José Aguayo
1. Please introduce yourself.

José Aguayo, joined Hunger Mountain Co-op as a member-owner upon moving to Montpelier with his wife, Erin Caro and two children, in 2014. He was introduced to ranching and agriculture from an early age, riding alongside his father in their farmland in the Western State of Colima, Mexico. Locally, José has volunteered with Community Harvest of Central Vermont, a gleaning collective, as well as volunteered as a legal interpreter - assisting migrant farm workers in Washington County. He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, with extensive experience in journalism/publishing and public policy. His work experience includes the United Nations, the Texas Legislature, Forbes Magazine, Standard & Poor’s and is currently interning with the Lt. Governor in Montpelier. In the past, he has operated a gourmet food distribution company in Mexico City, as well as participated in other food ventures. 

2. Why are you interested in serving on the council?

If elected, I would like to continue in the footsteps of previous council members in furthering our mission.  Our Co-op should aspire to the highest standards when it comes to the work environment and treatment of our staff. Similarly, I will be a voice for a shared vision when it comes to the important task of integrating and introducing local products to our shelves.  I am particularly interested in the doubling our efforts to encourage recycling, reducing food waste, as well as our environmental footprint. To the outside world, Vermont is synonymous with natural, wholesome, non-GMO, organic and farm to table, if elected I’ll network with local farms and food providers to deepen our understanding of what best serves our mission and help fill our shelves with yummy local products. 
3. What strengths and skills would you bring to the council?

I am an approachable communicator with a passion for food and a great interest in resolving problems through teamwork. My background in food start-ups and my farming and food industry contacts will allow me to increase our participation in the local food scene.
4. What do you think are the most important opportunities and challenges that you see in our co-op’s future?

The acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon, as well as the partnership of Walmart and Google will be an ongoing challenge for food cooperatives such as ours. We will be challenged to increase our local sourcing of products while remaining competitive. This is a great opportunity to explore new technologies to communicate with our membership and staff on how to better serve our community.


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