Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fairbanks Food Co-op creation

A group of locals are getting together to discuss the formation of a local, whole & natural foods store. Dave Lacey came by the new Republic office and told me about it. Dave went to a co-op development workshop in May in Portland, Oregon, and the first official meeting of the organizing group was on the 7th. The next step is a visioning session (date to be determined, but it's either the 17th or the 19th) to come up with a mission and direction for the co-op to go. They're going to do a feasibility study (it'll probably cost around $6,000, so they'll be doing some fundraising).

The group clarifies what they mean by "food co-op":
what we mean by a food coop is a natural foods store similar to the old Whole Earth Store that we used to have here. It is not a buying club whereby some folks get together and place an order from some out side food warehouse. It will have to break even like any business but it will be owned by the members who contribute. The members will elect a board of directors who will direct the business operations. This gives us local control and thus we do not have to depend upon the corporate dinosaurs for our food here as much.
I really miss the old Whole Earth (when it was on College Road, where the Farmers Market is now). It was great. Things like food co-ops, the Farmers Market, CSAs like Calypso and Rosie Creek, local bakeries and farms and so forth--these all are really important to creating a good life locally, free of the stale impersonality of food shipped three thousand miles or more. It's nice to have exotic foods from the rest of the world, but to have ONLY that makes life poor.

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