Published on June 27th, 2018 | by Joseph Phy


Spotlight on La Montañita Co-op Food

By Joseph Phy

La Montañita Co-op Food Market is New Mexico’s largest community owned natural foods market—a one-stop shop for all things fresh, fair, local and organic. The Co-op is a friendly neighborhood store where the community can stop by for fresh produce from farmers down the road, delicious lunches prepared by expert deli chefs, unique gifts handmade by local artisans, and a wide selection of local and organic groceries including bulk foods, meats and cheeses, and natural body care. La Montañita’s mission as a Cooperative, which they refer to as their Ends, includes:

  • Increased access to, and purchase of, healthy foods.
  • A growing regenerative agriculture sector that uses sound environmental practices.
  • • A thriving and sustainable local economy.
  • A strengthened cooperative community.

“In what ways do we support local farmers? Well, it not only starts with purchasing their food. We engage in many endeavors that support farmers on a level that is not monetary,” shares Joseph Phy, Cooperative Operations and Support Officer. “La Montañita’s desire for a regenerative agriculture sector that uses sound environmental practices may not be realized overnight, but if we support local farmers we can steadily move closer to this end. The Co-op offers assessments of local farms and help growers with planning continuous improvement strategies to help realize this end and our partner farmer’s goals.”

The result of the Co-op’s involvement is this: They can act as a conduit to manifest a thriving and sustainable local economy. Continuous improvement coupled with distribution and access to markets, facilitated through their distribution center ensures that farmers can grow to practically whatever size they wish, and continue to thrive.

“Thriving farmers means more fresh produce, having a positive impact on the health and well beings of the people in the communities we serve,” affirms Phy. “With a healthy local agricultural sector, support of agricultural coops, and our model as an example to other businesses, we hope to continue to stimulate growth in the cooperative economy, as it is a superior model for an alternative, more equitable economy.”


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