August is P6 Month

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August is P6 Month, and Seward Co-op will be celebrating all month! Your favorite small, local, and/or cooperative P6 producers will be in the stores sampling and we’ll be giving away $20 Seward Community Co-op gift cards to shoppers every weekend!

The P6 label calls out products that meet our highest values, which align with the Ends of the co-op, and show our commitment to supporting a strong, independent, local food system. When you buy P6, your dollar goes further! Buying P6 products not only supports your local co-op, but flows resources back to the small-scale, local, and/or cooperative producers–many of which pay their staff a living wage and provide them benefits. From 2010-2016, Seward Co-op’s total P6 sales have nearly tripled from $7,380,200 in 2010 to $19,829,496 last year!

Seward Co-op proudly launched P6 in 2010 as a tool to help shoppers identify products that meet their values. In order for an item to receive the P6 label, the producer must meet two of three criteria: locally produced, cooperatively owned, and/or small-scale.

• Local defines a product grown or produced in the five-state region (MN, WI, IA, ND, SD).
• Cooperative is defined by cooperative ownership of the business or non-profit.
• Small-scale producer is defined using these guidelines: independently owned and operated, selling direct to our stores or through a local distributor with a regional distribution area.

We pay special attention to products from international sources, or whose main ingredient is from an international source, like a chocolate bar or coffee. The international ingredient must be sourced from a small-scale farmer co-op in order to receive the P6 designation. This extra level of attention is because of rampant exploitation in international commodity food chains.
We hope that Seward’s cooperation with the other P6 co-op members inspires you to support your co-op, area producers, and the equitable relationships embodied in a co-op supply chain.