Wednesday, July 1 - Friday, July 31
Here at Central Coâ€‘op we have more than 500 different independent producers represented in our product selection. These independents are a critical piece of the efforts we make to support the goals of our Coâ€‘op. The Board specifically wrote support of independent companies right into our Ends, saying that one of our goals is to contribute toward “a stronger, more robust local food system that supports diverse and independent producers.”
5 Ways Independent Producers Make A Difference
There are lots of ways that independent producers are important. Here are a few of them:
Choice and Diversity
Independent businesses reflect the varying tastes, values, and interests of their owners, which in turn gives consumers the option to buy according to their own values, tastes, and traditions.
Regional Businesses and Strong Economies
More indie businesses means more headquarters spread out through more regions, including the Pacific Northwest! Indie business owners are more likely to source services and supplies from within their own community, thus strengthening that economy through local spending and investment.
Freedom and competition drive innovation! Unlike big corporations beholden to shareholders or Wall Street, independents are free to experiment with new ideas: they can try out new systems to improve their products, workplace, or environmental impact.
People, Planet, Profit
Formally or informally, independent companies will often include the welfare of their employees and their effect on the environment in their decision-making process.
Because they are not beholden to the bottom line of a parent company, they are free to invest in what they think is important for their employees, community, and business.
As we go through the long process of vetting our product selection against our Product Guidelines, we have found that independent companies are lot easier to interact with when we have questions about the source of their ingredients. Even more compelling is that our indie suppliers have proven to be far more interested in working with us to make changes to their ingredients to bring their products into line with our guidelines.
Independent companies allow us to enjoy the benefits of a diverse marketplace and a stronger food system. That’s why we are “declaring our independents” – and celebrating! All through July, look for tags in the store next to independent companies.
We will also be inviting independent vendors into the store to offer samples, and our adult beverage tasting on July 25 will feature independently-produced drinks!