Nelson’s Kootenay Co-op seeking Creston Valley food producers

Web Lead

  • Oct. 26, 2015 10:00 a.m.

Nadine Harris BenRabha at the Kootenay Co-op.

Nadine Harris BenRabha flew the coop from Creston last year and has now found a home at a co-op, Nelson’s Kootenay Co-op.

BenRabha played a key role in the Harris family farm’s business ventures, which include Kootenay Meadows organic cheese and milk production. Her focus on marketing gives her firsthand experience in her new role as the co-op’s True Local co-ordinator.

“I am very excited to join the Kootenay Co-op,” said BenRabha. “Kootenay Meadows Farm has had a special relationship with the co-op from the beginning. The co-op gave us invaluable advice and support long before our processing facility had even broken ground, and played a huge role in giving us the confidence to take the leap. It will be immensely rewarding to help others leverage this special support that the co-op offers, and see how it can help their businesses succeed.”

The co-op created the position of True Local co-ordinator to help it triple its sales of local products in its new Nelson Commons location. Strengthening local food systems has long been part of the co-op’s mandate. The co-op’s guiding principles state that local growers or processors should receive preferential treatment as suppliers, and the co-op works hard to nurture new and existing local vendors.

In June 2013 the co-op took this commitment to the next level with the creation of its True Local program, launched in response to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s changes to its definition of “local” which allows retailers to market a product as local even if it is sourced from as far as 3,000 kilometres away. The Co-op preferred to create the True Local program, assuring its member-owners and other customers that their food was being sourced close to home and that their food dollars were being invested locally.

The boundaries for the program extend west to Grand Forks, east to the Creston Valley, northwest to Nakusp and the Arrow Lakes, northeast from Kaslo to Trout Lake and Johnsons Landing, and south to the U.S. border.

“Purchasing from True Local suppliers is an investment in the future of our food security and the economy of the surrounding area,” said co-op board president Jon Steinman. “Co-op members have shown enormous support for the program and over the last year the co-op made payments of more than $2.5 million to local suppliers, including $1.78 million to more than 100 local farmers and food producers.”

BenRabha is looking forward to meeting local suppliers and learning how the co-op can partner with them.

“This is a brand new position so we have the exciting opportunity to work together to define how the True Local program and the co-op as a whole can best work to support the local economy,” she said.

The Kootenay Co-op is hosting a supplier event for prospective and current suppliers on Nov. 18 in Nelson. All interested local producers and processors are invited to attend. Contact nadine@kootenay.coop for more information.

Just Posted

ASC approves their work plan and reviews spatial analysis

FireWise Consulting Ltd. provided an overview of two components for the ASC to consider.

Hospice continues to serve

For more than 30 years, volunteers with the Creston Valley Hospice Society… Continue reading

Local singers to perform in Carnegie Hall, NY

Boundless vocal ensemble which features 10 singers from Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint, and Creston, BC

VIDEO: Highway 3A reopened after mudslide cleared

A mudslide closed Highway 3A between Castlegar and Nelson just north of the Brilliant Dam on Wednesday.

Bad behaviour dominates police week

Bad behaviour, some fueled by alcohol, was the running theme as Creston RCMP responded to 57 calls for assistance from April 10-17, Staff Sergeant Ryan Currie said on Tuesday.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Renewed plea for answers in 40-year-old B.C. cold case

The family of Lawrence Wellington Allard is hoping a private reward will get them some closure

UPDATED: Arrest made after van hits pedestrians in Toronto

Police are not saying what is the extent of injuries yet

B.C. farmland values grew at slower rate in 2017: report

Vancouver Island saw the highest growth in the province

Lt. Governor back in the saddle, with a legacy of land stewardship

Judith Guichon ends term today, returns to Nicola Valley ranch

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Maple Leafs look to stay alive tonight as they face elimination against Boston on home ice

Electric vehicles more affordable than you think: BC Hydro

Myths blocking road to electric vehicle adoption

Kinder Morgan bungled pipeline public relations: poll

The survey suggests 58 per cent of Canadians believe the company is to blame for poor perceptions

Plane makes a surprise landing on the Coquihalla

Social media was alive Sunday night with pictures from Coquihalla commuters.

Most Read