Produce

We are your year-round farmer's market!

That means each fruit or vegetable is either organically grown, wild harvested, or sustainably farmed. We are proud of our commitment to organic produce and to supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture. Our produce buyer and manager work closely with growers to supply our customers with the highest quality produce available. "From swiss chard to heirloom tomatoes, honey crisp apples to parsnips, oyster mushrooms to minneola tangelos, you'll find vibrant, delectable, chemical-free produce at your independent, community-owned co-op.

Produce Department Mission Statement

Chico Natural Foods Co-op follows the cooperative model in purchasing agricultural food commodities and contributes to the subsistence of small family farms to help them expand upon their local business. This is our unique buying model in order of priority:

  • Organically Grown Food Chico Natural Foods purchases certified organic produce primarily from California organic farms in order to decrease fuel costs and increase freshness while supporting organic agriculture.
  • Locally Grown/Seasonal We support local food growers that use sustainable and biodynamic farming practices, giving Co-op shoppers the opportunity to support local economy and contribute to their neighbors' subsistence. We strive to provide the greatest manageable percentage of locally grown food in our produce department and build working relationships with the people growing our food so that we can bring our shoppers the freshest and most flavorful produce available in the Chico area.
  • U.S. Grown Food In the rare case that California-grown food is not available, we will buy produce from other states in the country to provide high-demand items, but we will continually refrain as much as possible from buying produce grown in foreign countries. Some exceptions to this are tropical items such as bananas, mangos, coconut and pineapple.

We Support These Local Organizations:

  • Local organic or sustainable food growers. Locally grown food is our top priority, especially when our purchase of this food supports the survival and livelihood of smaller scale food growers.
  • College Organic Farming programs such as the Butte College Organic Farm and CSU, Chico College of Agriculture's Organic Vegetable Project, and the CSU, Chico C.D.A. (Compost Display Area).
  • Food Not Bombs, a non-profit and volunteer-run organization that provides food for local homeless.
  • C.S.A. (Community Supported Agriculture) Programs, such as G.R.U.B. (Growing Resourcefully, Uniting Bellies) and the Turkey Tail Farm C.S.A.
  • Heirloom Farmers-Local growers that plant non-hybrid varieties help to preserve the genetic diversity of our local and global food availability. Heirloom fruits and vegetables reproduce through open pollination which contributes to the growers' control of the seeds.