(DALTON, Mass.) – Berkshire Organics, the Dalton-based market and home-delivery service, has been named to a list of an elite one dozen top Right to Know Grocers in North America by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) for its commitment to policies and practices for educating customers about GMOs and providing non-GMO alternatives. Berkshire Organics is the only one in New England and the Northeast so named, and one of only three such honorees in the entire eastern U.S.
The winning food retailers were selected from more than 150 consumer nominations. The OCA named 12 overall winners – the “Diligent Dozen” – and 10 winners each in five regions: Northeast, Northwest, Central, Southeast and Southwest.
“As demand grows for organic, locally and sustainably grown, truthfully labeled non-GMO foods, hundreds of food retailers are rising to the occasion,” said Ronnie Cummins, national director of OCA. “The OCA wants to recognize the efforts these retailers are making, which include pressuring food manufacturers to transition from GMO to non-GMO ingredients, and providing consumers with clear labeling so they can make informed choices.”
The OCA launched its Top Right to Know Grocers contest, a project of its Organic Retail and Consumer Alliance (ORCA) Campaign in March. Consumers were asked to nominate health food and natural health stores, food co-ops and CSAs that are making an honest effort to inform consumers about products they carry that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and those stores that are actively working toward GMO-free product lines. More than 360 consumers nominated a total of 156 stores. The OCA interviewed store owners and managers to confirm strategies and policies.
The “Diligent Dozen” winners are: Berkshire Organics Market & Deli, Dalton, Mass.; Dad’s Organic Market, Saskatoon, Sask.; Good Earth Natural Foods, Fairfax, Calif.; Jimbo’s Naturally, San Diego, Calif.; MOM’s Organic Market, Baltimore, Md. & Washington, D.C.; Native Sun Natural Foods, Jacksonville, Fla.; Natural Grocery Company, El Cerrito & Berkeley, Calif.; Nature’s Food Patch Market & Cafe, Clearwater, Fla.; Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Co-Op, San Diego, Calif.; Sundance Natural Foods, Eugene, Ore.; Sunspot Natural Market, Kokomo and West Lafayette, Ind.; and Terra Organica, Bellingham, Wash.
Berkshire Organics is a local, family-owned business created to bring area residents and local farms together. Its market offers fresh, local and organic produce, local meat, farm fresh dairy, groceries, breads, baked goods, gluten-free foods, personal care, cleaning products and more. The business began as a home-delivery service connecting farms to individuals, and it continues to deliver fresh, local and organic produce and groceries to homes and businesses throughout the Berkshires.
The OCA is expanding the Top Right to Know Grocers project by providing an online hub where grocers can connect and share strategies for eliminating or labeling GMOs. The OCA is committed to growing the market for organics, and to advocating for truth and transparency in labeling.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action.