5 Ways P6 Can Help YOU Change the Food System
submitted by Equal Exchange
Food Inc is a real favorite of mine, and it's done a great deal to open the discussion on what's wrong with how food is made and grown in the modern world.
Unfortunately, it ends where food movement activists need to begin our discussion. When the movie closes saying that you "vote with your fork three times daily," that should be the opening epigraph -- a given in our strategizing -- and then we go from here about how to bring about real change.
So where do we go from "voting three times daily"?
That's where P6: The Co-operative Trade Movement comes in. This program and website was created in order to give food activists a solid tool for helping bring real change to how food is made and grown.
P6 is by and for grocery co-ops because we feel that true democracy and ownership are key to making real change. The grocery co-ops in this country have been in the business of changing the food system for many decades.
And yet...how many times did you hear grocery co-ops mentioned in Food Inc? Easier and more confirming to just say "Buy local." (Which is good! You have to keep it simple and potent for general consumption.)
But food activists and co-op shoppers recognize that building a market in which small food producers can actually thrive is complex, heavy work. It doesn't just happen, it takes years, and the deck is stacked against them.
And part of creating a rich, truly sustainable food market is "market-ING," that is, spreading the word among consumers about good farms and great food companies. (Indeed, Food Inc did this very well, in many regards.)
So if you're down for helping small farmers and creating an alternative to a truly insane food system, here are five ways to use P6: The Co-op Trade Movement website.
1) Don't hesitate: Nominate!
Even if you aren't near a P6 store, you still have plenty of opportunities here to promote national brands that support P6 values. And what are P6 values? To "be P6," a farm or food company must meet two of three criteria:
* Small farm or business
* Local to a P6 grocery co-op
* Cooperatively owned or a non-profit
So, for example, Organic Valley would be a P6 brand (even if it's not local, it's a co-op of small farmers).
And if your nominated farm or food company is chosen for the Hall of Fame, we'll send them a letter of congratulations and mention you by name for recognizing their achievements.
2) Share the Farmer
Sure, you know your farmer. But have you "shared" your farmer?
On every P6 product page, in the upper right hand corner, is a SHARE button. Share the products that you feel most passionately about with family and friends, by linking them to your Facebook or Twitter pages (a variety of platforms are supported there). Include a note saying why you believe in this company.
3) Say What Your Know
You can hit "Comment" under any product and tell us what you know about it.
Did you talk to the farmer at the co-op this week? Know anything about his or her operation that customers should take into consideration? Have you visited the farm?
Certification is a VERY important process for consumer confidence building, but so is word of mouth. The more that shoppers share what they know, the more transparent a food system we'll create.
4) Thumbs Up
You can hit Thumbs Up (or THmubs Down) on any comment or post on the site. The more Thumbs up that a product receives, the more likely that farmer will make it inot the Hall of Fame.
5) Principle Six = Co-operation among Co-ops
If you're favorite local co-op is not yet on the P6 map, and you like what you see here, then drop your store an email and tell them about P6 (they may not know about us yet!).
The more co-ops who join the P6 movement, the more that small farmers and local food producers in yor area will benefit.