Lisa Spicka, Associate Director of SFTA, and I just got back from a fabulous week in Minneapolis-St. Paul talking with retailers at the 2018 INFRA Conference and the National Co+op Grocers (NCG) Co+nvergence Conference.
We were blown away by the energy we saw throughout the week from retailers around climate change and the actions they can take to mitigate it: reducing food waste, packaging, working with local farmers, and more.
The retailers we spoke with are already proving that they move quickly when it comes to putting words into action! Five new retailers have made climate action commitments through the Climate Collaborative in the last week, alone, including two made right on the NCG Co+nvergence show floor!
We’re so thrilled to welcome Ashland Food Co-op, Common Ground Food Co-op, Maple City Market, Blossom Grocery, Cornucopia Natural Foods, Grain Train Natural Foods Market, and Roots Natural Foods to the movement we’re building.
Good Earth Natural Foods, New Morning Market, and Sunflower Natural Foods Market joined us in a panel to share inspiring stories of their climate action initiatives. Audience members soaked up information about Good Earth Natural Food’s composting program with the Marin Carbon Project to Sunflower Natural Foods’ renewables outreach and incentives program with customers, and New Morning Market’s refrigerant emissions reductions work, which is saving them money and helping them reach their climate goals.
I also had the privilege to share space with Dani Dhanoa from REBBL and Melissa Elkins from Community Food Co-op to talk with NCG members about how retailers can work together on climate on issues like consumer messaging and supplier engagement. We’re continuously impressed by Community Food Co-op’s Farm Fund and excited to follow REBBL’s implementation of their “supplier ethos” program.
For retailers looking to go deeper, we’ve got a lot of great resources coming up in the next few months:
- Our August ReCAP session will tackle food waste, the top climate action commitment area for our many retailers. We'll be joined by food waste expert Dana Gunders and Bi-Rite Market to share expertise and stories on concrete steps retailers can take to save money, reduce emissions and minimize food waste. Register now >>
- We already have one excellent retailer case study Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative’s efforts to boost access to and use of renewable power and we’ll have more retailer-specific case studies coming out in the coming months.
- Leading up to Expo East in September, we’ll provide briefings designed to help retailers engage brands on climate action!
More than anything, it’s hopeful and inspiring to see these conversations taking place and sparking meaningful action and deeper collaborations than ever before. We’re so very grateful to both NCG and INFRA for supporting our work and featuring climate action in their conference agendas.
We hope you'll join us by getting involved, whether it’s by making a climate action commitment, introducing us to a new retailer you think might be interested in taking a stand on climate, or joining us at our Climate Action Summit at Expo East in September. The Climate Action Summit is free with your Expo East exhibit hall badge but space is limited so please RSVP here to reserve your spot.
We are truly excited by the possibilities of what we can accomplish together!