Celebrating co-ops; resisting GMOs
Chico Natural Foods celebrates Owner Appreciation Day in the International Year of Cooperatives; Yes on 37 folks hold costume rally and march in downtown plaza
Celebrating the co-op
Oct. 26 was a busy day at the Chico Natural Foods Cooperative (818 Main St., 891-1713). All day long, people flooded in and out during the co-op’s Owner Appreciation Day, tasting samples of locally and regionally produced food and drink and chatting with the vendors who offered them. Among those present with their tasty treats were Forest Ranch mother-daughter team Debbie Worley and Melissa Jean, makers of SwizzMix trail mix (delicious!), and Keith Hamrick and Jen Lovrak, of Mt. Shasta-based, small-batch Northbound Coffee Roasters.
CNF kitchen employee Cassidy Lemore manned a burrito table out front, featuring spicy tofu burritos and turkey verde burritos containing artisan smoked turkey from Diestel Family Turkey Ranch in Sonora, while CNF board member Jessica Rios handed out literature at a Yes on 37 table.
“Today we are celebrating Owner Appreciation Day (OAD),” wrote CNF Marketing Manager Janae Lloyd in an email sent in the midst of the festivities. “It happens four times a year and all CNFC owners save 10 percent on all their purchases. To make these days extra special we bring in local farmers and vendors to give out samples of their products, along with other fun activities and promotions. …
“Owner Appreciation Day is very important to us because it celebrates the fact that we are community-owned and allows us to say ‘Thanks!’ to our owners for their investment and participation in the business,” said Lloyd. “While there are daily benefits to being a co-op owner, these days allow us to really show our appreciation. They also give our owners a venue to meet and interact with one another.”
Lloyd pointed out that in 2011, the United Nations declared 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives. “The intention is to celebrate the diversity of the cooperative movement around the world and to acknowledge the benefits cooperatives bring to their communities,” said Lloyd. “Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general, said, ‘Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.’
The Chico Natural Foods Cooperative “is rooted in principles like community, voluntary and open membership, economic participation and cooperation. … Because we are all about people, not profit, we get to focus on really exciting endeavors like working with the community for food education, sponsoring events, visiting schools and more!
“There are many types of co-ops, such as housing co-ops, producer co-ops, and (like CNFC) consumer co-ops,” Lloyd explained. “We hope the International Year of Cooperatives calls attention to the transformational role co-ops play in our economy and our lives. We’re always incredibly proud to be a part of the cooperative community; even more so at this historic moment.”