Food Co-ops and farmers markets are key partners in building a more sustainable local and regional food system. They source from local producers and make it easier to keep money in the local economy while getting quality food at good prices.
Many retail food co-ops have found that Certified Naturally Grown farmers are exactly the type of producers they’re looking for to supply the store: local farms producing food without synthetic chemicals or GMOs. In fact, we know of at least four retail co-ops which require that their produce suppliers hold a certification, and Certified Naturally Grown is one of the options they list.
These co-ops, along with several farmer’s markets, have received the highest three-flower ranking in our Guide to Exceptional Markets.
A store can be listed in our directory if they source from at least one CNG producer, and display the CNG logo in their produce section and promotional materials, and explain what it means. If they give preference to CNG producers, they’ll get two flowers. And if they list CNG among the required certifications, they’ll get three.
Let us know if your market belongs in our directory, or if you have questions!
At Ozark Natural Foods Co-op in Fayetteville, Arkansas, all produce is sourced from farms that are either certified organic or Certified Naturally Grown. In fact, the number of CNG producers greatly outnumbers that of certified organic growers. On their produce page, they write, “The staff of the Ozark Natural Foods Produce Department is committed to providing our owners and customers with the best selection of Certified Organic and Certified Naturally Grown produce and to sourcing as much of that produce from our region’s local farmers as possible.”
Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market in Richmond, Virginia, gives preference to produce that comes from “family-owned farms located within 100 miles of our store that are USDA Certified Organic or Certified Naturally Grown" by placing an icon on the produce tag that says "Best." They even call out CNG produce in their store with our colorful logo! Because of these policies they've earned two flowers in our directory.