Organic Food Co-op
Div. of Sustainable Living Academy, Inc.
Mission & Vision
MISSION: To utilize group buying power to establish organic co-ops that provide access to cheaper and higher quality organic produce than is generally found through retail food chains. To promote greater overall health and nutrition by making organic produce accessible to a larger number of people.
VISION: To establish a network of organic co-op facilitators who support their local communities by coordinating the organic produce purchasing and distribution efforts. To organize or attend regional events that introduce and promote the benefits of this type of food co-op and the charitable activities of the non-profit foundation.
Higher Quality Produce
Time, temperature and bacteria are the primary conditions that determine how long produce will remain fresh. It generally takes several days up to a week from the time produce is picked in the field until it arrives at the wholesaler or retailer. During this time, the produce is kept refrigerated in crates which helps keep it fresh and reduces the risk of contamination. Depending on the sales volume at the retailer, produce can sit for several more days before it’s actually placed on the shelf for sale. The risk of decay and contamination becomes much greater as retailers may submerge and soak the newly arrived cases of produce in a common pool of water to refresh it, exposure to temperatures outside the refrigerator, bacteria ridden display shelves, handling of produce by employees, the transfer of bacteria from the trimming knife and even customers touching and placing it back on the shelf. In other words, purchasing produce at the wholesale level eliminates a long list of contamination risks that contribute to poor produce quality and limited storage time. under construction get involved
Lower Cost Organic
Everyone knows that purchasing wholesale is cheaper. How much cheaper depends on the industry. Produce is often considered to have one of the lowest profit margins because grocers must absorb the cost of throwing away what is not purchased and goes bad on their shelves. Purchasing produce wholesale is cheaper by as much as 60% on many items; making the higher quality and lower cost an opportunity that anyone can appreciate. Price alone should not be the only incentive to joining a food co-op. Participating in a food co-op provides the ability to leverage group buying power, purchase directly from wholesalers and pass the savings onto the co-op members. In these often economically challenging and health conscious times, it’s become increasingly important to balance lower food costs with eating a healthier diet. under construction get involved
In its most basic form, community is defined as a group that works together for a common goal. Heavenly Farms strives to support community spirit by bringing people together for the goal of greater sustainability by lowering their food cost while providing access to food that promotes a healthier lifestyle. Working together to plant, grow and harvest produce certainly promotes a greater community experience, however, anytime people work together they bring community together. A successful food co-op requires that people work together and coordinate their activities in order to share the rewards. Heavenly Farms seeks to bring people together for a common purpose that results in a higher quality of life for all those involved. Yes, some people may have to take on the role of local facilitators; however, Heavenly Farms is part of a larger non-profit corporation and provides FREE guidance and counseling to those who take on these roles. under construction get involved
By now, most people have heard of food co-ops where members pay for a weekly basket of fresh produce or join together to plant, grow and harvest their own crops. Of course planting a growing your own produce is generally going to be the healthiest and most nutritious, however, many people live in locations and have lifestyles that do not allow for this option. The Heavenly Farms organic food co-op provides a more convenient option for those who live in cities where there is no open space to grow on, where the climate does not always support gardening or where lifestyles prohibit such activities. In this way, Heavenly Farms provides a unique opportunity for those who would like to buy higher quality organic produce at prices that are often much cheaper than most organic grocers. under construction get involved
Those who have participated in traditional food co-ops know that produce selection is often limited and dependent on growing seasons and climate. In other words, some produce may only grow during certain times of the year and within certain geographic regions. The benefit of the Heavenly Farms organic food co-op is that organic wholesalers can generally purchase and stock a consistent and wide variety of produce from around the country and world. The only limitation to purchasing in bulk from wholesalers is having enough people interested in a specific type of produce before it makes sense to buy it by the case. The more people involved in the co-op, the more cases of produce that can be purchased and with a greater variety of produce selection. Those starting out with a new food co-op may find their buying power is limited to purchasing only a few organic produce staples. under construction get involved