I call on cooperatives as a sales representative for several fair trade companies. I came across P6 for the first time this February so I found this article in the La Cross Tribune intriguing.
The Principle Six (P6) Co-operative Trade Movement is an initiative created by cooperatives that promotes small farmers/producers, cooperative businesses and local farmers. P6 works by promoting products and producers that meet our highest values, engaging and empowering customers to make purchasing decisions that make our food system more just and sustainable. The Viroqua Food Co-op designates products as P6 when they meet at least two of the three criteria:
- Local: A product grown or produced within 100 miles of the VFC, or having value added within that radius.
- Cooperative/nonprofit: Cooperative ownership of the business, nonprofit status or the business sources the majority of their product’s ingredients from cooperatives or nonprofits. Some ESOP’s, Social Ventures, or alternative business models may qualify.
- Small farmer/producer: Small producer is defined using these guidelines:
P6 Farms/Producers in attendance include: Driftless Organics is a diverse, certified organic farm that specializes in producing high quality produce, sunflower oil and grass-fed beef that they sell through food co-ops, their CSA program and at the Dane County Farmers’ Market. The farm is owned and operated by Josh and Noah Engel and Mike Lind outside of Soldiers Grove. Harmony Valley Farm is owned and operated by Richard de Wilde and Andrea Yoder in Newton Valley, located 15 miles west of Viroqua. They produce certified organic berries, vegetables and Black Angus beef that they sell through food co-ops, their CSA program and the Dane County Farmers’ Market. Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, owned by T.J. and Denise Semanchin and Caleb Nichols, roasts a variety award-winning fair trade and organic coffees in Viroqua. Monique’s Pie Crust specializes in ready to use pie crust made with all organic ingredients. Monique’s Pie Crusts are handmade locally in the Driftless region of Wisconsin. Pearl Street Brewery is a locally owned and operated microbrewery in La Crosse that specializes in producing a variety of delicious beers. Pine Knob Farm is owned and operated by Bonnie Wideman and Craig Scott. They produce certified organic grass-fed beef and lamb on 160 acres of pasture in Crawford County. Potter’s Crackers produces a variety of certified organic artisan crackers using flour from Great River Milling and produce from a variety of local farms. The business is owned and operated by Mary Potter in Madison. Ridgeland Harvest Farm is a family farm owned and operated by Mat and Cate Eddy that specializes in producing a variety of certified organic vegetables for sale at local food cooperatives, through a CSA program and the Dane County Farmers’ Market. Sno Pac Foods is a family owned and operated organic farm and processing plant in Caledonia, Minn. They offer frozen fruits and vegetables and are certified by Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA). Sylvan Meadows Farm is owned and operated by Virginia Goeke. She makes soap by hand on her farm outside of Viroqua. Westby Co-op Creamery is a farmer-owned cooperative located in Westby. They specialize in making a variety of organic and rBST-free dairy products, including cheese curds, cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt and butter.
- Independently owned and operated, and
- Selling direct to store or through a regional distributor.