October is National Co-op Month, when we recognize the values and principles upheld by cooperatives that demonstrate alternatives to capitalist business structures. All year, we celebrate and support the cooperative model, including collaborating with other cooperative businesses, whose products you can find on our shelves. Learn about some of the cooperatives you can support year-round at Seward Co-op.
Pachamama Coffee is 100% owned and governed by coffee farmers in Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, and Ethiopia, with each country cooperative receiving a vote from an elected representative on the Board of Directors. Their cooperative structure allows farmers to set the prices for coffee, and the monetary returns find their way back to the farmer cooperatives. Support cooperative business with your next cup of coffee: try the Five Sisters and Farmers Extreme Dark blends, on sale from October 4-31, as well as the bulk varieties of Pachamama Coffee.
Founded in 2009, Rochdale Farms is a cooperative of small-scale farmers that produce artisan cheeses, hand-rolled butter, and other dairy products that are sold exclusively to Midwestern food co-ops. The cooperative supports the growth and success of family farms and small-scale producers, which include nearly 300 Amish farmers from Wisconsin’s Driftless region who practice traditional grass-based dairying and hand-milking. Try the Goat Cheddar Cheese or Rochdale Parm, two delicious choices whose purchase strengthens the cooperative food supply chain.
Partnering with artisan cooperatives around the world, Fair Anita seeks to offer stylish, affordable jewelry that is produced ethically while providing economic opportunities for women. Each cooperative pays two to four times the minimum wage and offers health insurance and educational scholarships. Fair Anita jewelry is made by hand with materials–often recycled–from the local community, making each of their pieces unique. Find Fair Anita earrings at both the Franklin and Friendship stores, and support a network of more than 8,000 artisans around the globe.
Maple Valley Cooperative
Founded more than 30 years ago, Maple Valley Cooperative produces organic maple products with fair and sustainable methods. Maple Valley Cooperative shifted to a cooperative structure in 2007, building on the experience of co-founder Cecil Wright, a maple farmer who had also been part of the Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative for 18 years. Today, Maple Valley is dedicated to supporting its 30 farmer members, family farms who adhere to the highest standards for sustainability and land stewardship. Find Maple Valley products on grocery shelves and in the Bulk aisle, where you can try as much as you like of this versatile sweetener.