Kootenay Co-op responds to Nelson Star article on changing organic standards
While I believe the intention was not so, the Nelson Star’s January 4th article (“B.C. changes rules on organic food”) seems to imply that the Kootenay Co-op does not pay attention to the sources and credibility of the organic products we carry in the store. As a longtime member and Director of both Kootenay Organic Growers Society and the Kootenay Co-op, I know that this is not the case.
In the mid 1990’s, when Kootenay Organic Growers was establishing ourselves as a certifier, it was the Kootenay Co-op that was pro-active in requiring only certified produce from our area farmers, in order to support the fledgling local certification program. The Co-op has also regularly had a staff member sit as a member of the KOGS Board, further promoting the information exchange with and strength of our local organic farming community. In addition, the Co-op requires evidence of current certification status of the organic products we carry in the store.
Unlike relatively recent newcomers to the idea of healthy and organic food, this has been the foundation of the Co-op’s business and mission since we were incorporated in 1975. Over many years of engaging in the community, providing education, and participating in critical campaigns – all to build an understanding of why the provenance of our food matters – the Co-op has contributed significantly to the demand for healthy, local, organic food. The Kootenay Co-op supports organic products and certification not because it is a current consumer trend with dollars to chase, but because it is a core part of our vision for a healthier community and the eco-systems that support us all.
— Abra Brynne, Kootenay Co-op Board President and Kootenay Organic Growers Society director