Sustainable Ashland Food Co-op: You are the key!
By Steve Bowman, AFC Board Director
Sustaining our Co-op
Our Ashland Food Co-op has been around for a long time now: as a buying group since 1972, as as a legally sanctioned food co-op since 2003. During that time it has become the premier place in our community for obtaining organic and natural foods and environmentally safe products for our family’s needs. People come here to shop, to have coffee, tea and visit with their friends, and just hang out for a few minutes during a busy day. But it didn’t get that way just by being here. It happened because of careful planning and management, and a lot of hard work by a lot of caring and committed people. Working to implement Co-op Principals "5 - Education, Training and Information" and "7 - Concern and the Community," the ambiance of our Co-op came into being.
Sustaining our Community
Over the last year our Co-op provided over 100 events, classes and participated in community activities adding to the sustainability of our local community. Cooking classes, loaded with information about how to prepare and serve nutritious food, free lectures on health and wellness, and participating with organizations like Rogue Valley Farm to School. The Co-op also reinvests a portion of profits in the community through our Community Grants program. All these activities are aimed at sustaining and growing our local community.
Sustaining our World
Our Co-op is modeling excellence in business responsibility and providing leadership in sustaining our environment. In 2018, more than 82% of our waste was redirected from the landfill to more beneficial uses. Our solar power arrays provided over 12% of our energy requirements, and our remaining needs were purchased from 100% renewable sources. Produce that was not marketable was redirected for use in the deli, or to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, and food scraps were passed on to a local farmer for animal fodder. Our durable container program in the deli resulted in over 90,000 fewer single-use containers going to the landfill. These actions and many more are improving our impact on our local environment, and our world’s environment.
Our Ashland Food Co-op is working hard to sustain itself as a business, as a community member, and as a leadership model for responsible sustainable business actions in our community's future. Your ownership and participation in our Co-op model is key to our continued success.
More Co-op News
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.
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.
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.
Mark the evening of May 13 at 5pm on your calendar and join us for the 2020 AFC Annual Meeting. We’ll host the meeting online using Google Hangouts. Please click here to join the meeting, or call in at this number:
PIN: 719 680 293 2056#
The Co-op has always had a focus on supporting the strong local scene of growers and producers - and in these times, it's even more important. Here is just a small selection of some of our favorites from the area. Help support local businesses next time you stop by the Co-op by picking one of these products.
By Emile Amarotico, General Manager
It’s been two months since my last update on our Co-op community, but it could just as well have been two years ago, or from an alternate reality! Needless to say, life at the Co-op has changed, and it hasn’t been easy for employees or shoppers. But despite the challenges, it has been an inspiring and reaffirming time that reminds us why we love the cooperative enterprise.
By Rianna Koppel, Sustainability Coordinator
In the midst of a health crisis, how can we focus on sustainability? Let’s be real - these are tough times!
What does sustainability look like now? I like to refer to the definition of sustainability - meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. How can we meet the needs of the present, while keeping the future in mind?
By Annie Hoy, Board Director
This month, AFC Owners will democratically elect a slate of board candidates. These candidates are co-op owners, just like you and me. By holding annual elections, co-ops around the world and close to home are expressing Cooperative Principle 2: Democratic Member Control.
From the Board of Directors:
This year, the Co-op Board of Directors is taking unprecedented action to distribute 100% of the over $628,000 2019 Patronage Dividend to our owners. In this time of great need, there is no holding back. This is not the moment to put away funds for the future, but rather to support our owners fully so that we may all have more strength to weather the storm.
Michelle isn't serving up samples right now, so she's serving up kitchen tips instead! Here's her tried and true approach to cooking dry beans, plus some extra tips for upping your flavor, saving time, and cook other legumes. (Ingredients and modifications are below the video.)
By Mahlea Rasmussen, Education Coordinator
Inspired by Bea Johnson's Zero Waste Home
We are in uncertain times and some of you may be second-guessing some of your zero waste practices and replacing them with safety measures for you and your family. I was proud not to have chemical cleaners in my home and never used plastic gloves - but now those products are being suggested for staying clean and safe. Here are some tips to keep your home safe while working towards more sustainability.
Until a crisis like this occurs, few think of Grocers as essential service providers. However, our employees have been here day in and day out, risking their health and the safety of their loved ones, to provide food for our community. This is not a job that can be done from home or from what is now considered a safe social distance. Our employees have worked with the utmost professionalism, care, and concern for shopper well-being.
The Co-op's general manager, Emile Amorotico, sat down with the newest addition to the co-op's management team, Reagan Roach. Get to know Reagan in the interview below - and say hi when you see him in store!