T I S T H E S E A S O N F O R C U LT U R A L A W A R E N E S S
GIVING THANKS FOR
DIVERSITY BY JEFFREY HERTZ t’s that time of year again when rural towns and urban cities have the opportunity to feast on all of the cultural knowledge they have embedded within their communities and to learn more about how people give thanks. At La Montañita, we invite members, staff, and Board members alike to celebrate their cultural diversity and to learn from each other about different ways to give thanks.
Thanksgiving is commonly thought of as a uniquely American holiday, but as you look far back in history you see that there are much older traditions that celebrate bountiful harvest seasons. In a day and age where Thanksgiving has become both highly popularized and commercialized, it is always important for us to step back and remember what we are truly thankful for. While La Montañita’s cooperative food community is comprised of a wide variety of backgrounds, we all find ourselves united by the same set of values grounded in food and community. Looking back at the roots of this holiday found in the farthest corners of the world, we see that one of the most prominent Thanksgiving symbols, the cornucopia, actually dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The term (generally describing a horn-shaped basket filled with fruit, flowers, and other goodies) comes from the Latin cornu copiae, literally “horn of plenty.” In another part of the world, the Chinese have their seasonal festival, Chung Ch’ui, in which they celebrate the harvest moon (this is where the delicious “moon cake” comes from). In Jewish culture, families acknowledge Sukkot, a 3,000-year-old harvest celebration in which families build huts out of branches and eat their meals under the night sky for eight days. As we look closer to home, we find local indigenous cultures that express thanks for their sustenance through ceremonies that include singing, dancing, rituals, feasts and prayer. Beyond the ceremonial aspects of this celebration, potlatches lie at the heart of this holiday—paving the way for what we call potlucks. As we look at another culture that is close to home, we see thanks being expressed not only for bountiful harvests, but also
for the lives of friends and family that have passed on. Common traditions for this holiday include families constructing altars and children dressing up sugar skulls to remember the dead. Holidays and celebrations that take place this time of year present us with a perfect opportunity for promoting inter-cultural understanding in all our communities and learning more about those people living next door. As a regional cooperative community, let us use this time of year to bring everyone together under a “cooperative” roof to express our thanks in unison.
Team Leader (DTL) to a Store Team Leader. Without good skills development and training, this kind of a promotion could, easily, set someone up for failure; something we at La Montañita work to avoid in every way we can. We needed an ASTL in all Co-op locations, so our next generation of leaders could follow a progression of growth and preparedness for advancement.
Soon after I arrived I realized that only one store had an Assistant Store Team Leader (ASTL)—the Santa Fe store. I saw this as a training and development gap in our Albuquerque stores and for the Co-op as a whole. As anyone who has worked in the grocery industry knows, there is a big jump from being a Department
I am happy to say that as of the first of September we had an ASTL in all of our Albuquerque stores. All three were DTLs in some capacity in the stores prior to their promotion and now are the future of the Co-op. They are all very bright and eager to take on the new challenges of the ASTL position, and we look forward to helping them with their continued growth and development. I want to congratulate Meg Creaturo (Rio Grande), Willy Cookson (Nob Hill) and Zeke Mentillo (Westside) on their new roles and look forward to watching them grow into tomorrow's Co-op leaders.
BY JASON TRANT, OPERATIONS MANAGER wanted to share an important innovation that bodes well for future development and growth in the Co-op. This is not growth in sales, or product lines, but growth and development of staff. When I arrived here I recognized that we had a gap in the development of our staff. It has long been a La Montañita goal to provide the training and skills necessary to have dedicated employees become future Store Team Leaders and take on other positions of great responsibility.
VETERAN FARMER PROJECT IN GRATITUDE BY MONIQUE SALHAB, VETERAN FARMER PROJECT his time of year always conjures strong emotions for me—the shifting of light into darkness, and the death that it brings. This year it feels like so much more to me; perhaps it’s the looming politics we cannot seem to escape—the fear and anxiety it has created. Someone recently asked me, “What are you grateful for?” This question forced me to think! I mean REALLY think!
After ten years in the military with two tours in Iraq, I definitely know something about fear and anxiety. I am truly grateful to be a part of the Veteran Farmer Project (VFP). Currently, we are a crew comprised of Veterans, Veterans’ spouses and Veteran allies. Several relocated here from other states with their families and I returned after having “disappeared” to make yet another attempt to work a job, believing I had not tried hard enough to “fit into regular society.” Why is this significant? It’s noteworthy because a group of almost entire strangers came together and
continue to work the Earth, plant, grow food and learn from one another. When we gather at the farm, nothing matters—not race, not politics, not religion nor any of the things which divide us as human beings—but the soft noises of the chickens, the smell of the dirt, the weeds rooting up, the grasshoppers nesting in the tomatoes, the low bubbling of the water through the irrigation hoses and so much more. The beauty of the VFP—and what I am so thankful for—is the reality that we can come together as we are and be completely present with one another without judgment. Within our VFP community, we support each other with laughter, sharing our stories, our struggles and sometimes our sadness. As a whole, members of our mini community have experienced the loss which unfortunately results from war, have had to hold space for our loved ones who have either passed or experienced those losses and have been allies for those of us who carry this loss. Our crew recognizes and is saddened by the division within our Co-op community and within our larger society. We of the Veteran Farmer Project will continue to come together and learn from the land and each other. My one question to the community: How many of you are willing to come together—set ego aside—for the sole challenge of moving forward and creating tangible paths to cooperation, compassion and acceptance?
M E M B E R - O W N E R G AT H E R I N G AND A GOOD TIME
WAS HAD BY ALL BY ROBIN SEYDEL heartfelt thanks to all of you who came out to enjoy our Annual Owner Gathering at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. It was wonderful to see so many of you turn out to hear our esteemed guest Ted Howard speaking on utilizing the cooperative model to build community wealth.
With a shared understanding of our region and cooperative collaboration with our diverse communities, we believe that our Co-op can grow to vibrantly serve the needs of our owners and the larger community. This is our
commitment and we will continue to do all we can, to be a reflection of your values and the desires of the communities we serve. Sharing food is a special blessing—a big thanks goes out to Chef David Gaspar de Alba, Carlos Alverez of Pop Fizz and Robert Hoberg of Dig and Serve for an amazing meal. Please see the list of donors below that helped us keep this community event free to all Co-op members. When shopping we hope you will support all these fine food producers. We are sending a special shout out to the non-profit community media organization Available Media for their help streaming Ted Howard's talk.
LET US MAKE
YOUR HOLIDAY EASY AND
DELICIOUS AT YOUR FAVORITE CO-OP DELI
HOLIDAY FOODS In mid-November each Co-op Deli will have a lovely assortment of traditional holiday favorites and new taste sensations to make your Thanksgiving feast a memorable one.
HOLIDAY FEASTING MADE EASY! For more information contact: WESTSIDE: Guiditta at 5032550 • VALLEY: Brian at 242-8800 • NOB HILL: Alison at 2654631 • SANTA FE: Jeffrey at 984-2852
It is a great pleasure to serve you, our fantastic community: you make everything the Coop does possible. With love and thanks on behalf of everyone at La Montañita Co-op, Robin Seydel and Monique Salhab for the Membership Department
PLEASE SUPPORT THESE WONDERFUL FOOD PRODUCERS AND DISTRIBUTORS Agricultura Network, Co-op Distribution Center, Organic Valley Cooperative, Pittman Farms, Kyzer Farm, Robinson Fresh, Silver Leaf Farm, Sweetgrass Beef Cooperative, Veritable Vegetable, United Natural Food Inc. (UNFI), and Natural Value Products.
November 2016 2
La Montañita Cooperative A Community-Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store
LOCAL ORGANIC OR ALL NATURAL
Nob Hill 7am – 10pm M – Su 3500 Central SE, ABQ, NM 87106 505-265-4631 Rio Grande 7am – 10pm M – Su 2400 Rio Grande NW, ABQ, NM 87104 505-242-8800
Gallup 8am – 8pm M – Su 105 E Coal, Gallup, NM 87301 505-863-5383
. MARY S TURKEYS Choose from Certified Organic or Natural Non-GMO turkeys. Since 1954, the Pitman Family has raised turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday. Today, with more and more companies introducing "free range" products, we want every consumer to experience the difference Mary's offers. Mary's free-range birds begin life on a farm in California’s Central Valley. The Pitman family has built its reputation by growing fewer, but superior, free-range turkeys year after year.
