Culinary Collective’s responsible business principles and practices are embodied in a set of five very strict sourcing criteria, explained below. We strive to select products that meet all these criteria, but sometimes a product stands out even if one or two criteria have not been met. The products that meet all criteria wear the Rooted Foods Seal, as defined below.
- Local Ownership: the producing company is privately or worker-owned with a majority of the owners actively participating in the company.
- Authenticity: the product or recipe is native to the producer’s region and has historically been part of the regional food culture.
- Local Sourcing: a majority of all ingredients are (a) purchased within the region in which the company is located (region is defined as a bioregion or geographic area designated by the state), and are (b) either grown directly by the producing company or are purchased direct from the farmer or a farmer organization at fair prices.
- 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.
- 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.
Rooted Foods are authentic, native foods created by small, community-based producers. These foods represent a community, a region, and a way of life. The Rooted Foods seal assures that the producer is an independently owned company that supports its community through purchasing procedures, employment policies, and environmental standards. This information is made directly available to the consumer, enabling her to direct the financial benefits of her purchases towards small, community-based producers, thus encouraging healthier, more stable, self-sufficient local economies worldwide.
At present, this is an internal initiative of Culinary Collective. Ultimately our goal is to make this program a stand-alone, non-profit organization to support producers of Rooted Foods worldwide.