On Saturday night, I hosted the launch of Beehive Live, my new Blogtalk Radio Show on Parasol Communications. It all happened rather quickly and Jeff from Gourmet Delights was my Fabulous Foodie savior by stepping in as my very special guest and then was a total rock star with great info!
During the course of the show, Jeff mentioned Rooted Foods which was a new concept for me so I made note to circle back and check it out. And what a very cool discovery it turned out to be – leave it to Jeff to have the best Foodie 411!
Allow me to share what I discovered from the Rooted Foods Network:
Rooted Foods are authentic, native foods that are created by small, community-based producers. They represent a community, a region, and a way of life. In an emerging market of “locavores”, the Rooted Foods qualification aims to emphasize the importance of also applying strict criteria to non-local purchases. The Rooted Foods logo enables the customer to direct financial benefits of their purchases towards small community-based producers, thus encouraging healthier, more stable, self-sufficient local economies worldwide.
The main objective of Rooted Foods is to grant transparency to the production and creation of specific foods; foods which meet the Rooted Foods criteria. The organization provides the consumer the necessary information she needs to make informed purchasing decisions, and acts as a bridge, connecting the producer and the consumer. The purchase of Rooted Foods strengthens the social, environmental and economic situations from where the product came. It is the Rooted Foods goal to promote products that are healthy and unique, and that contribute to the self-reliance of local economies.
Seal of Transparency
The strategy behind RF relies on consumer education and supply chain transparency. The seal ensures that your food is produced by a privately held company that is rooted in its community and has a stake in protecting its environment – regardless of where in the world the producer is. It is a seal of transparency – it connects the consumer back to the folks producing their food regardless of location.
In traditional certifications, the certifying criteria, the producer responses, or both are hidden in a black box. This may be because the criteria are proprietary, too complex, or just too overwhelming to understand.
Rooted Foods simply asks the producer to make transparent its principles and procedures so that consumers can make educated purchasing decisions. And our goal is to encourage consumers to give feedback to the producers, to visit them, to help improve the way they do business.
Rooted Foods abide by the following principles:
- Local Sourcing – a majority of all ingredients (a) are purchased within the region in which the company is located (region is defined as bioregion or country depending on the size and geographic make up of the area), and (b) are either grown directly by the producing company or are purchased direct from the farmer or a farmer organization at fair prices.
- Authenticity – the product or recipe is native to the producer’s region and has historically been part of the regional food culture.
- Local Ownership – the producing company is privately or worker-owned with a majority of the owners actively participating in the company.
- Social Responsibility – the company’s social and financial practices and policies are designed to ensure maximum benefit to the company’s employees and to the local community and economy. (ie. living wage, profit-sharing, local purchasing and banking, local hiring, training programs, etc.)
- Environmental Stewardship – the company’s environmental practices and policies are designed to minimize environmental impact through the elimination of chemicals and waste, and the reduction of resource use. (i.e. organic farming, recycling, reducing packaging, etc.)
OK Locavores – what are your thoughts??