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An archive of Cooperative Grocer magazine articles going back to 1985.

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The Editor Notes: Co-op Milestones
by Dave Gutknecht

The annual food co-op conference provides important opportunities for recognizing achievements and inspiring more. Milestones of service by co-ops to their communities are announced along with...

28 Mar 2006 #113 July - August - 2004
The Fair Trade Movement
by Carmen K. Iezzi

For more than 60 years, fair trade—a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency, and respect—has contributed to greater social and economic equity and to protection of the global...

15 Oct 2010 #150 September - October 2010
The Farmer and the Feds
by Cissy Bowman

Entering the second year of the fully implemented National Organic Program, we are beginning to see the NOP's impact on a grassroots movement gone "mainstream." Those of us whose business relies...

29 Dec 2003 #110 January - February - 2004
The Farmer in the Deli
by Mark Mulcahy

Janet Zeller of the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op and I recently led a workshop at the Ecological Farming Conference in California. During the session she described many of the wonderful consumer...

07 Jan 2004 #105 March - April - 2003
The Farmers Market: An Invitation to Play
by Julie Cross

With more than 90 vendors, $2 million in annual sales, and a customer count that hovers around 7,000 each week, the Davis Farmer’s Market has moved beyond “quaint local tradition” straight into an...

20 Jan 2009 #130 May - June - 2007
The Fresh Competitive Advantage
by Chris Ryding

download pdf of article

18 Jan 2009 #140 January - February - 2009
The Growth Roadway
by Art Sherwood

Expansion and growth are on the minds of many cooperative board and management leaders. And this makes sense, since growing our cooperatives’ abilities to deliver on their organizational...

04 Dec 2012 #163 November-December 2012
The Howard Bowers Fund and CCMA
by Ellen Quinn

The Howard Bowers Fund was established to honor Howard Bowers, who dedicated his life to the consumer co-op movement. In his five-decade career, he worked for food co-ops throughout the Midwest...

04 Jun 2012 #160 May - June - 2012
The legend of Toyohiko Kagawa lives on

The Co-op Food Store in Hanover, NH, held its third annual Co-op Expo on April 30, and was honored to present a lecture by author and cooperator David Thompson. Learn more and listen to the...

06 May 2011 • Endcap Articles
The Long Road Back
by Gail Graham

For background on the shaky start to Mississippi Market's second store, see "A Near Miss at Mississippi Market," in CG #92, Jan.-Feb. 2001.

07 Jan 2004 #098 January - February - 2002
The Merger of Two Co-ops
by Michelle Schry

On January 2, 2012, People’s Food Co-op in La Crosse, Wisconsin, merged with the Good Food Store Co-op in Rochester, Minnesota.  That connection created a single co-op, known as People...

12 Feb 2015 #176 January-February 2015
The New Co-op Kids on the Block
by Stuart Reid

When Food Co-op 500 was founded in late 2004, it took its name from Marilyn Scholl's challenge to the co-op community to build our sector to 500 storefronts within the next 10 years. The new wave...

25 Apr 2011 #154 May - June - 2011
The Past as Prelude
by Art Danforth

During the 1960s and the 1970s, when "new wave" co-ops were thriving, one other consumer goods co-op all by itself probably exceeded all of them put together in number of members, lives touched,...

09 Jan 2004 #010 April - May - 1987
The Perils of Co-Management
by Carolee Colter

Is it inevitable that all "new wave" co-ops founded in the 1970s will end up with general managers? While only a few have had a general manager from the beginning, many co-ops have...

09 Jan 2004 #051 March - April - 1994
The Politics of Cooperation: Exploring the Landscape
by Stuart Reid

Cultivating cooperation, by its nature, means working with many different groups. Here is a primer on the many organizations and resources you need to know about as you work to establish or...

28 Aug 2011 #155 July - August - 2011
The Potential of a Cooperative System:
by Karen Zimbelman

"You clearly have a lot of very dedicated people working in co-ops in the States -- because there's only a limited co-op system here to support them."


09 Jan 2004 #050 January - February - 1994
The Power of Collaboration
by Jean Rogers

Ten years ago, the Community Food Co-op (Bellingham, Wash.) initiated the Farm Fund, through which a portion of the co-op’s donation budget goes directly to specific farm projects. The Farm Fund...

22 Mar 2010 #147 March - April - 2010
The Real Business of the Co-op
by Peg Nolan

What is member linkage? How do we know if we’re doing enough? Shouldn’t members be more “involved” with our co-op? These are questions that often come from boards, general managers, and staff as...

27 Oct 2004 #114 September - October - 2004
The Right Fit
by Debbie Suassuna

There are a number of characteristics that can add to or detract from a natural food co-op store’s opportunity for success. We’ve covered location and site characteristics to be considered in...

10 Oct 2011 #156 September - October - 2011
The Spirit of Generosity
by Bill Gessner

The collective progress in collaboration that the food co-op sector has achieved over the past decade has been significant and inspiring. “Cooperation among cooperatives,” through the...

16 Mar 2004 #111 March - April - 2004
The view from the other side of the White River
by Kye Cochran


When the Hanover Co-op approached us with the idea of opening a branch store right across the river from us, we were in the final negotiation process to buy our own building. In fact...

17 Nov 2011 #157 November - December - 2011
The Write Stuff and More
by Pat Thompson

During four days in June, I met communication professionals from cooperatives around the country…not food co-ops, but just about every other kind of co-op: electric, agricultural,...

20 Jan 2009 #126 September - October - 2006
Think Virtual, Act Real
by Dave Gutknecht

Redwood forests and food cooperatives: Near the westernmost point of California, these two seemingly unrelated systems impressed me in parallel ways while attending the Consumer Cooperative...

07 Jan 2004 #101 July - August - 2002
Thinking Outside the Co-op
by Dave Gutknecht

Welcome to a new era, one of expanded possibilities for cooperatives as well as overall economic decline. Readers will be familiar with this message, even if resisting its conclusions.


20 Jul 2010 #136 may - june - 2008
Thinking Strategically
by Marshall Kovitz

When we look at the future for the co-op, what do we see and how do we express it?

These are vital questions for board members to ask because it’s the board’s job to articulate outcomes...

22 Sep 2009 #144 September - October - 2009