Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Co-op Market Co-owner Cleans Up Sierra Vista!

Nancy Beattie, Monica Savarese and Kelly George pose with a pickup of donations of plastic at Huachuca Mountain Elementary School on Feb. 7.(Courtesy of Monica Savarese)
Sierra Vista Co-op Market member owner Monica Savarese found herself on the front page of the Sierra Vista Herald recently for her work with recycling plastic shopping bags. Rumor has it that KGUN 9 News is coming down from Tucson to interview Monica and her group of recyclers today, as well. Bravo, Monica!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sierra Vista Farmers Market

Just a few examples of the fresh produce you will find at the Sierra Vista Farmers Market every Thursday afternoon: White pumpkin, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumber, and radishes. Photo by Lyle Ford

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Food Co-op Well On It's Way

This afternoon, the Sierra Vista Natural Foods Cooperative had a good turn-out of about forty co-op members for their potluck lunch. President Kevin Peterson presented the co-op's vision, progress, and development plan; then guest speaker, Food Co-op 500 cooperative development specialist Stuart Reid of Minnesota, talked with the group about the importance of food co-ops in building community. The co-op recently passed the 300-member milestone and also received a $25,000 loan from the Food Co-op 500. Thanks to co-op board member Helen Patterson for planning the event and to all the attendees who brought wonderful food. To read the Sierra Vista Herald article, click here.

Stuart Reid answers co-op member owner questions. Photos by Lyle Ford

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Potluck! You're Invited!

The Board of Directors of the Sierra Vista Co-op Market invites you to join us for a potluck on January 19th at 12:30 in the Mona Bishop Room at the Sierra Vista Library. President Kevin Peterson will update us on the Sierra Vista Co-op Market progress, and our guest Stuart Reid (Development Specialist for Food Co-op 500) will speak on his experiences of starting up Co-ops. We need to have an idea of how many are coming, so please RSVP to 508-7201, or email Donna Boe and let us know if you will bring a main dish, salad, side dish, or dessert. Paper products, plastic ware, coffee, iced tea and water will be provided.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What's On The Menu For 2008?

by Samuel Fromartz

In just a decade, there has been a phenomenal shift in the food landscape. There's far greater awareness of how our choices affect the entire food chain from fork to plate. The message that has filtered through broadly is that food choices matter, not only for ourselves but also for others — whether farmers or farm workers, or streams, the soil, the oceans and the air.
The organic component of this movement is small — still 3 percent of food sales — but if you include the way these ideas have filtered throughout the industry to non-organic producers, the figures are much higher.

In light of that movement, here are a few predictions for the coming year, in terms of hot button issues or products that will gain in popularity. For those watching the field, these won't be surprising, but I think they are ones to keep an eye on.

Sustainable seafood. Retailers will become increasingly aware of sustainable. Hopefully, we will begin to see a decline in the sale of collapsing fish populations — as occurred when chefs launched a boycott of swordfish a few years ago — and a rise in more environmentally benign aquaculture. This shift is gradual, but I detect increasing emphasis on the issue.

Organic milk. I offer no predictions on how the class action suits against retailers, which sold Aurora Organic's private-label milk, will turn out. But I expect the lawyers will make money. This, however, is a sideshow to a far more important decision coming out of the USDA that will impact the organic milk sector: the reform of the pasture rule that would require a minimum level of grazing.

We should see some action in the first half of 2008, creating a more level playing field for all dairy producers. Had the USDA acted on this even a year ago, much of the current mess could have been avoided.

Local sourcing. There will be increasing demand for locally grown foods, so much so that producers will be stretched to meet demand. While farmers' markets will continue to expand, the stealth growth will occur in the wholesale channel as more conventional growers attempt to ride the wave in local interest and more items show up in the supermarket.

Humane certified meat. Humane-certified meat will get a higher profile — and not a moment too soon. Already, mainstream companies are sourcing products like cage-free eggs, and chefs like Wolfgang Puck have committed to the issue. But this sector looks a lot like the organic world 15 years ago, with many competing standards and consumer confusion about what it means. That is unlikely to dissipate, though the roll-out of Whole Food's humane meat program in 2008 — rating meat products on a humane scale of one to five stars — will raise the awareness of this issue dramatically.

Genetically modified food. In the mainstream food channel, genetically modified food will continue to expand, despite protests. This will be most evident with meat from the progeny of cloned animals, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve shortly. The attention this issue generates will fuel demand for the alternative — organic and natural meat produced from clone-free animals.

Real Food. Here's one more prediction: people will return to cooking with real, unprocessed foods! Actually, people will gravitate toward real, unprocessed foods but much of it will be of the ready-to-eat variety. People will eat better, but expect the prepared food section to grow.

Samuel Fromartz is the author of Organic Inc.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Canelo Hills Vineyard Receives Certificate From Sierra Vista Natural Foods Co-op

From left to right: Steve Fletcher, Donna Boe, Tim Mueller, and Joan Mueller.