THE CO-OP’S got a TURKEY for every
Santa Fe 7am – 10pm M – Su 913 West Alameda, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-984-2852
TASTE AND BUDGET
GRABnGO 8am – 6pm M – F, 11am – 4pm Sa UNM Bookstore, 2301 Central SW, ABQ, NM 87131 505-277-9586
EMBUDO VALLEY ORGANICS
Westside 7am – 10pm M – Su 3601 Old Airport Ave, ABQ, NM 87114 505-503-2550
gain this year the Co-op is pleased to be able to offer the famous Embudo Valley Organics Turkeys. Embudo Valley Organics’ David Rigsby and Johnny McMullen and their staff raise and care for every one of their birds by hand. These locally raised birds have free access to acres of pastureland and live their whole lives outside doing what healthy, happy birds do. When they are fed grain, they eat the certified organic barley, wheat, rye and oats grown right on the farm. To supplement their feed when necessary they are fed certified organic corn and soy mixed with certified organic molasses and high-omega flax seed. Embudo Valley also sells their certified organic poultry feed through our Co-op Distribution Center’s foodshed project to many of our local egg producers.
Cooperative Distribution Center 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2010 Support Office 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2001 Support Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/Dennis Hanley 217-2028 email@example.com • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 firstname.lastname@example.org • Computers/Info Technology Rob Dixon 217-2011 email@example.com • Merchandizing Manager/Mark Lane 259-4396 firstname.lastname@example.org • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 email@example.com • Marketing/Karolyn Cannata-Winge 217-2024 firstname.lastname@example.org • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 email@example.com • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 firstname.lastname@example.org • Operations Director/Jason Trant 242-8800 email@example.com Store Team Leaders: • Henry Gamez/Nob Hill 265-4631 firstname.lastname@example.org • James Esqueda/Westside 505-503-2550 email@example.com • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 firstname.lastname@example.org • Leaf Ashley/Gallup 575-863-5383 email@example.com • Joe Phy/Rio Grande 505-242-8800 firstname.lastname@example.org
Embudo Valley Farm pledges that all “our turkeys are family farmed, raised using humane and environmentally responsible methods to provide you with the freshest, safest and most flavorful meats available.” Their birds are plump and happy, not de-beaked, de-clawed or disfigured in any way and are harvested in the most humane way possible. If you haven’t yet tried an Embudo Valley turkey, make this the year you treat yourself to the best. Not only will you keep local New Mexican family farmers on the land and farming, but you’ll get to eat what will no doubt be the most delicious holiday turkey you have ever eaten! These turkeys come fresh directly from the farm to our Coops and are not frozen. Look for them in the meat cases at all Co-op locations—no need to special order. But as these amazing turkeys do sell out, get yours early for best selection of sizes.
Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/ $200 Lifetime Membership + tax Co-op Connection Staff: • Managing Editor: Robin Seydel email@example.com 217-2027 • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Advertising: JR Riegel • Editorial Assistant: JR Riegel firstname.lastname@example.org 217-2016 • Printing: Santa Fe New Mexican Membership information is available at all six Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: email@example.com website: www.lamontanita.coop
BY AMYLEE UDELL love the photos of a holiday meal being served. Someone brings out the perfect turkey, ready to carve and serve. Everything is already set out on the table, serving ware perfectly matched, surrounded by calm, smiling faces. In the commercials, mom might be dreamingly gazing at everyone. The kids look up adoringly at grandpa. No one is sweating, nothing is burned and no one is crying. In the photos, Uncle Jeff hasn't reprimanded anyone's children, Aunt Matilda hasn't refilled her wine glass (again) and the food looks gorgeous. And I certainly have not bugged my children to set the table. Over the years I've realized that a large meal served to a large group is just... stressful. There are expected dishes and large portions, all to be served to everyone at one time; it's a logistical feat! Fried, smoked and even slow cooked turkey are all delicious and the freed up oven space is welcomed. I also make use of every other warming or cooking appliance I have so that I can cook some items in the morning and leave them warming until serving time. A rice cooker, crockpot of any size, "warming zone" on my oven, toaster oven, and even solar oven can keep many items warm, including cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, veggies, soups and even the stuffing. This year I'm going to try making as many dishes ahead of time as possible. That way most of the prep work is done before the big day, eliminating some of the stress.
Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Email the Managing Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Appetizers. You might not really need these! But if people are hanging out for a while before the big meal, keep it simple. A relish tray can be filled with jars of olives, cheeses, peppers, nuts and more. I hand the cans and jars to my kids and charge them with making it look nice. It's a nice activity to keep them busy.
Copyright ©2016 La Montañita Food Co-op Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 100% recycled paper with 100% soy inks. It is recyclable.
Dinner rolls. You can prep these a month early, yet still have freshly baked rolls, ready to go. Use your favorite family recipe and after the first rising, portion out the rolls and flash freeze them. After they're frozen you can toss them all into
YOU OWN IT
• • • • • •
NO NO NO NO NO NO
Animal By Products Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Antibiotics Pesticide Treated Grains Grains Grown with Chemical Fertilizers Synthetic Amino Acids
All of Mary’s free range turkeys are vegetarian fed, gluten-free, non-GMO, and are NEVER given antibiotics, hormones or animal by-products. Mary’s free range turkeys are raised on healthful grains and allowed to roam in areas four times the size of the average commercial turkey ranch. Their high protein diet provides the optimum amount of nutrients for healthful growth. These all natural turkeys provide great quality at an excellent price point for La Montañita shoppers. Come to your favorite Co-op location and choose the turkey that best fits your palette and your pocket book. Look for local, organic, fresh Embudo Turkeys, or Mary’s Organic or FreeRange in the meat cases at all Co-op locations. They will be arriving on November 18. No need to special order! Come to your favorite Co-op location and pick the size and turkey that will make your holiday table a special delight. For more information contact: Grace or Chelsea in Santa Fe at 984-2852, Tim at Nob Hill at 265-4631, Jeremiah in the Valley at 242-8800, Leaf in Gallup at 863-5383 or Daniel at the Westside at 503-2550.
Co-op Board of Directors: email: email@example.com • President: Ariana Marchello • Treasurer: Tracy Sprouls • Secretary: Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn • James Esqueda • Gregory Gould • Tammy Parker • Courtney White • Julie Anderson • Gina Dennis
Mary’s Certified Organic Turkey Mary's Free-Range Organic Turkeys are never caged, eat only certified organic feed and are raised in the most humane farming practices for healthful eating. Certified Organic feeds must be certified by the USDA and everything that goes in them must be certified as well. Mary's Organic Turkey feed does not contain any of the following:
a storage bag or container. On Thanksgiving, add two hours to the second rising and bake. Another option is to look up a refrigerator roll recipe. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, similarly saving you prep time. Cranberry Sauce. Nothing is as easy or as yummy as homemade cranberry sauce. I've made mine in my rice cooker with stellar results. But you can also make a batch well before Thanksgiving and freeze it. You can take it out to defrost and simply warm it in a rice cooker on the Keep Warm setting or use that mini-crockpot; this is what it's made for. Oh wait, actually, I changed my mind. It's really made for... Gravy! You can make gravy in advance, freeze and keep it ready to serve in the mini-crockpot. You can use chicken broth or make a turkey earlier in the season and use the giblets and broth from it to save for Thanksgiving. Sweet Potatoes. These can be made a few days prior. Then they can be ready to go for that famous sweet potato casserole. Or try mashed sweet potatoes! Vegetables. We usually do roasted vegetables. Sometimes just root veggies and sometimes a variety. Root veggies can be pre-cut and dressed for baking on Thanksgiving Day. This saves most of that prep time. Green beans and other vegetables work best if parboiled up to a day before and then shocked (quickly submerged in cold water) and stored in the refrigerator. Right before serving, sautee them in a little olive oil or butter. To get extra fancy, try an herb butter. Even that can be made ahead of time! Made ahead mashed potatoes get very mixed reviews online. I have done crockpot mashed potatoes and they were gobbled up. I cooked the potatoes in the crockpot and then mashed them with flavor boosters (sour cream, garlic, parmesan, whatever you love) right in the cooker, leaving to keep warm until serving time. The time and stress savings were worth it and I don't remember having tons of leftovers! CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
LET ALL BE FED
November 2016 3
DONATE-A-DIME BAG CREDIT ORGANIZATION OF THE MONTH
GALLUP’S COMMUNITY PANTRY FEEDING PEOPLE IN A FOOD
ALICE PEREZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE COMMUNITY PANTRY n Gallup, The Community Pantry was founded in 1999 by Jim Harlin and Tom Crider, two men who saw a need for healthy food and nutrition initiatives in the City of Gallup and surrounding areas in McKinley County. In the beginning, the Community Pantry was a small building nestled on the west side of the city, but in 2003 found its official home on Hasler Valley Road in a brand-new facility. The current building includes offices, a food distribution warehouse, and a large outdoor area for gardens and greenhouses. The Community Pantry serves people in Northwestern New Mexico and includes a branch in Grants, NM, which serves all of Cibola County.
