I have found myself thinking about change a lot lately. It’s an interesting notion to explore and can elicit some of the strongest reactions, both positive and negative, in all of us. Change can incite hope, elation, the feeling of new beginnings. Change can also cause us to dig our fingers into the ground as fiercely as possible in an attempt to maintain our “normal”, our status quo.
Our current food system begs for change. It is a broken system from seed to harvest to plate; from the globalization and monopolization of agribusiness corporations, to the swallowing up of family farms across the world, to the excessive use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, to the undue contributions to climate change, to the all too common exploitative labor practices, to the global food waste problem (a third of all food grown for consumption is never eaten). In so many ways, it’s a broken system begging for change; begging to be more equitable, transparent and sustainable.
At our co-op, we are working to change, tweak, and overhaul this system in any way we can, every single day. It is inspirational to look around the store at all the local food, to take a walk through the aisles and see how many other community members are working to change this broken system as well.
It can start small: shopping at the co-op (which you own!) and opting for the fair-trade, cooperatively grown banana (ensuring farmers were paid a fair price and are democratically organized) or buying the eggs that were locally raised, from happily free-ranging chickens who were allowed their natural behaviors; scratching in the dirt for worms and grubs, instead of being locked inside dark cages the entirety of their lives.
Cooperatives are defined as an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. Cooperatives represent a revolutionary act. We use this business model to fight back against an exploitative global food system that lacks transparency and is unsustainable. We use the cooperative business model to fight for democracy, for small farms and fair wages, for equality and so much more. Recognize that your ownership in this cooperative is a revolutionary act and that each time you shop with us you align yourself with these values and our ends statements.
There is still so much change needed, let us come together to harness the power of our dollars, our minds, and our community to change the world one purchase at a time, one co-op owner at a time.
If you aren’t a member-owner of the co-op yet, we welcome and encourage everyone to join. Every member-owner invests equally in the amount of $200 (which can be paid in 8 monthly installments of $25). If $200 is not feasible for you, we urge you to take advantage of our Membership for All (MFA) program. Please ask for at the Customer Service Desk for more information or call 603-283-5401.