Sierra Vista Natural Foods Co-op board members Steve Fletcher and Donna Boe presented a certificate of appreciation to Joan and Tim Mueller at Canelo Hills Vineyard and Winery on Saturday, January 5, 2008, for their donation of wine to the co-op's October 2007 gourmet wine dinner.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Help Your 2007 Taxes and Help Your Sierra Vista Food Co-op...Make a Donation

The Cooperative Development Fund of CDS (CDS) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit organization with offices in Madison, Wisconsin and St. Paul, Minnesota. The mission of CDS is to support, build and strengthen organizations that contribute to cooperative and sustainable development.

You can now make charitable donations (tax-free!) to the Sierra Vista Natural Foods Cooperative through CDS. Click here for a donation form. While the form says "cooperatives in southern Arizona" as a donation option, please note that as your Sierra Vista Natural Foods Cooperative is the only cooperative in the area in the "pre-development" stage, any donations at this time would be solely for our benefit.

Since its founding in 1985, CDS has worked with many types of cooperative businesses including retail food stores, agriculture, senior housing, renewable energy, forestry and community development. As a tax exempt organization, charitable contributions to CDS are deductable to the fullest extent of the law. Donors may claim the donation on their federal and/or state income tax filings and may be eligible for a charitable deduction based on their income status and other factors.

For more information about CDS, visit http://www.cdsus.coop.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Market Project Nets $5000

By Laura Ory

SIERRA VISTA — The Sierra Vista Natural Foods Co-op has received $5,000 toward the opening of a new local market.

After receiving the most online votes for the Sun Crystals Natural Sweetener Food Co-op Endowment Program, the food co-op beat out four other finalists, cooperative markets in Oregon, North Carolina, Minnesota and Washington, for an additional $2,500. The Sierra Vista Market was one of two start-up co-op markets in the competition.

“It’s great. We’re excited to have won the grand prize,” said Lyle Ford, project manager.

Ford credited the co-op members and the community for the votes the Sierra Vista Market received.

The co-op has two plans for the endowment funds.

“One will be to hire a food cooperative business planning expert to help make sure were on track with the business plan we have,” Ford said.

They also plan to launch a new community health and wellness newsletter.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sierra Vista Natural Foods Co-Op Named Grand Prize Winner In The SUN CRYSTALS™ Natural Sweetener Endowment Program

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. (December 10, 2007) - Sierra Vista Natural Foods Co-op has one more reason to celebrate this holiday season. The co-op was just named the grand prize winner in the SUN CRYSTALS™ Natural Sweetener Food Co-op Endowment Program. As part of its mission to harness the power of the sun to sustain local communities, the SUN CRYSTALS™ Natural Sweetener Brand launched an endowment program earlier this year to benefit local food co-operatives (food co-ops). Co-ops had the opportunity to apply for endowments to improve their establishments, which serve as sources of quality natural and locally grown foods. From the applications received, the SUN CRYSTALS™ Brand selected five food co-ops as finalists and people across the country voted for the winner. Now, the votes have been tallied and the Sierra Vista Natural Foods Co-op has been selected the winner of the $5,000 grand prize.

"We are thrilled to have won the $5,000," said Donna Boe, membership chair of the Sierra Vista Natural Foods Co-op. "It's one more step toward our goal of opening a store, and we are thrilled that the SUN CRYSTALS™ Brand provided us this opportunity."

The co-op will utilize the funds to create a community newsletter on nutrition and wellness, as well as hire a co-op consultant to help update their budget.

Four other finalists will each receive endowments of $2,500. They are :

Brookings Natural Foods Co-op, Brookings, Ore. - for purchase of new refrigeration and freezer equipment that will help consolidate their resources and enhance the look of their store

Chatham Marketplace, Pittsboro, N.C. - to expand their café, which will help them continue to connect patrons with the foods local farmers produce and their kitchen prepares

Kandi Cupboard Food Co-op, Willmar, Minn. - for updating of computer equipment that will help the co-op run more smoothly and allow for the creation of a Web site and online ordering system

Vancouver Food Co-op, Vancouver, Wash. - to conduct a study to determine a suitable space for opening their storefront

Finalists were selected based on the following criteria: persuasiveness of statement of purpose, originality and creativity of proposed programming and value of project to the organization and its community.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Co-op Booth At SV Farmers Market On Thursday

Come on down to the farmers market in Sierra Vista on Thursday, December 6th, from noon to 4 PM and stop by our Sierra Vista Market booth.

We have friendly volunteers who staff the booth at the farmers market every first Thursday of the month during the winter.

Learn more about the natural food co-op store we will be opening soon and how you can help bring healthy natural and organic foods to Sierra Vista.

We are all about reducing our impact on the environment, supporting local producers, and helping the community work together to improve everyone's health!

See you at the farmers market in Sierra Vista on Thursday!

For more info about the co-op, visit