October is co-op month

Sound Consumer October 2009

Celebrate with us at the October 27 member meeting

Jon Bansen, Organic Valley

Jon Bansen, Organic Valley

(See our member meetings page for location and reservation details)

(October 2009) — Join us for a delicious, seasonal meal and an interesting keynote address. Our speaker, Jon Bansen, comes to us from CROPP/Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative that provides milk and dairy products to PCC.

Bansen is a third generation organic dairyman in Monmouth, Oregon, who last month was named a winner of the 2009 Oregon Organic Coalition Award for Excellence. He’ll talk about how pasturing benefits cows, consumers and the environment, and about Organic Valley’s successful co-op structure.

Founded by seven farmers in 1988, CROPP has grown to more than 1,300 farmers with sales of more than $527 million in 2008. PCC has done business with Organic Valley since 1995. The success of both co-ops speaks to the burgeoning strength of the co-op business model.

More than 29,000 cooperative businesses generate more than two million jobs and create more than $74 billion in wages and $654 billion in revenue. These numbers clearly show that cooperatives represent a strong business model and greatly contribute to both the national and local economies.

Your values, your business

Consumers now say they want to do business with companies that share their values, making today’s environment ideal for cooperatives — highly transparent organizations that value input from their member-owners.

Cooperatives uphold the internationally accepted values of honesty, openness and social responsibility. Through the member-owned and democratic process, cooperatives straightforwardly maintain these values and continue to offer goods and services that consumers feel “right” about.

Cooperatives generate jobs in their communities and keep profits local; they also typically take part in community improvement programs, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to benefit from the cooperative experience.

Co-ops make a difference!

Related Reading

Saving farmland with conservation easements, part II

Last month we discussed the benefits of buying conservation easements. The PCC Farmland Trust buys easements in lieu of purchasing property because they are less expensive and help ensure the land will be protected from future non-agricultural development. This month we continue to explore this idea, focusing on the trust’s pioneering work using easements for organic farming.

News bites, October 2009

Eat chocolate for heart health?, Trees breathe, Drop in rBGH use in California, and more

The acid alkaline balance

Foods can be categorized as carbohydrates, proteins and fats, but they also can be classified by how we process them. Our bodies transform nearly all foods into acids or alkaline bases, and we need a balance to be healthy.