<h2>The Rising Cost of Food</h2> <p>As the owner of The Organic Box, I spend a good deal of my week in conversation with our members about what is working and what is not. It is an excellent way for me to stay in touch as we continue to expand our operations and add new team members and services. </p> <p>Since the beginning of the year I have heard loud and clear that people are concerned about the rising price of food and are starting to find fresh fruits and vegetables unaffordable for their families. There are two major trends impacting the price of food and I am keenly aware of them and wanted to share some thoughts on why food prices are on the rise.</p> <p class=&quot;titleText&quot;><span class=&quot;titleText&quot;>The Canadian Dollar has lost 10% of its value over the past year.</span></p> <p>In April 2013 the Canadian Dollar was trading nearly at par with the American Dollar (0.9926). Even as recently as December 2013 the Dollar was still reasonably strong at 0.9402 USD. It has tumbled in the past three months and now regularly trades at around 90 cents USD. Whether we like it or not, our food economy is tied very strongly to the value of the US dollar and in the wintertime, when we are importing the majority of our fresh food from outside Canada, the purchasing is done in US Dollars. In itself, this means that a cucumber you bought last May is now 10% more expensive this year.</p> <p>You can read the Bank of Canada rate index history on their website: <a title=&quot;http://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/exchange/usd-can-summary/&quot; href=&quot;http://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/exchange/usd-can-summary/&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>http://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/exchange/usd-can-summary/</a></p> <p class=&quot;titleText&quot;><span class=&quot;titleText&quot;>The Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico is gripped by a crippling drought.</span></p> <p>Western Canada relies on California, Arizona, Texas and Mexico to feed us during the winter. There are fleets of refrigerated trucks coming up the I-5 Interstate every day carrying this product to our market. The Organic Box sources the majority of our fresh winter product from small organic growers in these regions.</p> <p>For the past year, these regions have seen water levels drop to unprecedented levels not seen for generations. This means there is little water available for crop irrigation and this is devastating small regional growers who cannot afford to buy water to sustain their crops. On a recent trip to Arizona I witnessed citrus growers ripping out entire blocks of trees simply because they could not get the water to irrigate them and don&apos;t believe the situation is likely to change in coming years. </p> <p>This drought is wreaking havoc on our food supply. Quantities and quality of the food produced has decreased, prices have risen and availability has tightened significantly. I am hopeful that the drought will end and the food supply will stabilize, but in the meantime it means higher prices are a reality. </p> <p>Read about the drought on the Government of California&apos;s website: <a title=&quot;http://www.ca.gov/drought/&quot; href=&quot;http://www.ca.gov/drought/&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>http://www.ca.gov/drought/</a></p> <p class=&quot;titleText&quot;><span class=&quot;titleText&quot;>Even Stats Canada agrees with us.</span></p> <p>Statistics Canada publishes the ongoing Consumer Price Index, which breaks down the price trends for many consumer prices over the course of the year. They report that over the past 12 months the price of fresh fruit has increased by 12.3% and the price of fresh vegetables has increased by 8.7%.</p> <p>You can see the entire breakdown on their website: <a title=&quot;http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/cpis08j-eng.htm&quot; href=&quot;http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/cpis08j-eng.htm&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/cpis08j-eng.htm</a></p> <p class=&quot;titleText&quot;><span class=&quot;titleText&quot;>What we are doing about it.</span></p> <p>Fundamentally this is a food security issue. Without a secure, local food supply we are subject to these global fluctuations in currency markets and climate change that impact us in a very meaningful way. We have several projects on the go designed to extend our local season and grow more food locally. I love feedback and ideas and if you see anything that you believe we could be doing please let me know.</p> <p class=&quot;titleText&quot;><span class=&quot;titleText&quot;>A price break for you.</span></p> <p>I have dug deep into our numbers and consulted with our producers. One of our fundamental values is to ensure that producers get paid a fair price for their products while still giving value to our members, so we have decided to implement a pricing structure that will allow our members to buy more of their groceries from us while seeing some price relief.</p> <p>Effective April 27, we will be introducing the following structure: </p> <ul> <li>Spend $50 or more on any single order: Free Delivery</li> <li>Spend $100 or more on any single order: Save $10</li> <li>Spend $200 or more on any single order: Save $25 </li> </ul> <p></p> <p>Please take advantage of this promotion - it is a permanent change and we will run it through the summer and fall in an effort to give everyone a chance to try more local products while still saving some money. I welcome your feedback so please feel free to write to me about any comments you have and I will give you my thoughts: danny.feedback@theorganicbox.ca.</p> <p>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!</p> <p>Havea Great Week!</p> <p>Danny.<br />Founder, The Organic Box.</p> <a name=&quot;featured&quot;><h2>FeaturedProducts and Producers:</h2> </a><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;SpiceSanctuarySpices&quot; alt=&quot;SpiceSanctuarySpices&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/580157_549032125139341_934762022_n.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>SSS-Spicy ...</h2> <p>You can no longer say The Organic Box is lacking spice. We have all the spices you need to make your favorite dishes. Just in, Calgary&apos;s infamous <a title=&quot;Spice Sancturay &quot; href=&quot;http://www.spicesanctuary.com/index.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;><strong>Spice Sanctuary </strong></a>spices in <strong>ten</strong> amazing <strong>Certified Organic </strong>varieties: <strong>Cinnamon Powder</strong>, <strong>Coriander Powder</strong>, <strong>Fennel Seeds</strong>, <strong>Garlic Powder</strong>, <strong>Ginger Powder</strong>, <strong>Ground Cinnamon</strong>, <strong>Indian Super Spice</strong>, <strong>Moroccan Harmony</strong>, <strong>Turmeric</strong>, and <strong>Whole Cloves</strong>. Spice Sanctuary&apos;s herbs and spices are sourced from all over the world and brought home to <strong>Calgary</strong> for processing and packaging.To learn more about this amazing company and their products, visit <a title=&quot;Our Producers &quot; href=&quot;http://theorganicbox.ca/featured-producer-profile.aspx?id=1700&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;><strong>Our Producers </strong></a>page. </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;OrganicFairSpices&quot; alt=&quot;OrganicFairSpices&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/il_340x270.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>A Bit More &apos;Fair&apos;!</h2> <p>We can never seem to get enough of <strong>Organic Fair&apos;s </strong>spices; they are just too good! We brought in a few more that are sure to make your tongues twist. Try some <strong>Whole Chili Peppers </strong>in your favorite chili, some <strong>Bay Leaf </strong>in your lentil soup, or mix a dash of <strong>Allspice</strong> in your BBQ sauce; it&apos;ll be irresistible! Don&apos;t forget that we have a whole slew of other amazing Organic Fair spices in our <strong>Sauces and Spices </strong>pantry!</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;SaladDressings&quot; alt=&quot;SaladDressings&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/8840138_orig.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>The Okanagan in a Bottle</h2> <p>From the heart of the Okanagan, Donna and her team at <a title=&quot;Little Creek Dressing &quot; href=&quot;http://www.littlecreekdressing.com/&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;><strong>Little Creek Dressing </strong></a>hand make all oftheir delicious salad dressings with a lot of love and care. We brought you<strong>four</strong> of Donna&apos;s best salad dressings for you to enjoy: <strong>Cherry Balsamic</strong>, <strong>Okanagan Caesar</strong>, <strong>Original</strong>, and <strong>Spicy Strawberry</strong>. From the first bite of your salad, these dressings will transport you to aland ofsunshine and bliss;a true taste of the Okanagan!</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>