By Jennifer Ferring
“Bonjour Mademoiselle Jennifer!”
This was the enthusiastic greeting I received from fifty children in unison when I arrived at their new school in the northern Madagascar town of Ambohimena last fall. I was visiting to attend the dedication ceremony for the school, which was built through funding from Aura Cacia’s 1% Fund.
Jennifer Ferring poses with students at the Ambohimena school, built for the children of ylang ylang harvesters in Madagascar through the Aura Cacia Organic 1% Fund. The fund gives back 1% of sales on Aura Cacia’s organic products to support organic farmers and their communities.
By Tom Havran
The first real car I bought was a well-used, forest green 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle with a cracked windshield, a heating system that “warmed” the interior with choking exhaust fumes and a carburetor with its own bipolar-disordered mind. At some point in its history, the car had acquired a “Think Globally, Act Locally” bumper sticker, the feature that ultimately charmed me into shelling out my entire savings of $1,300 to bring the wreck home.
My bug was born in a time when local community co-ops and natural foods buying clubs were well-established alternatives to mainstream supermarkets and the canned, plastic-wrapped and flash-frozen foods they offered. My car proudly sported its bumper sticker on trips to my quirky and fabulous local natural food co-op.
Act globally, act locally: A woman processes organic vanilla beans at our Well Earth supplier in Madagascar.
But the resonance of the phrase “Think Globally, Act Locally” was diminished somewhat during the late 1980s through the early 2000s, when small community natural foods outlets began to disappear. I came to Frontier in 1993 and the process was in full swing. Each month brought more store closings, buy-outs and conversions into the big chain natural markets that are everywhere in urban and suburban areas today, with their shelves and coolers filled to bursting with exotic, gourmet-specialty and imported foods as well as natural and organic offerings. Back in the 90s, my ’74 beetle seemed to be as obsolete as those co-ops with their bulk bins, small bakeries, juice bars, crates of local produce and often volunteer staff. The situation troubled me. If acting locally wasn’t saving the co-ops how could merely thinking globally protect anything on a planetary scale? Continue reading