Environmental, Economic, and

Social Justice Pledge

 

The mission of Rolling Grocer 19 (RG19) is to make wholesome food available to everyone in Columbia County at a fair price. To fulfill this goal, an unwavering commitment to environmental, social, and economic justice is essential.

We pledge to be open and honest with our customers about the impacts of RG19’s practices, as well as our partners’ practices. We strive for transparency, and to uphold meaningful personal relationships with our neighbors and customers. We encourage ongoing dialogue with our community, and we look forward to asking, listening, and learning alongside you. It is our hope that you will hold us accountable for our actions and support RG19 in fulfilling our commitment to you.

We strongly believe that our environment, social relationships, and economy are deeply interconnected, and thrive when all three areas support one another equally. Rolling Grocer 19 mindfully builds partnerships with farmers, food distributors, and social empowerment organizations that share the following values:

Environment: This is the source of all life on our Earth, and the source of all of our food. RG19 prioritizes food that is grown using sustainable and organic practices -- practices that protect and regenerate soil, air and water. In addition, we prioritize food that is grown as close to RG19 as possible; local food has a smaller carbon footprint, which means that it uses less energy to travel from the farm to your plate. Local food is also fresher, which means that it has more nutritional value, tastes better and lasts longer in your refrigerator.

Social: We believe that everyone has a right to high-quality, affordable, culturally appropriate food, and to a safe and supportive work environment with fair compensation and basic labor rights. Rolling Grocer 19’s Fair Pricing System is designed to ensure that everyone in our community has access to wholesome food regardless of their income, and to prioritize low-income residents. Given the history of land dispossession from indigenous peoples, and the exploitation of the labor of black and brown people for agriculture in the U.S., RG19 prioritizes partners who are committed to the highest standards for fair and ethical labor practices, and that are actively working to dismantle racism and oppression in the food system.

Economics:

There is a paradox in our conventional food system: cheap food has many hidden costs: poor working conditions and low wages for the people who produce it, high pesticide and petroleum use, water and air pollution, increased healthcare costs for consumers, and government subsidies. This means that the highest-quality, most nutritious food produced with high environmental and ethical standards tends to be the most expensive.

RG19’s Fair Pricing System disrupts the forces behind this harmful paradox. Our pricing system and business model allow RG19 to provide affordable food for all members of our community, while supporting farmers and producers who embrace the highest environmental and ethical standards. RG19 is committed to accepting food program benefits, like EBT/SNAP and FMNP, to make it even more affordable for low-income customers to purchase healthy food options. RG19 also provides an additional outlet  for local farms and businesses, which promotes reinvestment of local spending back into our regional economy.

Here is how our pledge translates to our purchasing practices. We offer foods that are:

  • Culturally-specific. We celebrate diverse food traditions, and aim to provide foods that fit the tastes and eating patterns of everyone in our community.

  • Produced with organic practices. We prioritize food that is grown using environmentally-conscious practices that protect and regenerate soil, air, and water. We commit to stocking a minimum of 80% organic products.

  • Locally grown. We prioritize food that is produced by local farmers to minimize the amount of energy it takes to get food from the farm to your plate. Local food is also fresher, which means that it has more nutritional value, and tastes better. For RG19, local means purchasing from Columbia County farmers first, and then we source from other regional farmers based on availability.

  • Free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Because there are no credible long-term studies on the safety of their consumption, and because many of our customers prefer not to eat them, RG19 avoids knowingly purchasing foods produced with GMOs. In addition, because most foods that include GMOs were bred to withstand the application of, and often contain, pesticides and herbicides, we believe that supporting the use of this technology is actively destructive to our environment.

  • Free of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS contains a type of sugar that our bodies are not designed to process. Numerous studies have linked its consumption to increased obesity, type-2 diabetes, and other serious diet-related diseases.

  • Sold in bulk with a streamlined selection. Buying in bulk and purchasing a smaller selection of items allows RG19 to offer better rates so that we can pass these savings on to you!

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