A statement from the Board of Directors on racial justice
Dear Ashland Food Cooperative Family and Community,
We, like many of you, have been grieving over the senseless murders of Black Americans because of the color of their skin. This is a time to be clear, strong and vocal about what we stand for both as an organization and as a vital member of the Ashland and Rogue Valley communities. Cooperatives are founded on a clear set of principles that set us apart from businesses whose goal is simply to make a profit. We have a deep commitment to the health and well being of the community we serve, and we strive to achieve that with the food and nourishment we provide. We know that we cannot achieve food justice if we're not willing to do racial justice work. What has become clear in recent days is that there is an underlying disease in our society that is not addressed by simply offering healthy food through a democratically operated organization that partners with local producers, offers classes on healthy practices, and provides grants to local food and social justice organizations. The implicit racism infecting our society that has been so starkly exposed must be addressed.
As an organization we state strongly that we stand in support and solidarity with all those who experience threats and violence because of their skin color, appearance or other attributes that create discrimination. We condemn all racism, police brutality and all forms of systemic and structural white supremacy. We also support those in elected office and public service who are working to create a truly just and compassionate justice system.
We acknowledge white privilege and commit to examining our own implicit biases, and to asking what we can do as an organization to make a difference. Whether it be as basic as how people of color feel treated when they shop with us, or as challenging as how to impact a food production and supply network that depends to a significant extent on underprivileged or disenfranchised workers, we will explore what we can do better. And we will do that with the full engagement of our staff and owners.
As a public statement of commitment we are donating $2500 to the Rogue Action Center in support of its social justice initiatives. We encourage everyone to find a way to contribute that you believe can make a difference.
We welcome your feedback, suggestions, and support in this endeavor!
Ashland Food Cooperative Board of Directors
Ed Claassen, Julie O’Dwyer, Trine Ostergaard, Charlie Douglas,
Melina Barker, Lisa Beam, Steve Bowman, Annie Hoy
More Co-op News
For the month of September, Ashland Food Co-op shoppers can round up at the register to support Southern Oregon Land Conservancy. Since 1973, SOLC has been working on multiple fronts to improve land quality and conservation for humans and nature alike. Check out some of the projects below that SOLC has been working on recently. And mark your calendar for Saturday, October 24, as SOLC hosts an Open Lands Day hike and tour on the Rogue River Preserve.
Join Kelly Martin as she explains how your breath impacts everything from ankle sprains to headaches. Learn why belly breathing isn't good for you, how to breathe correctly, and how to maximize lung health, improve posture, enhance walking efficiency, reduce anxiety, and improve sports performance.
Zoom access password: [email protected]
This month's featured organization in the new Change for Good register round-up program is KS Wild (short for Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center).
KS Wild is one of the most prominent land conservation and stewardship organizations in the region. They focus on the Klamath-Siskiyou region, which includes large swaths of Southern Oregon and Northern California (inculding the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument). This bioregion is one of the most diverse in the country, home to populations of wolves, rare plants and unique geographic formations.
The Ashland Food Co-op acknowledges and shares our community’s concerns about protecting against the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The safety and health of staff and customers is a top priority for the Co-op. We are taking proactive steps throughout our store to maintain a clean atmosphere to work and shop.
We have consolidated store changes below.
To protect the health of Co-op staff and shoppers, all shoppers and other visitors on Ashland Food Co-op property must wear face coverings over mouth and nose except when dining in an approved area.
Those who are unable or choose not to wear a mask are welcome to use our recently launched eGrocery online shopping and curbside pickup service as an alternative to shopping in-store.
The sixth cooperative principle, "Concern for Community," has become even more important since the pandemic began and economies, locally and globally, started to constrict. To address this, the Board of Directors agreed in April to release 100% of patronage dividends and designate Ashland Emergency Food Bank as a donation option for those dividends - resulting in over $20,000 in donations. And with the early launch of Change for Good register round-up, AEFB was a natural choice to receive round-up donations.
I wrote at the beginning of the year that the Co-op model of business was a blueprint for the future. The concept of “planet, principles and people before profit” is a guide for how cooperatives can run a successful business that puts more back into the community and local economy than national chains, while using less resources and creating less waste.
2020 Co-op Election Results
Ashland Food Co-op owners voted for three open seats on the Board of Directors, and for ten non-profit organizations for the Change for Good register round-up program.
Click a name below to read more about that Co-op Board member.
AFC and AEFB Press Release - Local Strength!
Release Date: 5-26-2020
In April, the Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors announced to the community that the Co-op would be returning 100% of the 2019 Patronage Dividend to its owners. The 100% Patronage Dividend return to Co-op owners converted to over $628,000.
The Co-op Board felt in this time of great need it was not the right time for the Co-op to put away funds for the future, but rather to support owners fully so they may have more strength to weather these stormy times.
Thanks to the many agile and adaptable experts in the Rogue Valley, the much-loved Free Monday Night Lectures live on - even if everything is moving online.
While we miss seeing community members with a joy of learning showing up at the Co-op Classroom, we hope these recordings teach and inspire you.
By Nina Friedman, Strategic Energy Management intern
The Ashland Food Co-op has played a critical role supporting our community for nearly 50 years by providing healthy food and a safe place to shop. With the recent COVID-19 shutdown, this support has been even more important and has stretched our organization in ways that we could not have anticipated. We have endeavored to address the needs of both our staff and our customers, hopefully in the most cooperative manner.
As an owner of the Ashland Food Co-op, you are an important decision-maker in the leadership of the Co-op! A vital part of your ownership is voting for the Board of Directors.
On the ballot: Vote for Board Candidates and Change for Good Organizations
Vote for Board Candidates
This year, four candidates are nominated for three Board positions: each elected Board director will serve a three-year term. The candidates are Ed Claassen, Mark Gibbs, Carolina Livi and Julie O'Dywer.