Voices for Children reports that 41% of children in the primarily rural McKinley County live in poverty and 46% of their parents lack secure employment. Over all, 79% of children live in high poverty areas. McKinley County is number two in food insecurity and senior poverty in a state that ranks 49th in food security and number one in childhood hunger. The Community Pantry assists over 3,000 elders, children, veterans and families with their hunger needs each month. It is our mission to acquire, store and distribute wholesome food to children, the elderly and families in need. This year's fundraising campaign has a goal of $50,000 in donations to support our many programs which include:
Food For Kids (FFK): The FFK program helps reduce food insecurity for school children. In Grants, Cibola County, we serve 4 schools and 96 children and in Gallup, McKinley County, we serve 20 schools and 630 children who might well go hungry over the weekend if they weren't provided with nutritious food in the backpack program. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): Distributes food commodities to approximately 1500 families a month. The Agency Program: This program distributes Feeding America food and other food available to local non-profit agencies and churches for free distribution among their own clients. Please bring a bag and donate your dime to help reduce hunger and food insecurity in and around our Gallup Coop location. For more information and to make other donations to help The Community Pantry reach its goal of $50,000, please send checks to PO Box 520, 1130 E Hasler Valley Road, Gallup NM, 87305; call 505-726-8068 or email, director@ thecommunitypantry.org.
2400 Rio Grande. Blvd. NW 505-242-8800
UNM Bookstore 505-277-9586
The Hope Garden: The Hope Garden was founded in 2009. It features several acres of land for growing produce and a multitude of “hoop houses." The Community Pantry Hope Garden has taken huge strides in Gallup and surrounding areas in New Mexico to promote self-sustainability and healthy living through the demonstration gardens on site. These sites are broken down into their own projects: the community raised beds, three growing areas, an orchard and rock berm, the hoop houses and a Farmer’s Market. Free Produce: This program links fresh produce and perishables gleaned in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to our community every week. Free to all clients—available Tuesday through Friday. The Emergency Food Box provides families with up to two week’s worth of food up to four times a year. This food is raised in the community through food drives.
EQUAL EXCHANGE FAIRLY TRADED, FAIRLY
LA MONTAÑITA CO-OP
your BAG CREDIT!
YOUR DIMES ADD UP
Equal Exchange’s cooperative model has allowed it to grow and expand, yet the organization has stayed committed to maintaining “more of a straight line between what [consumers] are buying and who’s selling it to them” compared to other coffee companies. This alignment between governance and vision may be responsible for why Equal Exchange has been so successful: “When you call Equal Exchange, you’re talking to an owner,” says Dawson.
DONATE-A-DIME THIS MONTH YOUR DONATIONS WILL BE GIVEN TO THE COMMUNITY PANTRY: Feeding hungry children, elders, veterans and families in the rural counties of McKinley and Cibola. In September your Bag Credit Donations of $2,649.65 were given to Reunity Resources. Thanks to all who donated their dimes!
3601 Old Airport Ave. NW 505-503-2550
Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.
One unique element of Equal Exchange is the cohesion between their product and industry—fair trade coffee, chocolate, tea, and bananas—and how their business is structured. Equal Exchange chose the worker co-op model over an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) or another form of profit sharing that could have provided better tax advantages, albeit less democratic governance. When asked why the founders chose this model and the membership have kept it throughout the years, Dawson highlighted this strong connection with their suppliers: “Going back to our roots, we are set up structurally to mirror the producer co-ops that we buy from: it’s just part of our original DNA and the heart and soul of our organization.”
BY NATHAN HIXON, LOCAL ENTERPRISE ASSISTANCE FUND hile browsing the coffee selection at La Montañita, have you noticed the striking red and white logo with “Fairly Traded” at the bottom? It’s hard to miss! That’s “Equal Exchange,” a 30-year old worker-owned cooperative with over 125 worker-owners, each with equal voting rights and an equity stake in the company. Since starting up with the help of The ICA Group, LEAF’s sister organization, Equal Exchange has become one of the biggest success stories for worker cooperatives in the United States. With offices in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Oregon, Equal Exchange is one of the largest multi-nodal worker cooperatives in the country. By all metrics, they are an outstanding example of how worker co-ops can succeed in growing and scaling while maintaining their core values of democratic ownership, equality, and fair trade. Like most co-ops, growth has not been Equal Exchange’s ultimate goal, but a means to an end. This end is to affect global food supply chains and reorient them towards collaboration and fairness.
LEAF interviewed Aaron Dawson—worker-owner, Customer Service Manager, and board member at Equal Exchange—to hear his views on Equal Exchange’s success, the worker cooperative model, and why it matters to food co-op members like you.
Old A irpor t Ave .
Old Airport Ave. Co-op Values Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. Co-op Principles 1 Voluntary and Open Membership 2 Democratic Member Control 3 Member Economic Participation 4 Autonomy and Independence 5 Education, Training and Information 6 Cooperation among Cooperatives 7 Concern for Community The Co-op Connection News is published by La Montañita Co-op to provide information on La Montañita Co-op, the cooperative movement, and the links between food, health, environment and community issues. Opinions expressed herein are of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Co-op.
November 2016 4
GIVING THANKS FOR THE CO-OP FROM THE
GENERAL MANAGER DENNIS HANLEY uring this season of giving thanks, I can hardly express how tremendously grateful I am to be part of this inspiring cooperative organization. Having worked in 48 of our 50 states and New Zealand in a wide variety of grocery operational roles, I am deeply moved by our dedicated and hardworking team and the exceptional community we serve. In a very short time, I have made amazing friendships, and despite the challenges we are facing, I have experienced sincere support from both our operations team and the larger Co-op and New Mexican community. BY
I cannot praise our Co-op team enough. I clearly understand that the Co-op's success is based on the team’s hard work and devotion. In my short eleven months here at La Montañita, I have learned much from our team and hope to continue to grow in service to them. Over the past months, we have instituted several new communication initiatives to gain insight and input from our team. Since February, we have held monthly Town Hall meetings for the team at each of our store locations. Additionally, on a rotating basis of one store each month, we invite 6-8 team members to lunch to have a deeper discussion and develop personal relationships. Most recently, we instituted a series of early morning breakfast gatherings at each store; that we are calling "You Talk, We Listen." Team members are all invited to participate in these breakfast discussions, and in direct response to team input, these gatherings are not mandatory and are, of course, paid hours for the team members who choose to attend.
