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Cooperating to Save the Rainforest!

Great news, everybody! We are now offsetting all of the of carbon emissions from our use of natural gas by preserving 132 hectares of rainforest in one of the most bio-diverse regions of the world! That’s up to 326,000 trees soaking up 66 metric tons of carbon.

Central Co-op has joined with the other members of National Co+op Grocers (NCG) in a carbon offset program called “Co+op Forest.” Co+op Forest preserves and restores rainforest by helping farmer co-ops in the Amazon develop their communities through sustainable agroforestry.

The Co+op Forest is in the San Martin BioCorridor, now a registered UNESCO Biosphere Reserve because of its precious old growth rainforest. Damaged in the 1980s and 90s by coca production for the drug trade, the forest is now at risk for petroleum exploration and illegal hunting and fishing. Preserving the forest not only sequesters carbon, it preserves the habitat of many rare plants and animals that make the forest their home.

Doing the hands-on work of preserving the Co+op Forest are coffee and cocoa farmers who have organized themselves as co-ops to strengthen their communities. These communities are at the core of project design, decision-making and implementation of activities. They patrol the forests to protect them from poachers and find new ways to create income while preserving the forest, like collecting medicinal plants and raising their cocoa under the forest canopy.

To create this program, NCG worked with the PUR Project, an offshoot of the fair trade food company Alter Eco, whose chocolate bars you can find in our aisles. Central Co-op motivated to participate in Co+op Forest by two of our principles: #6 Cooperation Among Cooperatives and #8 Concern for Ecosystems. We are thrilled to be working with NCG, PUR Project and the communities of the San Martin BioCorridor in this innovative and important work!

To see the region’s magnificent landscape and hear the voices of the people doing this work checkout this video:

 

Date: Wednesday May 17, 2017

Category: Co-ops

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