Feed Your Family, Restore the Planet

La Farge, WI
October 22, 2009
Contact P.R. Elizabeth Horton
work 207-838-0084 La Farge, WI

Organic Valley Partners with Ray’s Food Place Stores, Giving Shoppers Opportunities to Support Local Environmental Stewardship

Starting today, an Organic Valley purchase at Ray's Food Place presents an opportunity to play a role in the restoration of waterways and protection of the local environment. Organic Valley and Ray’s Food Place are proud to launch a program with EcoUnit, a new shopper rewards program that awards customers with EcoUnit credits that can be redeemed to support local stewardship projects like tree planting, river restoration, removal of invasive species and watershed clean-up.  

"We believe this partnership is a great fit for our company and our commitment to supporting the communities that we are a part of," remarked Greg Sandeno, vice president and COO of C&K Market, Inc., parent company of Ray’s Food Place. "Together with Organic Valley and EcoUnit, Ray’s is doing its part to work towards a sustainable future for our families."

Through the end of this year, a purchase of any Organic Valley product from Ray's Food Place stores will earn shoppers EcoUnit credits that they can redeem to support the projects of their choice. The process for receiving and redeeming EcoUnit credits is simple:

  1. Shop at Ray’s Food Place and purchase Organic Valley products.
  2. Receive 10 EcoUnit credits for a single Organic Valley purchase or 25 credits for purchase of two or more Organic Valley products.
  3. Collect vouchers at the checkout which contain EcoUnit credits.
  4. Visit http://ov.ecounit.com to sign-up and to register EcoUnit credits to support a variety of local environmental projects, including willow tree planting along Hay Creek, a lower tributary of Oregon's John Day River; restoring the Deschutes River basin habitat; reviving and protecting the salmon runs of California’s Blue Creek and Klamath River; or cedar-tree planting efforts along Oregon's Elk River.

In addition to supporting their favorite cause, Ray's Food Place shoppers who participate in the EcoUnit promotion will also be eligible to enter to win one of three prizes of a year's worth of free Organic Valley dairy products

"Consumers today are learning that their buying decisions impact the environment, especially when it comes to food purchases," said Tripp Hughes, Director of Category Management for Organic Valley.  "Now, shoppers in southern Oregon and northern California who make environmentally responsible choices, like using reusable bags and purchasing local and organic products, also have the chance to make a real difference in the region’s watershed."

San Francisco Bay area-based EcoUnit recognizes the advantages of eating organic: Over the past 20 years, shoppers who have selected Organic Valley products have collectively kept 89.5 million pounds of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer and 12.5 million pounds of synthetic pesticides and herbicides out of America’s soil and water. By partnering with Organic Valley and Ray's Food Place stores to launch this program, EcoUnit hopes to create awareness throughout the US and the rest of the world of the loss of forests and degredation of fresh water supplies.

Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned

Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,398 farmers in 32 states and one Canadian province, and achieved $527.8 million in 2008 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit www.organicvalley.coop, www.organicprairie.coop and the cooperative’s farmer website, www.farmers.coop. Organic Valley is also on Twitter @Organic_Valley, and Facebook www.facebook.com/OrganicValley

About Ray’s Food Place

C&K Market is a family owned company based in Brookings, Oregon. The company operates grocery stores, including Ray’s Food Place, Shop Smart and Price Less Foods. Through a wholly owned subsidiary, C&K Express, LLC, the C&K family also operates a chain of retail pharmacies under its Pharmacy Express brand. C&K takes its name from the original partnership of "Collins and Kimberly" formed in Brookings, Oregon. More information can be found at www.ckmarket.com or www.gorays.com.

About EcoUnit Rewards Program for the Environment

Founded in 2007, EcoUnit develops programs that motivate consumers to make eco-smart choices at the grocery store. Participating consumers earn EcoUnit credits which can be redeemed for support of local environmental projects. To be the first to hear about EcoUnit programs, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ecounittweets/ For more information visit www.ecounit.com.

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Elizabeth Horton
Phone: 207-838-0084
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