Open Harvest Mission Statement
"The goal of Open Harvest is to provide good health through good nutrition. Open Harvest provides high quality and natural foods with a high level of service and a reasonable price to the community of Lincoln. Open Harvest is a member-owned retail cooperative dedicated to equitable employment practices, support of local producers, consumer education, and sustainable agricultural practices."
Know Your Co-op: The Mission Statement
By Jackie Barnhardt, (Outreach and Membership Director 1999-2011)
You may be familiar with our mission statement, but are you aware of the specific ways in which Open Harvest strives to fulfill our mission? Here's a breakdown:
"The goal of Open Harvest is to provide good health through good nutrition." A good percentage of the foods we sell are organic. We provide whole foods to our community, foods which remain as close as possible to the way nature made them and the way our bodies were designed to use them. We also provide nutritional information, vitamins, and supplements to our customers.
"Open Harvest provides high quality and natural foods..." In many ways, the foods found at Open Harvest are of a higher quality than those found at most other grocery stores. For instance, we carry expeller-pressed cooking oils rather than oils extracted with the use of solvents. As a rule, we don't carry items that contain artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
"...with a high level of service..." In addition to customer service training, we provide natural foods training to all our staff so that every Open Harvest employee has a basic level of education about the products we carry. We also provide a grocery delivery service for seniors and shut-ins every Thursday.
"...and a reasonable price to the community of Lincoln." We stock several items in bulk, including many varieties of grains, nuts, snack foods, herbs, and spices. We offer a variety of discounts for member-owners of the co-op. We participate in the Co-op Advantage program in collaboration with other Co-ops throughout the nation. This allows us to buy larger quantities of certain items, making it possible for us to offer dozens of sale items to our customers each month.
"Open Harvest is a member-owned retail cooperative..." This store is truly a community owned business. There are over 3300 member-owners of Open Harvest.
"...dedicated to equitable employment practices..." Open Harvest is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, color, national origin, sexual preference, or age.
"...support of local producers..." We buy from local producers whenever possible. Some products we buy locally on a regular basis include honey, eggs, milk, cheese, grains, produce, meat, beef, bison, chicken, and pork.
"...consumer education..." In the store, our customers will find a variety of literature on health and whole foods issues. We provide store tours, teach cooking and wellness classes, speak at schools, and participate in local health fairs. We also write and publish our own newsletter and webpage.
"...sustainable agricultural practices." Open Harvest supports sustainable agriculture whenever possible. The co-op buys from Consumer Supported Agriculture ventures and organic farms and purchases products made from ingredients grown sustainably and organically. We are also supporting members of the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society.