At Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op you will find a 100% organic produce department supplied by local growers who are producing food in harmony with nature. The Co-op is nationally recognized for its leadership in supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture. By building direct relationships with the people growing our food, we are able to bring you the freshest, most flavorful produce available in our region. The Co-op is committed to paying our growers a fair wage and has developed a unique purchasing model with over 70 small, local farmers. This non-corporate approach to purchasing agriculture commodities is what sets our produce department apart from other grocery stores. We are in the business of keeping small, family farms in business.
Our produce buyer and managers work closely with growers to supply our customers with the highest quality produce available. The fresh fruits and vegetables in our produce department are picked at optimum maturity and ripeness so the quality and flavor is exceptional.
As the Co-op grows, we will continue to purchase from small growers and help to expand their local market. By buying directly from these growers, we are supporting a local economy and distributing our food dollars to the very people who are nourishing us, stewarding the land and building the sustainable agriculture movement.
Eating in Season is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your health. When you eat in season you are getting the freshest, ripest fruits and vegetables which are an important part of a healthy diet and contain more nutrients than food that is not at its peak of freshness or was picked before it ripened fully. Produce that is not in season may come from other parts of the country or the world and has to be picked under-ripe so that it ships well. The heavy environmental impact of shipping produce from other parts of the country or world is also another reason to choose to eat in season. When you’re eating produce in season, you’re improving your health and the health of the environment.
Most produce grown in the United States is picked four to seven days before being placed on supermarket shelves, and is shipped for average of 1,500 miles before being sold. When you buy produce at a large supermarket, only 18 cents of every dollar goes to the growers and 82 cents go to various unnecessary middlemen. Buying locally grown food whenever possible helps preserve the environment and strengthens our community by investing food dollars close to home.
The Co-op works directly with organic farmers who follow a food and land ethic that includes stewarding the land as well as the people working on it. Our growers pay a fair wage to their employees and work to provide year-round employment. When you buy organic produce at the Co-op you are supporting a healthy community and protecting the land, air and water that are all part of our local food system.
The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op is now your locally owned, certified organic retailer.
As a leader in the Farm-to-Fork and Organic movements for over 40 years, we’ve raised the bar again! Our all-organic Produce Department has now received California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) Certified Organic Retailer status.
What hasn’t changed?
The produce we sell is 100% organically grown. That has been true since the year 2000, and that won’t change.
What has changed?
Now CCOF, our certifying agent inspects our records and facilities annually, interviews staff, and conducts an audit to certify that:
- We handle the organic produce in a way that maintains organic integrity.
- We maintain records of organic production, providing traceability, from the farm to your basket.
- We verify that the organic produce we purchase is certified organic.
- We prevent co-mingling between organic and wild-harvested products.
- We use appropriate cleaning, sanitizing and pesticide products and procedures in the produce department.