Can it really be that time of year again? 2015 was full of so many things for which to be grateful. Here’s a list of some of the highlights.
We celebrated the 10-thousandth person to become a Co-op owner! Co-op ownership is a way to help create a more humane and democratic way to do business locally. A robust cooperative economy is one way to take a stand against corporate misbehavior.
2015 continued the collaboration between Outreach and the Wellness department. Working with Wellness staff, MegaFoodTM and local practitioner Donnie Yance, we were able to offer deep dives into the subject of immunity and the role of the nervous system in stress reduction and cancer prevention.
We offered two sessions of the Awakening the Dreamer symposium from Pachamama in order to create a new frame of what is possible on planet Earth. We also offered the Northwest Earth Institute’s Discussion Course called Hungry for change: Food, Ethics & Sustainability. Unlike the one day symposiums, discussion course participants met over a two month period, studying and reporting out on weekly reading assignments focused on issues around food choices and personal ethics.
Your Co-op played a strong role in supporting the 2015 passage of the measure that made Jackson County the only Oregon county to enact a ban on growing GMO crops, and also supported the statewide measure to label GMO foods in Oregon that sadly failed. Both brought closer attention to ingredients in the Co-op’s prepared foods, resulting in an overhaul of recipes and sourcing practices.
Since GMOs are not allowed in Certified Organic foods, we launched an initiative to re-educate our staff and shoppers about the advantages of eating an Organic diet that supports a wide range of environmental and social values, as well as being GMO free.
On the sustainability front, we offered you the choice of opting out of paper receipts. Many have taken advantage of this, preferring to have receipts emailed, reducing our use of paper significantly.
To top it off, AFC, in collaboration with Southern Oregon University, brought the distinguished author and activist Dr. Vandana Shiva to Ashland for an amazing day with students and a sold out evening lecture. That, for many, was one of the most significant events of the year.
Thank you everyone for your support of Ashland Food Co-op and all of our endeavors beyond selling quality food. Have the happiest of holidays and stay tuned for all the exciting things we’ve planned for 2016.