We continue to be proud of the extensive benefit package we offer all our team. As noted in our "La Montañita by the Numbers" section in our 40 Years of Facts page on our website, 82% of our team is employed full time and 95% of our team members are eligible for benefits. We pay on average 85% of health benefits for both full-time and part-time team members and on average 70% of the health benefits of their dependents. We pay on average 30% more than the average living wage in the communities we serve (Calculation from M.I.T., 2016). We continue to support our team in their work with the UFCW and await the UFCW's call to begin contract negotiations for the Rio Grande location. All this said, we recognize that we can always do better, and we are working to do so. We have taken the suggestions made at the two community Town Hall meetings in October to heart. We hope to have more information as the facilitation of these processes move forward. Finally, I am pleased to introduce Mark Lane as a merchandizing coordinator, a relatively new position. Many of you will remember Mark was the store manager at the Nob Hill location, and as a store manager, he gained a great deal of knowledge and experience that translates well into his new duties in this role. We have also recently initiated a new wellness merchandizing assistant position that was filled from within our already highly trained wellness staff by Jenny Gallucci. In the coming months, both of these positions will work more closely with department team leaders and our scanning department to smooth the process of new product line introductions and pricing. We continue to work to increase sales—the first step in a tried and true turnaround strategy—reduce shrink, control expenses and grow our cooperative business. Once again let me say that I am truly grateful to my Co-op teammates and to be a part of this cooperative community. My door is always open.
of events 11/15 BOD Meeting Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW, Albuquerque at 5:30pm
11/21 Member Engagement Meeting La Montañita Co-op Support Office, 901 Menual Blvd. NE at 5:30pm
11/24 Co-op’s closed for the Thanksgiving holiday
CO-OPS: A Solution-Based System A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
PIE! FRESH DELICIOUS LOCAL...
PUMPKIN, PECAN, APPLE, BERRY, CHOCOLATE, CHERRY, TOFU PUMPKIN; YOU NAME IT AND THE CO-OP HAS IT. This year you will find a wide assortment of delicious pies at all our Coop locations. We are pleased to be offering pies from some of our favorite local bakeries as well as our gifted Co-op bakers. Look for EVERYTHING YOU NEED to create your own pie including: local unbleached flour, bulk nuts and dried fruit, frozen and fresh berries, apples, pie pumpkins, sweet potatoes and other pie fillings throughout the store.
ONE OWNER. ONE VOTE. A TRUE DEMOCRATIC MODEL. EVERY OWNER GETS A VOTE IN ANNUAL BOARD ELECTIONS.
NOVEMBER 2016 ELECTIONS HELP GUIDE YOUR CO|OP INTO THE FUTURE
STATEMENT OF AGREEMENT The Board of Directors adopted the following policies in 2008 to clarify our Code of Conduct and ethics. These and all our other policies have laid a strong foundation for La Montañita, and Directors are required to follow and support them. Candidates seeking Board endorsement are asked to read and acknowledge the specific policies below as these policies address our requirements as individual Directors.
YOUR VOICE, YOUR VOTE Every year, La Montañita Food Cooperative holds elections for its Board of Directors. The Board of Directors seats nine members, each with a three-year term. Three seats are up for election every year and, if necessary, voting may include the seats for the remainder of the terms of directors who have left the board before their term expired. This year there are three three-year terms and one two-year term up for election. Members are invited and encouraged to exercise their democratic voice and vote. Candidate information is available on our website at www.lamontanita. coop/candidates, here in the Co-op Connection News and on the election website at www.vote.lamontanita.coop Democratic Member Control is the second of Seven Cooperative Principles. Voting in our Co-op election is an expression of this principle. Your Board of Directors should strive to represent and reflect the diversity that makes up the whole community of all the member-owners of the Co-op. Board work includes a vision for the future while recognizing the many contributing factors that are needed to realize La Montañita’s Ends, including a continued contribution to a sustainable local economy.
ELECTRONIC VOTING OR PAPER BALLOTS Voting should be as easy as possible. All members for whom we have an email address will receive a link to our voting page. Members for whom we don’t have an email address on file can go to www.vote.lamontanita.coop and use the process outlined below. Members can also go to one of our stores to pick up a paper ballot and a stamped envelope addressed to our independent third-party election management. This year there will be tables at the stores for easy access to paper ballots for members who prefer paper ballots. If your membership is current, you will be able to log in with your six-digit member number as your username. If we have your email address on file, that email address is your password. If you have not given us your email address, your 5-digit home zip code is your password. If we have neither an email address nor an address on file for you, you can either update your membership information or vote with a paper ballot. At no time will members of the staff or Board have access to the voting site except as members who wish to vote, until all voting has taken place and all ballots have been tallied. Once you log in with your member number and password as described above, you can read about each of the candidates and see if they opted to participate in the Board slate interview process, which includes signing the Statement of Agreement with the Board Members’ Code of Conduct. Candidates who chose to complete the Board slate interview process have received the Board’s endorsement. Once you’ve read up on the candidates, cast your vote. Our locally-created voting system will only allow one vote from each Co-op member account, based on your unique member number. New Board members are seated at the December meeting. Official election results are reported in the January 2017 Co-op Connection News. The following candidates participated in the Board slate interview process, and as a result, have received the Board’s endorsement: Gina Dennis, John Kwait, Ariana Marchello and Courtney White.
VOTE NOVEMBER 1-14
BOARD MEMBERS’ CODE OF CONDUCT Board members are expected to conduct themselves ethically, responsibly, and in a business-like manner, including the proper use of authority and appropriate decorum when acting as Board members. Board members are legally responsible for discharging their duties in good faith, with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise under similar circumstances, and in a manner reasonably believed to be in the Co-op’s best interest. ACCORDINGLY: 1. Board members should conduct themselves as Board members rather than as individual member/owners while conducting Board business. 2. Board members should loyally represent the Co-op’s interests. This supersedes any conflicting loyalty including, but not limited to, advocacy or interest groups, member/ownership on any other boards or staffs, or acting as an individual employee or consumer of the Cooperative’s services. 3. Board members should be aware of and follow the Cooperative’s bylaws, including the avoidance of conflict of interest, such as the following: a. There must be no self-dealing or any conduct of private business or personal services between any Board member and the Cooperative except as procedurally controlled to assure openness, competitive opportunity, and equal access to inside information. b. Board members who are employed by the Co-op will not vote on the GM’s compensation. c. Board members have an affirmative obligation to state any possible conflict of interest of their own as well as that of any other Board member. d. Board members will not use their positions to obtain for themselves, family member/owners, or close associates any employment or business with the Co-op. e. Board members will disclose any business or personal associations with current staff, contractors, or suppliers. 4. Board members shall be aware of and follow the Cooperative’s policies. 5. Board members shall bring complete honesty and personal integrity to the Board. 6. Board members shall openly and impartially consider all issues and matters, researching issues and seeking additional expertise where needed. 7. Board members shall prepare for and attend all Board meetings or notify the Board president when an absence is unavoidable. 8. Board members shall respect the confidentiality appropriate to issues of a sensitive nature. All personnel, real estate, marketing, legal, strategic planning, and financial matters will be considered sensitive issues subject to Board members’ good faith and discretion unless or until made public by Board action. 9. As representatives of the Co-op, Board members shall project a positive image and conduct themselves in a professional manner. All Board members will respect the rights of other Board members, staff, and member/owners to communicate their ideas, and will communicate with honesty and respect. 10. When an individual Board member and/or Board members disagree with a policy or action developed by the majority of the Board, the dissenting Board member(s) shall have the right to present evidence and arguments to the Board in a manner consistent with Board’s policies. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------As a Co-op Director, I acknowledge the Board Members’ Code of Conduct policies, and understand that if, in the opinion of the majority of Directors, I have violated the letter or spirit of the policies, I can be removed from office until the next membership meeting.
PAPER MAIL - IN BALLOTS OR ONLINE www.vote.lamontanita.coop
2016 CANDIDATES This year there are three three-year terms and one two-year term up for election. Not all candidates have participated in the Board slate process, which includes signing the Board of Directors Code of Conduct.
