2015: A Year to Remember

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.

More Co-op News

Riding off into the Sunset

 

By Annie Hoy, Retiring Marketing Manager

Since I was born and raised in far West Texas, I cannot help but use some imagery from what is so familiar to me.

Staff Picks: Summer Hikes and Trail Snacks

Our staff loves to head outside and enjoy the gorgeous Oregon outdoors. Here's a few of their favorite trails and the Co-op snacks they like to take with them.

 

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Be a Zero Waste Hero in Four Easy Steps

By Stephanie Koerella, Education Coordinator

Reducing our waste has continued to be of greater concern for Rogue Valley residents, especially since January, when options for recycling became even more limited. While the Ashland Food Co-op is ramping up our efforts to reduce waste as a business, there is a lot that our community can do at home to help the cause.

Staff Picks: Earth Friendly Products

In celebration of Sustainability Month in April, we asked our Sustainability Committee to share their favorite eco-friendly product.

2018 Kids Summer Camps

We’ve teamed up with Rogue Valley Farm to School to offer three different camps this summer. Each week campers will dive into food production, preparation and exploration, with a mix of farm and kitchen experiences that delight the senses and inspire the soul. Join Rogue Valley Farm to School staff as they cultivate the ability to grow and cook delicious, healthy, seasonal meals. Monday - Wednesday at the Co-op Community Classroom, Thursday & Friday at the Farm at SOU.
 

Update on our Strategic Initiatives

By Ed Claassen, Board President

Your Board and Management Team invested a significant amount of time in 2014 developing a set of strategic initiatives that we believe are vital in shaping the future of our business and furthering our mission. We formed a Strategic Planning Steering Committee consisting of 3 Board members and 3 Management Team members to guide the implementation of these initiatives.

2018 Electronic Coupon Schedule

To further our sustainability efforts and to serve you better, we began offering Electronic Owner Coupons in January 2017 at the register.

No more forgetting to bring your owner coupons. No more waiting for your newsletter to arrive. Cashiers simply ask if you want to use your owner coupons when you check out.

As we enter our second year of Electronic Coupons we wanted to share a couple of friendly reminders and the 2018 month by month schedule.

Please note:

Co+op Basics: High Integrity, Low Price

Looking to stretch your grocery budget? So are we! We've lowered the price on over three hundred items to create a set of high integrity staples for every shopper. Welcome to Co+op Basics.

Co+op Basics includes over 300 pantry and household staples. From beef to milk to cereal, we’ve lowered the margin and price on all those items to make organic, healthy food accessible to every shopper.

Proposals Sought for the 2018 Community Grants

The funding cycle for the 2018 Co-op Community Grants for nonprofit organizations is now open.

Every spring, for more than 20 years, we’ve been donating to area nonprofits through our Community Grant program. We are committed to creating healthy, sustainable communities and this program helps us fulfill that commitment by supporting the amazing work of local nonprofits. The Community Grant program is also the highlight of Cooperative Principle 7, Concern for Community, and is something we take to heart.

From the General Manager’s Desk

By Emile Amarotico

As we commence our lap around the sun in 2018, I wish to recognize the longstanding contributions of an amazing group of professionals. We are blessed with the dedication of eleven department managers expertly coordinating the daily flow of people, products and services that breath life into our Co-op!

  • Lynne (35+ years’ tenure) our Grocery Manager oversees keeping the aisles abundant with shelf stable products and coolers full of fresh perishables.

The Role of the Board in Co-op Governance

By Gwyneth Bowman, Vice President

After serving on the AFC Board for fourteen years my passion for the Co-op model has strengthened my commitment to the Cooperative Principles and Values. Of special importance is how we work together as a governing body with one voice. We are the ultimate decision-makers of our Co-op and hold a trusteeship for the benefit of our owners and community.

Fall Favorites from the Co-op

Like it or not, the cool weather has arrived. Whether you are heading out for a hike or enjoying a good book by the fire, the Co-op Deli has what you need to fuel your favorite fall activity. Stay warm with these comfort food recommendations from the Co-op Deli.
 

From the General Manager's Desk

By Emile Amarotico

A recent visitor commented that our parking is totally inadequate to our business volume. What’s true is that we cannot create more parking due to space and municipal code constraints. Thus, the value of each available space is increasing over time. Assuming only half of Co-op shoppers use automobile parking, each space supports at least $200,000 in annual sales.