Fluffernutter cupcake  (wikimedia )

Fluffernutter cupcake (wikimedia)

Every calendar month has its share of official holidays and observances. At your natural foods co-op, October is the official month for not just one but three observances near and dear to us! While they may not elicit a smile (cringe?) in the way that national Fluffernutter Day does, we think these are topics worth catching up on this month! Here's the abridged version:

Co-op Month

More than 350 million co-op owners like you now own more than 29,000 co-ops in the United States alone! Co-ops like ours are formed by and exist to serve their member-owners and communities, not to make a profit for the few. You can now find co-ops in the food and farming, banking, electric, and manufacturing industries, as well as every industry in between.

This year at Basics we're celebrating the cooperative business model with extra incentives when you join the co-op or refer a friend! You could win a $100 gift card to Basics, or $20 for every friend you refer! Ask your cashier for more info this month, or click here.

Learn more about food co-ops: Co-op FAQs and Facts, Common Myths About Food Co-ops, October is Co-op Month - So, What's the Big Deal?

Fair Trade Month

Fair trade standards help farmers become better caretakers of fragile ecosystems. They empower farmers and workers to fight poverty and improve their communities. They allow precious natural resources to remain in the hands of the people who have lived and farmed their homelands for generations.

As a consumer, buying fairly traded products ensures that you are not only supporting those humanitarian and environmental goals - but also receiving high quality, sustainably produced goods that are better for your health! Learn more about current Fair Trade certified standards here.

In the cooperative tradition, Basics carries as many Fair Trade brands as we can support! Some of those include: Dr. Bronner's personal care; Equal Exchange coffee, tea and chocolate; Frontier & Simply Organic herbs and spices, tea; La Riojana Co-op olive oil, wine; and more! 


NonGMO Month

On July 14, 2016, Congress passed a GMO labeling law which gives the USDA two years to set up a federal system to regulate how foods containing GMOs will be labeled. Our preference has always been for clear, simple on-package language so that consumers can know at a glance if the product was produced using genetic engineering and have the information they need to make their own purchasing decisions.  

We are disappointed that the GMO labeling law includes an option for companies to use QR codes, and will continue to work within our industry and through the regulatory process to push for the most consumer-friendly implementation of the law possible.

In response to your feedback over the past several years, Basics purchasing staff has attempted to limit your co-op's stock of brands that may use GMO ingredients, provide NonGMO Project verified alternatives whenever possible, maintain a strong presence of certified organic products in all categories (GMOs always prohibited), and as always, to help our shoppers make informed decisions!

More on GMO labeling: Four Common Questions About the GMO Labeling Law, Justlabelit.org

Thank you for taking the time- in October and every month- to stay active in YOUR co-op, choose Fair Trade products whenever possible, and to support the right to know what we are feeding our families. 

Happy Co-op/Fair Trade/NonGMO Month!