Shopping "Local" at The Coop
Hunger Mountain Coop defines local as "anything grown or value-added in the state of Vermont or within 100 miles of The Coop." (Value-added refers to the enhancement of a product by a company before the product is offered to customers.)
Local products are not just something we carry on our shelves; they are part of our Mission. Purchasing and promoting local foods is an integral part of our Buying Policies and informs the projects and outreach we support as a community-based business.
Check out our featured local vendor
Learn how to become a local vendor
Why Buy Local?
Encourage Crop Diversity
Local food often tastes better than food shipped long distances. It allows local farmers to focus on growing a greater diversity of crops rather than focusing on growing for shipping and long shelf life.
Strengthen Your Local Economy
If Vermont substituted local products for only 10% of the food we import, it would result in $376 million in new economic output, including $69 million in personal earnings from 3,616 jobs. Buying local food keeps your dollars circulating within your community.
Support Endangered Family Farms
In 1949, Americans spent 22% of their income on food, whereas in 2009 they spent a mere 10%. There has never been a more critical time to support your farming neighbors. Each local food purchase strengthens our local food system.
Safeguard Your Family's Health
Knowing where your food comes from enables you to choose food from farmers and vendors whom you trust.
Consider the Environment
On average, food items travel 1,500 miles before arriving at your table. The food industry burns nearly one-fifth of all the petroleum consumed in the US – about as much as automobiles do. Local food doesn't have to as travel far.
Keep Farms in Vermont
Vermont lost nearly 90% of its remaining farmland between the 1950's and today. Buying local food helps to make farming more profitable, and selling farmland for development less attractive.
We Support Local!
- The Coop carries more than 1,700 local products from Vermont and our neighbors in New Hampshire, Maine, New York and Canada.
- In 2012, The Coop’s retail sale of local products totaled over $6,100,000 (31% of gross sales).
- The Coop is proud to support the Capitol City Farmers Market and donates regularly to local food initiatives in our community.
- The Coop is also a member of the Neighboring Food Co-operatives Association (NFCA), which works with regional food co-ops to create sustainable local food systems.
What Can You Do?
- Educate yourself about local foods and the impact of your purchases.
- Ask The Coop’s Buyers and Staff questions and reach out to local farmers.
- Shop at your local farmers markets (check out www.montpelierfarmersmarket.com)
- Join a “Community Supported Agriculture” program (CSA) and receive local, seasonal foods directly from a farmer on a weekly basis (go to www.nofavt.org for a list of Vermont CSAs).
- Visit your local farm stands. Connect and build relationships with the people who grow your food (go to www.nofavt.org for a listing of farm stands near you).
- Buy locally grown and locally made products at your local co-op.
- Support restaurants that source locally grown or made ingredients.
- Contact your local school to find out what they are doing to support local (visit www.vtfeed.org for tools and resources).
- Share your favorite local products and try new ones during Coop demos and at the Annual Hunger Mountain Coop Food and Wellness Expo.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, By Michael Pollan, Penguin Press, 2006.
Hoffer, Doug. The Vermont Job Gap Study. A Project of the Peace & Justice Center, 2000.