IAN COLBURN This candidate opted not to participate in the Board slate interview process. 1. Describe your involvement with La Montañita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. I have been a co-op shopper and member for nearly ten years. I worked in the Deli and Bulk department at the Nob Hill store from 2013 to 2015. I have maintained a relationship with the Co-op since leaving by collecting food that is edible but unsellable and finding it a home. 2. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving as a co-op board member. I have served in leadership roles within the Co-op and other retail establishments. I have dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours to launching and growing community organizations that do work around food. 3. What do you see as La Montañita’s role in the broader community? This is what I envision as La Montañita’s role in the community: a hub where everyone is empowered to lead a healthy, happy life through education, transparency, and access to local chemical-free/organic food. The Co-op needs to be an alternative to the mainstream food system improving the relationship between people and what nourishes them. 4. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy. I am an aspiring young farmer and garden educator passionate about building community around food and being part of the transition to a healthier and more resilient food system. I am officially endorsed by Take Back the Co-op! Our platform is focused on three things: a. Local pesticide-free and organic produce b. Worker rights and pay c. Transparency and Democratic Member Control -------------------------------------------------
GINA DENNIS This candidate participated in the Board slate interview process, which includes signing the Statement of Agreement with the Board Members’ Code of Conduct. This candidate received the Board’s endorsement. 1. Describe your involvement with La Montañita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. I am an avid consumer of the La Montañita Co-op. La Montañita is my preference for 99% of my food, beverages, cleaning supplies, and cosmetics. I go to La Montañita several times every week. I became a member in 2015, shortly after I moved to Albuquerque from Washington, DC. On Sunday, April 24, 2016, I attended La Montañita’s EarthFest, as an Exhibitor and a participant. The event was a tremendous, uplifting way for the community to show how much we appreciate and love this Earth, this World. During the La Montañita Co-op Board Meeting held on April 19, 2016, I gained an in-depth understanding of the Board format as well as the community dynamics. At the May 17, 2016 Meeting, I joined the Board as an Interim Board Member to complete the 9 seats. Since then, I have provided guidance on Finance strategies and Membership growth. 2. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving as a co-op board member. I love serving and helping individuals and organizations. I serve several organizations in Albuquerque. I am a member of the Governing Council (governing body) of The International School at Mesa Del Sol, a charter school in Albuquerque. I also volunteer for the Sustainable Environment Committee and the Homelessness Committee of the St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Albuquerque. I also serve as a member of the Joint Task Force Committee for the Victory Hills and Clayton Heights Neighborhood Associations in Albuquerque. I also serve as the Coalition Secretary for a District in the Coalition of Neighborhood Associations in Albuquerque. Through those positions, I have become very familiar with the communities in Albuquerque, the methods for communicating with communities, and the approaches for effectively unifying communities that were initially divided. If I am elected, I will use logical and effective methods to help La Montañita within our community. 3. What do you see as La Montañita’s role in the broader community? La Montañita is a community-building vehicle that educates consumers, demonstrates the power of a Co-op structure, and helps farmers. La Montañita is an entity, a business structure that needs to thrive financially. La Montañita, through effective communication and technology strategies, can “marry” the interests of the farmers with the interests of the consumers and the business structure.
4. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy. I live in Albuquerque. I started my career in Washington, DC, and about 12 years ago I became an Environmental Lawyer in Washington, DC and Maryland. I own and operate Relerience, a green building and environmental compliance consulting company. Relerience was established in 2009 in Washington, DC and now Relerience is permanently here in New Mexico to expand sustainability in the Southwestern United States. Relerience advises companies on environmental public affairs, as well as LEED green building certification, green business planning, environmental compliance, waste management, contamination, sustainability facilitation, and the Triple Bottom Line. My professional experience has helped me understand the realities of a business structure and how to generate outcomes that simultaneously and positively impact varying groups. If I am elected to be a Board member, I will help La Montañita generate more great outcomes. ------------------------------------------------
4. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy. I grew up, studied, and worked in the UK; moving to the US in 2011. I have a Master’s Degree in Water and Environmental Management and I now own a small environmental consultancy, based in Albuquerque. Additionally, I teach Environmental Science at the University of Phoenix. I have a strong passion for our environment and healthy eating. I believe that my background in environmental science, and experience owning and managing my own small business, would enable me to enhance the core values for which the Co-op stands. I am pleased to be endorsed by the “Take Back the Co-op!” movement. -------------------------------------------------
4. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy. As a self-identified Indigenous mother and person of color, I believe that I represent the voice and perspective of the population that is most often excluded from participation in the organic and ethical foods movement. I believe the local cooperative model can begin to make imperative strides in closing the socioeconomic gap that prevents local, organic, and ethical foods from being available to all peoples regardless of race and socioeconomic standing. I would be privileged to have a deeper participation in an organization that seeks to address the disparate availability of local, organic and ethically manufactured goods to all members of the community, with a justice based understanding of doing so. I believe I can bring a fresh and grounded understanding of the needs and wants of those in my community that desire to have the opportunity for greater patronage of La Montañita Coop, but feel they are excluded in some way due to cost restraint or exclusion from the existing culture of La Montañita Co-ops. Finally, I believe that is an ethical imperative for any Board of Directors to consist of a diverse representation of the existing member constituent population. Diversity in the natural environment is an indicator of a healthy and cooperative system. I would be honored to bring increased diversity to the La Montañita Board of Directors.
- investing in existing family farms and supporting new farmers in the early stages of their operations, as is done through the La Montañita FUND and the Veteran Farmer Project. - advancing racial, environmental, and economic justice by - a resource and hub of teaching and training to educate community members about healthy food, and the many benefits of cooperative enterprise. - a coop supporting the growth and proliferation of more coops - give back to those in need. 4. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy. My maternal grandparents owned a grocery store in Sterling, Colorado, so I walk into a grocery store with curiosity and reverence and an affinity for how to sell food, and how to be trustworthy, how to build loyalty, and how to build enduring relationships with workers, customers, suppliers and all of the people who make an institution like a grocery store or cooperative flourish. I am a co-founder of, and have been endorsed by, Take Back the Coop. ---------------------------------------------------
I am officially endorsed by Take Back the Co-op! -------------------------------------------------
Veteran Farmer Project, Co-op Distribution Center, La Montañita Fund and Holiday Giving Tree. I see continued enhancements to all of our programs. Especially the Coop Distribution Center and the La Montañita Fund. Both programs provide a vital economic boost to farmers and strengthen our local food availability and small farms throughout our state. The more we can support our local farmers the greater security we bring to our food production. Another area I would like to see growth in is our outreach to disenfranchised communities. This can be done by educational programs, partnerships and by supporting local community gardens. An increase in diversity to our membership to reflect our greater community will only strengthen our co-op mission and values. 4. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy. My current and past volunteer experiences have centered around sustainability of our natural environment and healthy foods. From programs that education children about our natural environment, to how to grow vegetables in a garden, to fostering the conservation of our open spaces. My background can be an asset to the board. The co-op is one of those places that makes the communities we live in so special. There are still many more possibilities’ ahead for the co-op to enhance our food sustainability and the cooperative model. I would be honored to be a part of the journey to serve as a member of the board if elected. ---------------------------------------------------
This candidate participated in the Board slate interview process, which includes signing the Statement of Agreement with the Board Members’ Code of Conduct. This candidate received the Board’s endorsement.
This candidate opted not to participate in the Board slate interview process.
JAMES GLOVER This candidate opted not to participate in the Board slate interview process. 1. Describe your involvement with La Montañita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. I began working for the Co-op as a cashier in the Valley Store on Rio Grande shortly after arriving in New Mexico in 2011. I thoroughly enjoyed my 9-months working at the Store; I met many new friends, both employees and customers, and quickly felt part of the Co-op community. 2. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving as a co-op board member. After leaving the Co-op as an employee, I continued my involvement with the Co-op through volunteer work at the Nob Hill Store helping with the recycling program. Twice monthly I would remove the recycling collected by the store and drop off the material at one of Albuquerque’s recycling centers. In case you didn’t know, the Co-op recycles as much as it can, but relies on the help of volunteers to remove the recyclables from each store. 3. What do you see as La Montañita’s role in the broader community? La Montañita has a wonderful power and influence in the local community to educate and promote healthy eating, a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy environment for all. As a board member, I would work towards promoting these cultures in our local schools and the wider population. I believe empowering our children and NM citizens with the knowledge to make informed decisions on what we eat, and how our food is produced, is the key to a healthy and strong community.
All candidates provided their written statements. Any changes made were for the required Q & A format.
1. Describe your involvement with La Montañita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. To date I have been a member since 2010 and purchase the majority (about 90%) of our household grocery and natural product needs (toiletries, cleaning products, toilet paper, etc.) from the co-op. Weekly trips are made to the co-op for approximately 30 minutes to an hour each time. I have attended a couple to member information sessions in the recent past for close to 2 hours each time. During which, I have engaged board members, employees, and members alike in conversation, as well as offering my personal opinions and experiences during public comment opportunities. 2. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving as a co-op board member. I have worked for the past year coordinating a farming education program and have made relevant connections with local growers gaining a justice based understanding of food and the local food system. Previous work experience serving on design and planning decision making boards, working on various tribal based projects, has provided me with experience working in team settings towards collective decisions, including plans for implementation. 3. What do you see as La Montañita’s role in the broader community? I believe that La Montañita’s role in the broader community is to provide equity in access to healthy and clean foods sourced from honest and reputable companies/ growers, as well as to provide an environment that nurtures successful development and good health of its members, employees, and non-member patrons. I believe La Montañita Co-op has an imperative role of providing regionally appropriate and responsive products to those who seek local, organic, and ethically produced products to all members of the local community, that each location serves.
