pasture at Agricola Farm

Here at the Co-op, we’re grateful to work with farmers like Ale and Steu who are so dedicated to the craft of ecological farming and sustainable meat production. It’s critical that we, as consumers, support farmers that prioritize animal welfare and environmental stewardship. Agricola Farm takes pride in their products and they’re excited to become part of your family dinner table.

ducklings at the farm

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