The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

Market Drive ECO-Nomics - They SELL what we BUY


Market Drive ECO-Nomics
They SELL what we BUY

By Vesta Copestakes

Sonoma County is proud of our agricultural heritage and has carefully preserved the reputation we value for clean air, a healthy environment, and food and wine of the highest quality. This reputation is part of why we are thriving. People who purchase what we sell do so because they know we value what they want to buy. We have developed a sense of TRUST that consumers feel they can rely upon.

Our county government has the responsibility to base its decisions - in part - on what allows our local economy to thrive. Preserving the trust we have won with consumers is part of their decision-making process. It is also how our local businesses, particularly in the agricultural realm, decide what they will and will not do when producing their products.

Clean water for beverages and crops, heritage genetics for vegetables, organic, pesticide-free produce for 

farm-to-table restaurants, chemical-free animal feed for milk and meat, clean air so tourists can SEE our lovely vistas they came to enjoy. People who come here, people who live here, and people who buy what we produce rely upon the integrity of all that we sell.

There are many examples of companies that strive to provide clean products their customers demand. Grab n Grow Soil Products worked hard to find herbicide-free manure from local dairies for their compost products. That forced dairies to source herbicide-free grain and hay they feed their cows in order to sell the manure to Soiland.  One hand feeds the other.

Clover-Stornetta learned a long time ago that people didn’t want to consume their milk products if cows were fed growth hormones. Furthermore, people wanted Clover to treat their cows with kindness. All of this led to a company philosophy that extends from cows to cartons of milk.

Looking at the economic analysis of a decision might seem impersonal, but if you examine what choices we make as consumers, and how that buying preference influences what producers sell, you can see immediately that preserving the environmental health of Sonoma County is a huge part of how we preserve our economic health.

As Sonoma County government makes decisions on adding chemicals to our water or allowing genetically engineered crops on our land, the influence we have as consumers, and the economic impacts of their decisions, will all play a part in the final vote on these issues.

Do you buy products based upon the ecological practices of the producer? Please send comments to