October is National Co-op Month!

Celebrate National Co-op Month by learning more about Co-op producers in your Co-op!  Cooperative Principle #6 is Cooperation Among Cooperatives – Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.  You support the co-op movement when you buy these brands!

Gro-Operative. Working towards a triple bottom line of People. Planet. Profit. Locally and cooperatively owned Gro-operative is taking sustainability to new heights with their vertical basil gardens! Vertical gardening is not only a great space saver, but uses 97% less water than traditional gardens. Gro-operative never uses chemicals or pesticides in their planting- instead fertilizer comes from fish waste- and fish waste comes from fish, which are fed using beer production waste. It’s a closed loop system that is efficient, yet sustainable.

 

La Riojana- Riojana Olive Oil embodies the best of cooperation! Organically grown olives are harvested and cold pressed to preserve nutrients on rural farms in Argentina. Riojana is cooperatively owned by small farmers who have worked over the years to invest in Fair Trade practices, community centers, education, and access to healthcare. Look for Riojana Olive Oil for a limited time- only available at co-ops and independent grocers nationwide!

See the La Riojana Co-op and Food Co-op Impact here.

Dr. Bronner’s

In 2005 Dr. Bronner’s made a commitment to source Fair Trade and organic raw materials for their product line. They partnered with SerendiWorld, a collective of farmers and businesses in Africa and Asia spanning more than 10,000 workers.

The greatest example of Dr. Bronner’s commitment to cooperation is their sister company Serendipol, the producer of Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil, which is used as a “lathering agent” in many of their soaps. Serendipol is based in Sri Lanka and employs more than 900 farmers and 275 staff members. The company focuses heavily on education, professional development, and sustainability.

Since beginning operation in 2007, Serendipol has worked to improve soil fertility in the Sri Lankan “coconut triangle,” paid their workers fair wages in safe conditions, and revitalized the community through pollution cleanup, education, and access to healthcare.

Serendipol has championed the art of sustainability when it comes to harvesting and producing the coconut palms. The oil is kept and later transferred to Dr. Bronner’s for labeling and distribution. The husks are sold off to be made into rope. The water is given to a local exporter. The seed is sold as animal feed. The shells are burned for energy or sold for the production of charcoal. Other than excess packaging the company leaves no waste behind.