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Your Board

Hi, I'm Your Board

Outpost's Board of Directors will use this blog to discuss issues the board is exploring as it envisions Outpost's future. Can't make it to a meeting? Check here frequently to read what the Board is up to. Your current Outpost Board of Directors,...
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Your Board

Sounding Board

Sounding Board
By Your Board on November 20, 2014

I recently attended Growing Power’s annual conference where the theme was “Building a Fair Food Economy to Grow Healthy People”. At this conference, I had the opportunity to meet and hear from local and national food justice leaders who work  to create and sustain healthy communities from a variety of perspectives. I left the conference inspired by Outpost’s role in building a fair food economy.

At the conference, I learned from Lupe, an immigrant farm worker, about her and fellow farm workers’ struggle to receive a fair wage and work in an environment free of physical abuse and sexual harassment. Her story made visible what is often invisible when we purchase our food: the working conditions for the people who produce it. I also discovered the work of the Agricultural Justice Project’s’ “Food Justice Certified” label which allows retailers to label food that meets high social justice standards through every link in the food chain: from sustainable environmental practices and fair pricing for farmers, to fair business practices and the dignified treatment of workers.

Outpost’s product policy has long addressed making available products that are sustainably sourced and fairly traded, and our Sustainability Report demonstrates annual progress in the areas of product sourcing and fair labor. The decision to remove Palermo’s Pizza from store shelves in 2013 demonstrated Outpost’s commitment to requiring our vendors to have safe working conditions and good labor practices, by compliance with local or federal requirements. Outpost has recognized Owners of the Year in 2013 and 2014, Young Kim and Venice Williams, both who remind us to consider the people who produce the food we eat as integral to a healthy, sustainable food system. And when we shop at Outpost, we know that our employees have union representation, a living wage, health care, and are respected for the work they do to make our cooperative successful.

As an owner and board member, it has been powerful to see first hand how Outpost strengthens our commitment to provide local, healthy and organic food to the community. In my continuous journey to understand food systems, I have been confronted with the complexities of building healthy, diverse and sustainable community. Through the navigation of diverse perspectives and needs is where I find the heart of community and a deeper understanding and appreciation of the cooperative principles and values that guide our work at Outpost.

Ava Hernandez

Outpost board of directors

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