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.

Thank you!

More Co-op News

Earth Day Bulk Sale! April 17-21

Save money while working towards a more sustainable shopping experience! The Co-op bulk department is a great "first stop" for your grocery lists - everything from hummus mix to local honey to pet food is available. Plus there's less waste, all the way from shipping to ended up in your shopping cart. 

Check out a quick tour below:

Film festival giveaway

Enter your name and email below to be entered to win two film vouchers for the 2019 Ashland Independent Film Festival.

No purchase necessary. Giveaway is not endorsed or sponsored by AIFF. US residents only. Entry will be closed at 5pm PT on Monday, April 15.

The state of plastics

Many Co-op owners and shoppers have shared their interest in reducing plastic usage in the store. From bioplastics, to compostable plastics to recycling options, the Ashland Food Co-op continues to research what works best as we move towards our goal of being a zero waste store. Here is where we stand.

Food waste at the Co-op

By Rianna Koppel, Sustainability Coordinator

How many times in the past month have you reached back in the fridge to snack on some fresh strawberries only to discover… mold?! In the United States, 40% of food is wasted every year. Luckily, how we address food waste can have a major impact. According to Paul Hawkin’s Drawdown, reducing food waste is #3 on the list of best ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. At the Co-op, we use the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy as a guide to bettering our own practices.

Wellness Secret Weapons

There are still plenty of colds and viruses making their rounds, and we want to help you better defend against them!

In January, we asked on social media what kind of secret weapons you use in the winter to stay healthy. We had a lot of responses, so we'll start with the All-Stars.

With your initial recommendations, our Wellness team reviewed the suggestions and picked the products with the highest quality standards and best feedback. Check those out below.


Mushrooms for wellness

You may have heard about the fascinating discovery that trees can communicate with each other. What’s the secret? The mycelia - tiny strands of fungus - in the soil form a vast underground network through which trees send chemical signals to their neighbors.

The mycelia differs from the fruiting body of the mushroom, which is the reproductive component that contains spores and is thought to be higher in Beta Glucans.

What to do with all this citrus?!

So you grabbed a few too many extra oranges and grapefruits and lemons (and some finger limes, and some satsumas…), and rather than watch them go bad, we want to provide you with some ideas on how to reduce waste. You’ll also get to enjoy citrus in a lot of new ways!

There are many guides and recipes across the internet (like this one by our friends at Grow Forage Cook Ferment), so here are a few ideas to get your creative and citrus juices flowing.

Update from the General Manager: "Food for Paradise" campaign

Ashland Food Co-op's General Manager, Emile Amarotico, ends 2018 on a very uplifting note with a report back on the "Food for Paradise" donation campaign. Watch the video below, or read on for an extended written update.

Hello, this is Emile Amarotico, the general manager of Ashland Food Co-op with an update on the Co-op’s Food for Paradise initiative.

5 Fresh Ways to Save at the Co-op

We’ve all been there: your bank account is looking thin after a month of celebrations, but you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to save up for a big purchase later in the year

Now’s the time to make some changes to your spending - but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality goods at the Ashland Food Co-op.

These are some lesser known ways to save at the Co-op. Think of them like ordering off the secret menu. 

Savings Level: $

4 Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste

It’s the New Year, our favorite time for goal-setting, making positive resolutions, and shifting our impact. One of the Co-op’s goals is to become a Zero Waste facility. Our staff works to divert as much food waste as we can - and we hope our member-owners will join us in this goal too.