CHAD JONES This candidate opted not to participate in the Board slate interview process. 1. Describe your involvement with La Montañita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. I have been a La Montañita Coop member of since 2012. I am in the Santa Fe store multiple times a week, and visit the Grab N Go and Nob Hill stores when I have grocery needs when I am in Albuquerque. 2. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving as a co-op board member. I have served on multiple boards of national organizations – six years with Resource Generation, based in New York City, which organizes young people with wealth to contribute to the equitable distribution of wealth, land and power; six years with The Stone House, in Mebane, North Carolina, a retreat center blending spiritual practice, social justice and organizing; and, two years with Grassroots International, in Boston, which supports food sovereignty and access to land, water, and food in the Global South. I have been a member of multiple community supported agriculture (CSAs) cooperatives in New York State, Colorado, and New Mexico. I was a member of the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, NY for six years. 3. What do you see as La Montañita’s role in the broader community? I see La Montañita as having multiple roles in the communities that support us. The primary - providing and increasing access to healthy, fresh, and local foods - strengthening local food systems throughout New Mexico by prioritizing
1. Describe your involvement with La Montañita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. I have not been active as a volunteer with La Montañita for many years. I served on the Board of Directors from July 2002 to December 2005. At this time in my life (retired) I would like to give back to the co-op by serving on the board. During my previous time on the board many changes occurred; such as buying the Santa Fe and Gallup stores and hiring a general manager. All of these actions have lead us to where we are today as a strong and vibrant presence in our communities. 2. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving as a co-op board member. In additional to my prior experience serving on the La Montañita Board. I have also served on another cooperatively owned grocery store in Oregon. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Friends of Valle de Oro, Urban National Wildlife refuge. I have learned through my board experiences that listening to members of an organization and other interested parties is key to forming a robust and lasting organization that serves its constituents well. I just finished a five-year term as a member of the City of Albuquerque Open Space Advisory Board. The culmination of my term coincided with the City Council passing legislation to fund future Open Space Acquisitions by designating 2% of the biennial General Obligation bond program for Open Space land acquisition until 2035. I volunteer as a Master Gardner at the Desert Oasis Teaching Garden and New Beginnings Garden. 3. What do you see as La Montañita’s role in the broader community? We have tremendous programs that help sustain our community; Donate-A-Dime,
3. What do you see as La Montañita’s role in the broader community? La Montañita’s role is to bring the cooperative principles and values to life the wider communities we serve and New Mexico in general. What we sell can be bought in other outlets but keeping the cooperative business model front and center is key impact to strive for in this modern era. What our co-op accomplishes in the community represents the collective effort of the members on many different levels. New Mexico has a high degree of food insecurity. Only three percent of our food is grown here. Low population and long driving distances make for a distribution nightmare. Many towns are losing their only grocery stores. La Montañita’s Co-op Distribution Center and food hub provides much needed services for both producers and consumers; for our own stores, other co-ops and independent grocers, restaurants, etc. Innovating and expanding these roles with an eye to helping eliminate food deserts and invigorating local agriculture with market opportunities is our important task in the future. 4. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy. The question directors are always asking is “What will the co-op look like in the next ten or twenty years and what do we need to find out in order to get there?” The answer is always evolving along with the needs of the members and the community at large. There are other questions: How does the co-op contribute to food justice? How do we support and gain strength from the cooperative movement across sectors? What does democracy look like in an organization of over 17,000 members? How do we “do” change in a time of big transitions for our 40 year-old co-op? Following the clues to answer these questions is the best part of serving on the board. --------------------------------------------------
ARIANA MARCHELLO This candidate participated in the Board slate interview process, which includes signing the Statement of Agreement with the Board Members’ Code of Conduct. This candidate received the Board’s endorsement. 1. Describe your involvement with La Montañita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. First and foremost, my involvement with La Montañita Co-op is being a member, an active member. Shopping at the Co-op, in other words, using the co-op’s service as a grocery store that I own a share of, is being a member. I have been a member since 2005 when the Co-op came to Santa Fe and picked up where the Marketplace left off. All the Coop’s great activities in the community and the state really made me cherish my membership. My love for the Co-op and wish to support it in its activities led me to run for the Board of Directors. I have served my Co-op as a director for nearly nine years. I am currently the Board President. 2. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving as a co-op board member. Every year I have spent on the board has provided me with the valuable experience of learning from my colleagues, the senior leadership team, guest speakers at our study hours, consultants and most of all my fellow members. All this has contributed to my performance as a director. Past experience that continues to inform my thinking as a director is having been the manager of a small grocery store, the production manager of a newspaper and now running my own business in tech support.
This candidate opted not to participate in the Board slate interview process. 1. Describe your involvement with La Montañita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. I have been a member for over 25 years. I have a lifetime membership. I have been participating at La Montañita’s Earth Day Festival for BikeABQ. 2. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving as a co-op board member. I am a volunteer delivery driver for the home bound on Thursday at the Rio Grande Coop branch. I am currently on the board of BikeABQ, a non profit that serves the bicycling community in Albuquerque. I was Secretary to the BikeABQ board for several years until last year. I was a board member of the Osha Food Co-op on North 4th Street where Kenny and Marshall Kovitz first proposed the creation of a co-op by UNM in the 70’s which became La Montañita. I ordered hardware and herbs for Osha and managed the store on a regular schedule. 3. What do you see as La Montañita’s role in the broader community? The role of the Co-op should be to promote healthy foods in the community and to get the community involved in consuming and producing healthy foods. (continued on next page)
4. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy. I would like to see La Montañita working with Albuquerque Public Schools in the creation of programs that develop an awareness of food production (gardening) without the use of pesticides, and for children to be involved in the planting, harvesting and creation of dishes in their schools. I think we (the co-op) could create volunteer run programs perhaps using the City’s Master Gardeners program starting with pilot programs in one or two schools to start with and getting parental involvement in all phases of this project. --------------------------------------------------
we produce, harvest, transport, and deliver food and nutritional supplements, and other products to the public. I would like to be a part of the Board that sets the guidelines for the General Manager of the CoOp to be able to do this job as GM in the most efficient and satisfying way possible. --------------------------------------------------
COURTNEY WHITE This candidate participated in the Board slate interview process, which includes signing the Statement of Agreement with the Board Members’ Code of Conduct. This candidate received the Board’s endorsement.
This candidate opted not to participate in the Board slate interview process.
