Central Co-op’s Principle #8 is Concern for Ecosystems: Recognizing our dependence on the Earth’s natural systems and resources, we respect animal habitats, human habitats, and the Earth’s biological and physical equilibrium in the course of our activity as a cooperative. This is Part 3 in a series that highlights some of the many ways we act on this principle, including through what products we sell, how we run our business, and our participation in community projects.
One of the most important ways the Co-op supports eco-systems is by selling food and wellness products that have been grown in a way that is beneficial to the land, water and wildlife. You can identify the ways that our products are good for the Earth by paying attention to these certification labels:
USDA Organic: The US Department of Agriculture certifies food and other products that are produced with practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.
98% of the produce that the Co-op sells is certified organic, and we prioritize organic certification in all our product choices. Food co-ops were key supporters of organic farmers before organic food became mainstream, and we are still a force for maintaining the integrity of organic certification.
Non-GMO: While many people avoid genetically modified organism on health grounds, GMO crops also indirectly cause ecological harm. The great majority of GMO crops have been engineered to be resistant to herbicides, which has allowed growers to increase their use of toxic herbicides like Roundup fifteenfold since GMOs were introduced.
Fair Trade: Fair Trade certification includes standards for biodiversity, ecosystem function and sustainable production. In addition, Fair Trade empowers communities of small farmers in the developing world to have a greater ability to protect the land on which they live and depend.
Bio-Dynamic: Initially developed by Rudolph Steiner in 1924, Biodynamic Agriculture was the first of the organic agriculture movements. Biodynamic practitioners see their farms as living organisms and use an integrated approach to soil fertility, plant growth and livestock care that includes a spiritual perspective as well as organic practices.
Salmon-Safe: Exclusive to the West Coast, the Salmon-Safe label certifies that a farm or vineyard is following water quality and habitat conservation practices that protect rivers and native salmon.
Date: Wednesday May 01, 2019
Category: In The Co-op
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