Everyone’s Favorite Ashland Destination:
The Co-op has been a sponsor of AIFF since our second year. As a cooperative, AFC supports democratic values, which includes democratic discourse. The film festival encourages this discourse through screenings (during the five-day festival and throughout the year), Q&As with filmmakers and special guests, discussions with our neighbors while waiting in line and sitting together in the theaters, through social media, and beyond. Simply put, the Co-op and AIFF encourage people to talk to each other!
Some festival-favorite films AFC has sponsored include: The Future of Food (AIFF05 Audience Award: Best Documentary Film), The Real Dirt on Farmer John (AIFF06), Our Daily Bread (AIFF07), Food, Inc. (AIFF09), Bag It (AIFF10 Audience Award: Best Documentary), Burt’s Buzz (AIFF14), and How to Smell a Rose: A Visit with Ricky Leacock in Normandy (AIFF15).
Ashland Food Co-op is a consumer-owned cooperative that operates for the benefit of its owners and the entire community. To become an owner one makes either a one-time, refundable equity investment of $100 or an initial $10 payment and then quarterly $10 payments until the equity purchase is paid. While anyone can shop at the Co-op, owners qualify for some unique benefits like Owner Appreciation Coupons, a yearly patronage dividend, and discounts on gift cards. Owner applications are available right in the store at the Information Desk.
The Co-op invests in the people it serves. For every $1000 spent, about $1500 is generated in the local economy. They actively build community through classes, special events, and service. They pay a living wage with liberal benefits to 170 employees. And the Community Grant Program donates yearly amounts of up to $1500 to local non-profit organizations.
Woof! Every summer for over 20 years, the Co-op co-sponsors the always popular Ashland Dog Wash with Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS). The event raises more than $1,000 for FOTAS each year. AFC also gives out many small donations of gift certificates or food for fund-raising events, class trips, and other community activities. Getting involved with the Co-op is a great way to meet people and strengthen our local economy.
Ashland Food Cooperative is Southern Oregon’s first and only Certified Organic Retailer. The Co-op has a long history of bringing healthy, organic food to the community. The Co-op started as a buying club in 1971, and has grown into a well-respected, deeply loved full-service cooperative grocery with over 10,000 owners.
Being a Certified Organic retailer means that the Co-op provides an extra level of assurance to consumers that the integrity of organic products is upheld from farm to shopping cart. USDA Organic Rules are followed in the way Certified Organic products are handled, stored and sold; they are verified by a third-party and there is an independent paper trail to prove it. Just like Certified Organic farms, the Co-op is inspected each year by Oregon Tilth, an independent certifier. Every local Certified Organic farm or local producer and all distributors must also be Certified Organic. Products where there is no organic counterpart or non-organic products that Co-op owners have requested conform to in-house Product Standards. You can read about them on the AFC website at www.ashlandfood.coop/product-standards.
Mutual Love and Admiration
We asked Annie Hoy, AFC Outreach/Communications Manager — and AIFF Advisory Council Member! — about her favorite part of the film festival and she said, “Filmmakers! Love the filmmakers. Love to hang out with them. The accessibility AIFF provides is exciting and energizing: they’re such smart, talented people and they tell great stories. Most of all, we love how much they love the Co-op. No matter where they’re from, they can’t believe we have such a vast array of local, sustainable and delicious food available in our small town.” And the love is mutual: AIFF filmmaker alum Jeff Malmberg (Marwencol AIFF10 and Best Documentary Editing Juror AIFF14) says, “Our favorite place to eat in Ashland when we come for the film festival is the Co-op. The goal by the time the festival is over is to create the perfect sandwich order. I get a little obsessive — I take notes on my order so I’ll remember for the next day. Should I be admitting these things out loud? Anyway the Co-op is the best.”