<h2>Say Hello to 2014, and our 5th year!</h2> <p>This week is the first week of 2014, and also the start of our fifth year at The Organic Box. Its hard to believe how far we&apos;ve come in such a short period of time since we opened, and how we&apos;ve managed to stay true to our principles of locally owned, locally produced and certified organic choices for Edmonton families. We are so grateful everyday for all the support everyone has shown our extended food family and the opportunities it has given us in the Edmonton community to grow our industry and bring many new families into our service.</p> <p>We absolutely love what we do, and we continue in our dedication to finding the best quality, independently produced, certified organic foods for your family. We have great plans for 2014 and are excited to spend our winter getting ready for a fantastic season.</p> <p><strong>Fulfil your New Year&apos;s Resolutions</strong></p> <p>All of us make two lists every year - our gift list for Christmas and our resolution list for the New Year. We are experts at helping you to make your resolution to eat better happen. Reducing the amount and concentration of toxins in your food is a great way to improve the overall health of you and your family. Choosing to spend more time in the kitchen during the coldest months of the year can be an excellent way to reconnect with your loved ones and explore some foods you haven&apos;t tried before. We love the winter months because it gives us a chance to spread our word and to support some growers in the developing world who really need our help. </p> <p><strong>Winter is here, and so is our continuing commitment to ethical foods.</strong></p> <p>The arrival of winter means we start to make ourannualtransition from local organic food to non-local organic. At The Organic Box, we work very hard with our producers and partners to extend the season in Edmonton as much as possible. We have three 53&apos; refeer trailers out at Peas on Earth farm in St Albert filled with potatoes, beets, carrots and kale to take us through the winter. We also have several tons of potatoes stored in Edmonton ready to ship this winter. There are lots of BC Apples and Pears packed into controlled atmosphere warehouses in Cawston ready to crack open in February and March to give us good BC Apples so we don&apos;t need to look to New Zealand.</p> <p>All this said, there is also the reality that in Northern Alberta, in winter, we still want to eat salad and fresh fruits and vegetables. The Organic Box has built a very efficient and excellent supply chain that allows us to get your winter produce here quickly and efficiently from the same types of producers that we support in BC and Alberta. For us, local means more than the 100-mile diet. It means that the producers own their own land, keep the proceeds from the sale of their crop in their community, and don&apos;t let agribusiness or shareholders in New York or Toronto profit from their hard work. We carefully vet our producers in the winter to ensure they meet the following standards:</p> <p><strong>United States:</strong> Family owned and operated. Minimal use of migrant labour. Adhere to the COR (Canadian Organic Regime) organic standard. CFIA inspected or approved upon arrival in Canada. Reputationfor quality product and good relationship with our importer in Vancouver.</p> <p><strong>Mexico:</strong>Fair Trade Certified (if registered). Otherwise, same as United States, except we only work with co-operatives that grow collectively and keep the proceeds in the community. Last year we supported the launch of a new growing collective called Baja Organics. Look for lots of great greens from this tiny impoverished community coming to you this winter. We make a real difference to these communities through our support.</p> <p><img style=&quot;BORDER-BOTTOM: white 15px solid; BORDER-LEFT: white 15px solid; BORDER-TOP: white 15px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: white 15px solid&quot; title=&quot;2012_Abbie_Peru&quot; alt=&quot;2012_Abbie_Peru&quot; align=&quot;right&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Abbie_Peru.jpg&quot; /><strong>South America:</strong> Fair Trade Certified (this is mandatory). We believe very strongly that organic food grown in countries like Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, and Peru be third-party verified for Organic Production Compliance and Community Supportand we find that Fair Trade International (FLO) is the best method for us to get this verification. Plus, we also visit these producers ourselves. Last year, our General Manager, Abbie, spent a week in Peru touring and meeting the grower&apos;s collectives for bananas, avocados and mangos that we support each year. We&apos;re doing the work so you can buy with confidence and feel good about the food you eat. Read below for some great info from our buying team on the Interrupcion fair trade farm in Argentina.</p> <p><strong>Local Means More Than 100-mile Diet</strong></p> <p>Local can mean many things. Miranda and I are absolutely dedicated to building and supporting our growers in Alberta and we demonstrate that every year through our investment and purchasing in our province. In 2013 we will buy nearly two million dollars worth of local organic food from right here in Western Canada and we have you to thank for that. And when we can&apos;t find it here, we find it from somewhere else and make sure that those growers are living the values we hold ourselves, and that the environmental impact of the transport involved is accounted for and included in our annual carbon measurement and offset program.</p> <div><img style=&quot;BORDER-BOTTOM: white 15px solid; BORDER-LEFT: white 15px solid; BORDER-TOP: white 15px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: white 15px solid&quot; title=&quot;Winter Vans&quot; alt=&quot;Winter Vans&quot; align=&quot;left&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/thevans.png&quot; /></div><p><strong>We&apos;re Ready for 2014</strong></p> <p>Our team, our vans and our warehouse is ready for 2014. We&apos;re so excited about the coming year and everything it offers. It will be our fifth year since opening and looking back on the growth we&apos;ve experienced and the way our growing community has worked with the Edmonton community to bring a new way of getting food in your fridge is so gratifying for Miranda and I. We are grateful for everyone&apos;s support and have made a significant impact on the organic food industry in our province. Thank you for your support. It is truly appreciated.