Finding reliable markets for local, sustainably produced foods can be a challenge for farmers. So a group of about 30 of them in New Brunswick’s southeastern region have formed a cooperative, whose mission is to promote sustainable agriculture. I like the way they describe Really Local Harvest:
For sustainable production
The Really Local Harvest Co-op supports farms that adopt environmentally-friendly practices in order to provide healthy food to your family and contribute to the sustainable development of our rural communities.
Our values :
Agricultural practices that foster sustainable agriculture.
Quality agricultural products at a fair price.
Negotiations based on the mutual interests of all parties.
Decision-making by consensus.
Communicate with members in the official language of their choice.
Trust, cooperation, integrity, transparency and reliable information
I learned about them from a CBC article that explained the partnership Really Local Harvest has formed with the Francophone South school district. The nearly 8,000 students in the district will be eating a healthy dose of local food thanks to the initiative. Kent Coates, who farms in Point de Bute and is president of the cooperative told CBC:
- Eating fresh foods is going to have such a huge benefit on health. The U.S. and Canada are not the most renowned around the world for having healthy lifestyles, and this is one step in the right direction.
Children will benefit from eating pesticide-free, sustainably produced food. Farmers will benefit from having a reliable market for their products. The economy will benefit from the support of local operations. The environment will benefit from the earth-friendly agriculture.
That is a lot of benefit. Really Local Harvest gives me hope.