This candidate opted not to participate in the Board slate interview process. 1. Describe your involvement with La Montañita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. I have been a member of La Montañita CoOp for over 21 yrs. In that time, I have been a regular shopper and have come to experience the CoOp as a leader in providing not only good products, but also as a business that has offered opportunities to members that other businesses have not offered. Over the years I have come to know and appreciate the employees and the management, relying on information they willingly offered in order for me to make more informed decisions regarding health, food, nutritional supplements, and the latest developments in fair trade and sustainable farming practices. 2. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving as a co-op board member. I have experience in working on the Board of Directors for other organizations, have been a community organizer, and have advocated for the values of fairness in the food industry. I am a curious person, love learning, and would bring this willingness to learn and to share my knowledge to the Board of Directors of La Montañita Co-op. 3. What do you see as La Montañita’s role in the broader community? Because the CoOp is now a multi-site operation, I believe as a business organization the challenges to sustainable growth and fulfilling its mission includes serving communities that may not know the value of a resource like the CoOp. The CoOp is a pioneering organization, which inspires me to want to be a member of an organization that continues to strive to improve on all levels of business practice. 4. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy. I would now like to offer my support of the CoOp in a more direct way as a member of the Board of Directors. The vision I have of the CoOp is that it expand on its mission of providing the best services and products in the whole foods and healthier foods industry. I am now available to dedicate time, to add my voice and to contribute to La Montañita CoOp’s success. I envision the CoOp’s role in the community as a catalyst for changing the perception of the way
organization dedicated to building bridges between ranchers, conservationists and others around practices that improve economic and ecological resilience in western working landscapes. He is the author of Revolution on the Range (Island Press), Grass, Soil, Hope (Chelsea Green) and The Age of Consequences (Counterpoint Press). He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his family, two dogs and five chickens. ---------------------------------------------------
1. Describe your involvement with La Montañita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. To date, my involvement of the Coop has been as a supporter and consumer. I have participated in the elections and member surveys 2. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving as a co-op board member. I have never volunteered nor served on the board. 3. What do you see as La Montañita’s role in the broader community? The Coop’s role in the community is to support local pesticide-free and organic foods; be a leader in the community on the discussion of sustainable living in all aspects. Support our community through fair wages and practices and listen to the community through active membership and open dialogue between the member owners and Coop leadership. Ensure that the Coop is meeting its member owner’s needs and continually bringing on new members who see the Coop’s relevancy. 4. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy. I believe we must take an active role in our community and world. I have spent my life in service above myself, from the military, to developing a non-profit organization at the University of New Mexico for the Veterans who have served our country, to being the Board Chair of the New Mexico Veterans Integration Centers. I understand and am very comfortable working in many different environments and with diverse personalities. Our world is at a cross road and I truly believe that honesty, conversation and sustainability will help us turn the corner we need to make sure all generations can enjoy what we have. Supporting local, family, and healthy living is the correct path for us. I am honored to be endorsed by ‘’Take back the Coop”. As a board member and owner, I will ensure that local pesticide free/ organic food, family, sustainability and healthy living will be the Coop’s mantra. ---------------------------------------------------
1. Describe your involvement with La Montañita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. I have served on La Montañita’s Board of Directors since December, 2015. I am a member of Board Development Committee. 2. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving as a co-op board member. I have no volunteer or paid experience with the Coop. 3. What do you see as La Montañita’s role in the broader community? The Coop serves a number of significant roles both locally and regionally, but one of its most important is as a cooperative business – i.e. a profit-making enterprise in service of the public good. The public has many choices today on where to shop for organic, local food and other products, but no other alternative is managed according to cooperative principles or is member-owned. The equitable and democratic values represented by La Montañita are unique to the cooperative model – as is the scale of the business. The coop’s leadership role in the community in these regards is critical. 4. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy. As a Board member, I take seriously my responsibility to help La Montañita make it to its 80th anniversary celebration. When I came on the Board in late 2015, that prospect looked doubtful. Coops across the nation are under tremendous pressure to adapt to rapidly evolving market conditions or else go out-of-business and La Montañita is no exception. That’s why I support the decisions made this year at Coop, as painful as they have been. Think of it as La Montañita 3.0 – a necessary upgrade! I support our efforts to diversify the Coop’s customer base to include low-income and fixed-income shoppers who do not normally come to the Coop. I support the expansion of our organic produce line (doubled in some stores) and the expansion of our product selection to reach new shoppers. I support the price reductions that been have taken in the stores. In fact, La Montañita is on its way to becoming the price leader on organic food in the state of New Mexico. That’s great news! Most of all, I support the Coop’s commitment to its mission and cooperative values in the face of so many challenges. The proof is in the pudding – sales have increased substantially and as a result La Montañita is on its way to regaining financial health once again. Kudos to the hard-working staff! I feel confident that the Coop will make it to its 80th birthday and if reelected I intend to help the Coop stay on its current path of success. BRIEF BIO: A former archaeologist and Sierra Club activist, Courtney White dropped out of the ‘conflict industry’ in 1997 to cofound the Quivira Coalition, a non-profit
VOTE NOVEMBER 1-14
This candidate opted not to participate in the Board slate interview process. 1. Describe your involvement with La Montañita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. My partner and I have been members for the past 4 years. 2. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving as a co-op board member. I’ve served on two boards and I’m comfortable with board procedures. I was a Senior Manager at Apple and led a training team for Apple stores around the world. I also worked in a bookstore while I was in high school and college and loved the experience. I enjoy the business of retail and the opportunity for human interaction and serving others in a store. 3. What do you see as La Montañita’s role in the broader community? I think La Montañita can be an incredible center for building community that makes our Co-op stronger. Education and transparency can go hand in hand to build trust and encourage healthy discussions about food and the ways we purchase, source, grow, raise, manufacture and distribute it. 4. Personal statement, including anything you feel is relevant to your candidacy. I’m a co-founder of and have been officially endorsed by the “Take Back the Co-op!” movement. Our platform is focused on three things: - Local pesticide-free and organic produce Selling and promoting conventional pesticide-grown produce in our stores is counter to our mission and hurts the people who grow it, handle it and consume it. The most acute impact of pesticides is on farm workers and those who live near those farms. - Worker rights and pay Fair labor practices and fair wages for our workers, distributors, growers, ranchers and manufacturers. Our Co-op can have a tremendous impact on the food system by supporting other businesses that practice these values and by practicing it ourselves. - Transparency and Democratic Member Control We are a Co-op. We collectively own it. Member-owners can’t make good decisions and exercise Democratic Member Control (one of the 7 core principles of a co-op) unless we are well informed and given the opportunity to actually vote on major changes. That means that we need to substantially increase the amount of transparency that our Co-p operates with and we need to bring major changes to the member-owners for a vote a few times a year.
PAPER MAIL-IN BALLOTS • ONLINE • EASY • SECURE • CONFIDENTIAL
HAPPY HOLIDAY EATS FEASTING FOODS QUINOA PUDDING Serves 6–8 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 50 minutes 2 eggs, beaten 1/4 cup maple syrup 1 1/2 cups milk 1/2 cup raisins 1 tsp vanilla 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped 1/4 tsp sea salt 1/2 an orange rind, grated 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Proof the yeast with 1 tablespoon of sugar and warm water in a small bowl for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, psyllium husk powder, and the other tablespoon of sugar. Add the vegetable oil, sweet potato purée, eggs and the yeast mixture and combine all ingredients well. Cover and set in a warm place to rise at least an hour. The mixture will almost double in size. Carefully divide the dough into 8 parts, being careful not to “punch down” the dough. Gently roll each section of dough into a ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in a warm spot and allow to rise for another 20 minutes. Bake the rolls at 375ºF for 30–40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. NUTRITION INFORMATION: Calories 194; Calories from Fat 51; Total Fat 6g; Saturated Fat 1g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 47mg; Sodium 332mg; Total Carbohydrate 33g; Dietary Fiber 4g; Sugars 6g; Protein 5g
Heat oven to 325ºF. Combine all ingredients and pour into greased 1-1/2 quart casserole. Bake uncovered, stirring occasionally until a knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Serve warm or cold, storing any unused portions in the refrigerator.
