The CTFC is committed to selling healthy and delicious food that can be consumed safely. We believe that it is possible to sell safe food without compromising our ability to practice sustainable farming methods or to support ecological diversity. The CTFC farmers follow standards required of their particular operations by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which establishes science-based standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables. This commitment is based on the integrity of the farmer to both understand how FSMA standards apply to their operation and comply with any applicable standards by their respective deadlines established in the law.
In our farming and processing practices, we commit to:
• Build, maintain, and contribute to healthy soils through the use of crop rotation, cover crops and green manures, compost, and reducing tillage.
• Serve the health of soil, people, and nature by avoiding the use of synthetic insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers, with use of natural, biological, and botanical alternatives whenever possible.
• Conserve natural resources including the atmosphere and climate by reducing erosion and pollution of air, soil, and water through responsible farming practices
• Reject the use of GMOs, chemically treated seeds, synthetic toxic materials, irradiation, and sewage sludge in our farming
• Treat livestock humanely by providing pasture, access to outdoors and fresh air for all livestock, and using no hormones or antibiotics in feed
• Handle raw manure and soil amendments responsibly
• Create beneficial habitat for wildlife and encourage ecological biodiversity
• Treat natural resources with an approach towards conservation
In our farming, processing, and marketing, we commit to:
• Ensure food safety by using potable water for washing crops
• Take appropriate measures to minimize the risk of negative health consequences caused by consumption of our products
• Train staff in proper safety, health, and hygiene practices
• Educate our customers when necessary on proper food storage and preparation techniques
• Practice minimal processing for all food products to preserve the natural nutritional value of food: NO use of irradiation, ultra-pasteurization, excessive heat, synthetic preservatives, or GMO processing agents or additives
• Maximize the nutritional value of food and feed by practicing careful post-harvest handling
• Acknowledge farm workers right to freedom of association and to collective bargaining
• Treat family members and farm workers with respect, and ensure their safety on the farm
• Encourage the distribution of unsold but edible food to people who need it.
In our farming, processing, and marketing, we commit to:
• Support agricultural markets and infrastructure that enable small farms to thrive
• Reduce food miles by selling our farm products locally and regionally
• Use ethical business practices
• Help preserve farmland for future generations
• Share and develop farming skills and know-how
• Work in cooperation with other local farmers to promote a more healthy and just regional food system.
*Thanks to the Snoqualmie Valley Farmers Cooperative for helping with the creation of this document.
7 Cooperative Principles
CTFC's membership is comprised of small and beginning farmers in Hays, Caldwell, Blanco, and Travis County.
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Membership is open to all without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination. Member-owners may leave the co-op at anytime.
2. Democratic Member Control
CTFC is a democratic organizations controlled by its members, who actively participate in setting our policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. Members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote).
3. Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. The economic benefits the CTFC's operations are returned to the owners, reinvested in the co-op, or used to provide owner services.
4. Autonomy and Independence
CTFC is an autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If we enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, we do so on terms that ensure democratic control by our members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.
5. Education, Training and Information
CTFC provides education and training for its members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. We inform the general public - particularly young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation.
6. Co-operation among Co-operatives
We serve our members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7. Concern for Community
CTFC works for the sustainable development of our community through policies approved by their members.
Supporting the family farms of tomorrow.
We provide training, networking, and work opportunities for young and beginning farmers who would like to start new farming enterprises or expand their existing enterprises.
By establishing pre-season purchase contracts with our farmers we limit the amount of risk that farms have to take on by providing a guaranteed sales outlet.
We work exclusively with small farms. Membership to the co-op is limited to farms that gross less than $250,000 a year at the time they apply.