Regional Economic Development Agency Honors Rogue Co-ops Co-ops Do Build a Better World
Rogue Co-ops, a unique partnership of four Southern Oregon cooperatives, has been honored for its successful teamwork and dedication to the community with the annual Collaboration Award presented by Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. (SOREDI). Comprised of Ashland Food Co-op, Medford Food Co-op, Rogue Federal Credit Union, and Grange Co-op, Rogue Co-ops provides Southern Oregon and Northern California residents everything from high-quality groceries and garden supplies, to farm and pet supplies, home, auto and business loans, and much more. The group collectively employs approximately 600 people and provides products and services to a combined 90,000 members, in addition to thousands more non-members. Rogue Co-ops also donated nearly $250,000 to community service organizations, charities, and events during 2011. SOREDI's Collaboration Award honors a group of businesses setting aside competitive concerns for the good of one or more businesses and the community. In line with that standard, Rogue Co-ops' four companies vow to put people ahead of profits and challenge each other to operate by ethical standards. "At SOREDI, we understand the importance of a collective of people all working together in the same direction," said Michael Smith, SOREDI Business Development Manager. "Our efforts with regional economic development are based on good collaboration, so for companies as diverse as these four to come together and create a concerted effort, we recognize that it's a phenomenal thing. It's a really unique thing in our area. We have lots of companies that come together in concerted efforts, but nothing quite as unique as Rogue Co-ops." Rogue Co-ops, formed in January to celebrate 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) with a theme “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World." Throughout the year, the four businesses are focusing on the concept of cooperatives putting people first, innovating to meet member's needs, and providing local service while being part of a global network.
More Co-op News
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.
By Annie Hoy, Marketing Manager
We often refer to cooperatives as “democratic enterprises.” But what does that really mean? The Ashland Food Co-op, like all other co-ops in most economic sectors, is owned and controlled by the people who use its services.
The funding cycle for the 2018 Co-op Community Grants for nonprofit organizations begins in February.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When not working on Board of Director efforts, my profession is an Interior and Building Designer. I own the Ashland Design Studio, located in the Historic Railroad District, and have a design services studio there - JulieO Design. I have been in the architectural design business my whole life; from crawling around my father's architectural studio to traveling around the world working on buildings large and small to now having created my own niche in the local building community. I took a few years off this path to own and run Tease Restaurant here in Ashland.
October is National Co-op Month, so what’s the big deal? Being a co-op is special. Yes, we know we are biased, but being a cooperative enterprise means we do business differently. We don’t have a single owner living on their private island drinking margaritas all day without a care in the world. We are owned and governed by you, our 10,000 members. We share the burden in hard times and share the benefits in the good times. We put people, the planet and our principles before profit.
By Emile Armarotico
This spring, National Co-op Grocers recognized Ashland Food Co-op as a Co+efficient Sustainability Star for our excellent sustainability efforts.
Our Sustainability Vision aims at being carbon neutral by 2030. We’ve taken a great stride toward this by installing a 39 kilowatt solar electric system on our rooftop with the capacity to generate approximately 7% of our electricity usage. The cost was partially offset by a $27,000 REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) Grant.
When we say local, we mean local. We source our local goods from within 200 miles of the store. By purchasing goods from local producers, we aim to create and maintain a healthy local economy and support family farms. What could be better than helping your community by buying local goods?
With all the local products that we offer, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But that’s exactly what we asked our staff to do. Here are some of their go-to local eats.
How often can you browse the shelf at your neighborhood grocery store, see a bottle of hand crafted, local cider and say, “Hey, I help make that!” Well, at the Co-op you can.
Many of us wait all year for this moment. We spend the winter months dreaming of a certain fuzzy stone fruit, its sweet juices dripping from our face and the buttery golden pie crust those yellow-orange slices will inhabit.
Good news! The wait is over. That local, sweet orb of sunshine has finally arrived. That’s right. Rolling Hills peaches are here!
Deep in our hearts we've always known we were sustainability stars, but now we have an award to prove it.
We recently received a Co+efficient Sustainability Star award from National Co-op Grocers (NCG) recognizing our positive environmental and community impacts.
Co+efficient, NCG’s sustainability program, measures social, environmental and local economic impacts from participating food co-ops across the country.