CRANBERRY WILD RICE PILAF Serves 6 as side dish / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 20 minutes
NUTRITION INFORMATION: (per serving, at 6 servings): Calories 252; Calories from Fat 98; Total Fat 11g; Saturated Fat 1g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 64mg; Sodium 132mg; Total Carbohydrate 31g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 17g; Protein 6g
1 cup dry wild rice, rinsed 2 cups water 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed and cut in half 1/2 cup sugar 1 orange, zested and juiced 1/2 cup almonds, chopped Tarragon for optional garnish
SWEET POTATO ROLLS (Gluten-free) Serves 8 / Prep time: 20 minutes / Rise time: approx. 1.5 hours / Cook time: 30 minutes You can also choose from several nutritious power-house flours, including quinoa, buckwheat and teff, or use the more common brown rice flour. 1/2 cup warm water 1 packet yeast 2 T sugar, divided 2 cups gluten-free flour 1 tsp salt 2 tsps psyllium husk powder 2 T vegetable oil 2 eggs 1 cup sweet potato purée (about 1 medium sweet potato, baked and puréed)
In a medium sauce pan, toast the rinsed wild rice on medium heat, stirring continuously until it has dried and starting to pop a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the 2 cups of water, bring to a simmer. Cook covered on low until the rice has absorbed the water, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile place the halved cranberries in a large mixing bowl and cover with the sugar. Set aside. When the rice is cooked, add it to the cranberries along with the orange zest, orange juice and pecans and mix well. Add garnish if using. Serve immediately. Left-overs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. NUTRITION INFORMATION: Calories 180; Calories from Fat 3; Total Fat 0g; Saturated Fat 0g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 2mg; Total Carbohydrate 42g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 20g; Protein 4g
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November 2016 10
HOW TO EAT LESS
MEAT USING A MODEL
HISTORIC ROOTS GREGORY GOULD, BOARD OF DIRECTORS mericans eat a lot of meat. According to Diet for a Small Planet author, Frances Moore Lappé, meat eating diverts grains to feed cows which could just as easily feed humans. Meat is resource intensive, takes lots of water and feed. Meat is expensive—it requires special handling, spoils easily, is often the spawning ground for bacteria and other forms of malicious microbes such as salmonella and e-coli, and the industrial system has succeeded in cranking out the carcasses to the detriment of the environment. Cows produce lots of methane. Feed lots stink. Ever since the days of The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, slaughter houses have been sites of abuse and disgust. BY
Many Americans eat meat three times a day without even noticing: a slice of bacon for breakfast, a burger for lunch and chicken salad for dinner. None of which look like the animals they derive from. The sense of appreciation for the life that was sacrificed to nourish us has been lost. Meat is also a socioeconomic and cultural indicator, which means that a thick steak is a status symbol, a sign that I’m doing well; that I can afford to spend a significant sum to eat a thick, delicious juicy steak. And I happen to like chewing a grilled hunk of flesh, seared on its surface, pink in the middle. Could be my inner cave person? So how to balance the craving for meat with social responsibility? How do we reduce the dependence on industrial methods of cattle raising with its antibiotics, growth hormones and other unnatural additives? I propose the Thanksgiving Model, which happens to have similar roots to Matanzas, Feast Days amongst First Peoples and other traditional ritual meals. The first element of this model is that the turkey is recognizable as once having been a live creature, with all its bones intact. Reverence is offered with an acknowledgment of the life that
was given and gratitude for the meat that will nourish us. A large group of family members and extended family members are in attendance. Perhaps some have brought side dishes to contribute to the feast. There is a sense of joyful solemnity, lively conversation, prayers perhaps. At my house, we go around and express gratitude. When the meal is over, people leave with doggie bags of leftovers. A redistribution of meat and food. This one meal extends into the week. The host family will have turkey sandwiches the next day, enchiladas the day after, and turkey soup from the carcass the day after that. This one animal can satisfy the meat craving for an entire week.
The key is to select quality meat for this shared meal, free range, as local as possible from small-scale operations. Quality meat tastes different and sometimes requires some getting used to. The rich marbling of corn-fed beef which we’re accustomed to is unnatural. Cows wouldn’t eat corn on their own. Grass-finished beef is higher in Omega-3s, and generally recognized as healthier. A quick look at Chinese cooking traditions: cut vegetables into bite-size morsels, a small amount of meat, also cut bite-size. Throw into a wok for rapid cooking which uses less fuel. The meat infuses the veggies with the meat tang, stretching the meat flavor. Thus the meat element is present but in small quantities. These are the strategies for reducing meat intake while honoring the desire for meat flavor. Highest quality meat once a week, in a ritualized family feasting format, with leftovers.
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There seems to be much less controversy over stuffing. You can cook the meat and veggies separately and make and cube the bread separately so you can toss them together on Thanksgiving. But folks—you can also just make the whole darn thing, cook it and freeze it. Any other special casseroles or gratins that make your family's meal your family's meal? Most casseroles freeze very well. Now, for some, it is just un-American to not cook your turkey on Turkey Day. But you can, indeed, pre-bake and slice your turkey ahead of time. You could freeze it if you do it well in advance. OR you could do it the day before, use the giblets to make gravy and/or stuffing, and then reheat it on Thanksgiving. I'm just saying it's an option!
What about dessert? If you're a pie maker, you can make those pie crusts in advance and freeze them. Some pies would also be just as yummy made a day or two ahead of time or even more and then frozen. Maybe pre-cooking the entire holiday meal is a bit drastic. But what if you just made two dishes in advance? However and wherever you celebrate, I wish you as stress-free a Thanksgiving as possible, full of flavor, nourishment and love. AMYLEE UDELL is a mother of three who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, working and playing. She stays productive at www.productivemama.com.
IT’S YOUR CO-OP...
YOU OWN IT
COMMUNITY FORUM WHAT WE ’ VE GOT HERE
IS A FAILURE TO
COMMUNICATE BRETT BAKKER ans of the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke will recognize the title of this month’s column as the movie’s iconic quote. Although the film is about resisting authority— a subject dear to my (compromised) anarchic heart—it also points to today’s increased polarization everywhere. What keeps bouncing around inside my pointed little head—and I keep returning to in these pages—is this: Merely arguing policy or belief with an “opponent” is useless unless you realize that the core values they hold may not allow them to agree with you. Or you with them. BY
Misconceptions are rampant in what I call the “anti-organic press.” Almost every article cites the staggering revelation (horrors!) that organic farmers kill insects by using pesticides and therefore certified organic food is not only a scam but harmful to the environment. As I mentioned last month, in the agribusiness sector (nonorganic and organic, let’s be fair) the naturally occurring and diverse ecosystem is replaced with tens or thousands of acres of one ITCHY GREEN human food crop. Well of course THUMB something is going to wander in and help themselves to this bounteous buffet, be it bean beetles or feral hogs. Clearly, something must be done. Any substance that kills something is likely not good for other living things. Until we perfect the art of being “breathatarians”, this isn’t going to change. Organic farmers are required to use the route of least toxicity, in descending order: exclusion; repellants; traps; cultural methods (crop
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rotations or timely cultivation that break reproductive cycles); “natural” pesticides that—because of their short-lived nature—must be used quite precisely during short windows of opportunity. If the naturals fail, some synthetics are allowed from a short list. The anti-organic press will invariably cite these but never the specific restrictions, such as boric acid (no direct contact with soil or crop) and copper sulfate (only as algicide in aquatic rice systems). ConThat’s a trast this to the synthetic standard: repeated preempCONUNDRUM: tive-strikes of toxins over TO BE PROevery inch of the crop.
• Pastured non-feedlot organic livestock are less stressed and don’t need antibiotics (which are losing effectiveness from overuse) • Manure—deposited in pasture rather than languishing in feedlots—can once again be an asset rather than a stinking, polluting liability.
I recently read that us YOU MUST BE organic whackos are twoANTI-SOMETHING faced because naturally ELSE occurring Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is allowed but we “hypocritically” oppose its GMO insertion into some corn varieties—where it will instead be present in millions of corn plants—whether they are threatened by corn earworms or not. Or there’s one recent article that ballyhooed the use of kaolin clay as a pest repellant. This is pure clay, sprayed on apples, for example, to discourage pest munching. I mean, c’mon, you’re worried about freakin’ clay when non-organic farmers can choose from over 15,000 synthetic pesticides?! And never mentioned are the millions of pounds of synthetic pesticides already sprayed globally on our food and soils. It’s generally assumed that “no pesticides” is the sole tenet in organic farming while ignoring other benefits. To name only a few: • Building soil (crop rotations and green manures) means less inputs trucked in from the “outside”. This cuts petroleum usage (synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) and environmental disruption (mining for natural farm inputs). Reducing use of highly soluble synthetic fertilizers also lessens water-polluting runoff. • No collateral killing of of non-pest animals that eat chemically poisoned pests
I could go on and on. Notice that I’ve avoided the warm and fuzzy reasons (“Happy carrots!”) for the same reason that us organic weirdos can’t understand folks that get a warm and fuzzy feeling from “GMO crops can feed the world!” That might make people who are satisfied with the status quo of free trade happy. Me, I believe in food sovereignty first but perhaps if I did understand export/import economics, I might see their point. It might not change my mind but I might just stop looking at certain people as the enemy, as an “other”, or—as I’ve done throughout this month’s column—branding them as “anti” when in their minds they are “pro.” That’s a human conundrum: to be pro-something, you must be anti-something else. An adversarial relationship right off the bat! Anyway, views might not change with understanding of the “other” side but at least we’ll know how to better present our case without attacking their own deeply held values, even if we disagree with them. I can’t think of a better time in American history to keep this in mind.