</p> <h2>Holiday Delivery Adjustments</h2> <p>This year Christmas Day and New Years&apos; Day are both on Wednesday. Wednesday is one of our biggest delivery days of the week so we are reorganizing our schedule so our team doesn&apos;t need to work these days and you don&apos;t have to worry about getting a delivery on these two special days. </p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;><strong>Office Boxes and Commercial Deliveries:</strong> All Office Boxes and Commercial Deliveries are being cancelled for the weeks of December 23 and December 30. This will be done automatically and you will receive and email from us. If you are an office box member and would like to still receive an order over the holiday period please contact our office to make arrangements.</p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;><strong>Regular Wednesday Orders:</strong> Our regular delivery schedule for Wednesday January 1 are being moved forward to December 31. <strong>PLEASE NOTE OUR ONLINE SYSTEM WILL NOT REFLECT THIS DATE CHANGE.</strong> We anticipate having a quick and speedy day and will finish everything by 6pm on New Years&apos; Eve. If you are looking forward to having our goodness at your holiday table then take advantage of this opportunity to get your box a day early. <strong>ALL OTHER THURSDAY, FRIDAY and SATURDAY ORDERS WILL RUN PER OUR NORMAL SCHEDULE.</strong></p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;><strong>Pick Up Your Box!</strong> If you are normally a Thursday to Saturday member and want your food on New Years&apos; Eve, let us know and we will pack it early for you to pickup. <strong>Please make sure we know at least a week in advance</strong> so we can make sure we have enough to go around. Commercial shipping, trucking and farm delivery schedules are being heavily modified to accommodate the holidays and if we don&apos;t have enough notice we may not be able to make it happen for you.</p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;><strong>Holiday Stops:</strong> If you are planning time away or want to stop your orders over the holidays no problem! Please make sure you use our &quot;Holiday Stops&quot; function on the Choose Your Box page to mark your holidays off. Last year we had too many last minute cancellations and ended up losing a significant amount of food over the holiday weeks. This year we must be strict about our cancellation policy - boxes must be cancelled prior to the order cutoff or they will be donated to a local charity and you will be charged. </p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;>Our program is premised on your support and advanced planning, and by working together we can make this holiday season smooth and rewarding for everyone in our food family.</p> <h2><span style=&quot;LINE-HEIGHT: 18px; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-WEIGHT: normal&quot;>At The Organic Box we are always growing, always looking for ways to get better, and always trying to find ways to fill more of your shopping basket with Alberta and BC food producers. We can do it! You are helping!</span></h2> <p>Havea Great Week!</p> <p>Danny.<br />Founder, The Organic Box.</p> <h2>FeaturedProducts and Producers:</h2> <table cellspacing=&quot;15&quot; cellpadding=&quot;0&quot; bgcolor=&quot;#edf0e9&quot;> <tbody> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;Waffles&quot; alt=&quot;Waffles&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/waffles.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>Waffles Galore! </h2> <p>Well this is a time of year where cozy morning breakfasts are the way to go. There is nothing like some hearty organic waffles, topped with your favourite syrup and loads of fresh fruit and whipped cream. When it gets cold outside, it&apos;s time to warm up your insides... for the next week or two we will be featuring all of the ingredients to make delicious, ooey-gooey waffles:</p> <p>Frozen waffles from Nature&apos;s Path<br />Organic maple syrup from Uncle Luke&apos;s<br />Organic Coconut Nectar from Sweet Tree<br />Avalon salted butter<br />Fair Trade blueberries<br />Frozen raspberries from Roy&apos;s Raspberries<br />Kiwi<br />Mango<br />Bananas! <br />What else?</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;Blueberries&quot; alt=&quot;Blueberries&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/blueberries.jpeg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>Interrupcion - Fair Trade Farming</h2> <p>Right now we are sourcing our blueberries from the Interrupcion Fair Trade farm in Argentina (<a title=&quot;www.interrupcion.org&quot; href=&quot;http://www.interrupcion.org&quot;>www.interrupcion.org</a>). Interrupcion is a community that is working to build a better farming and nutrition system centered on the human being, through consious consumption, sustainable development,<strong> fair trade</strong>, <strong>organic</strong> farming, and <strong>biodynamic nutrition</strong>. They have established a growing network of farmers in Argentina that are working together to produce some of the tastiest fruits, while guaranteeing their workers fair pay and safe work. When we can&apos;t get BC Blueberries, we get them from Interrupcion. They are amazing bursts of juice and flavour, and knowing that our purchasing power is helping to ensure that harvesters are treated fairly and compensated appropriately for their hard work... that is what it&apos;s all about. </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;FoodBank&quot; alt=&quot;FoodBank&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/2013 Food Bank Drop.JPG&quot; /></td> <td><h2>Merry Christmas and Happy New Year</h2> <p>Well 2013 is almost over! What an amazing year it has been. Together we have solidified and expanded the local, organic food movement in Northern Alberta... and the conversation is just getting started. While the year has definitely had its challenges, it also has had amazing stories of success. Such as that of Cherylynn and Patrick Bos from <strong>Rock Ridge Dairy </strong>in Ponoka, AB. For 2 weeks in early December they teamed up with the Edmonton Food Bank, and dedicated adonation of at least 1L of milk for every 2L of milk they sold for that time period. Yesterday they were able to drop off <strong>1368L of organic milk to the Food Bank</strong>, which is such an amazing display of generosity and community that is largely <strong>due to you</strong>! </p> <p>When you decide to buy local, buy organic, and support this wonderful community, you are making significant changes that are creating real, positive impact. Thank you so very much. </p> <p>Have a wonderful Holiday season, and enjoy a beautiful and prosperous New Year! </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>