New Food Co-ops Keep Opening!

Continuing a wave of cooperation, 11 new food co-ops have opened since the previous mid-year summary listing.  Food Co-op Initiative (FCI) oversees and assists this nationwide movement, and in recent years a similar number of new co-op stores have been announced.  This year's crop ranges from all along the Eastern Seaboard to the Northwest U.S. Read more »

Co-op Excellence Awards

A few of the many excellent leaders among food co-ops are chosen for recognition by their peers at the annual Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) conference.  Held in a different city each June, CCMA 2015 was held in Boise, Idaho, on June 11-13.  Congratulations to the following hard-working cooperators! Read more »

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Getting Ready for General Manager Succession

Whether or not your cooperative expects to hire a general manager (GM) in the next year, your board should have an awareness of the skills and resources that would be needed to accomplish this essential task. Even if your GM is doing great and has no expressed plans for retirement or other career changes, your board needs to be aware of the process and steps. GM change comes to every co-op eventually. Don’t become complacent!

But we have an emergency succession plan... Read more »

Civil Power and the Partner State

A social solidarity economy response to austerity in Greece

Keynote address, Good Economy Conference, Zagreb 2015 Read more »

The Spirit of Generosity

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 Cooperative Grocers Associations and other vehicles, is building a strong, powerful momentum. An underlying core value that has supported this collaboration, but has rarely been articulated or recognized, is a strong spirit of generosity. ... Read more »

The Rewards and Challenges of a Startup General Manager

The current wave of co-op openings is likely to bring as many as 60 new co-ops in the next five years. That means many new positions for general manager (GM) will be available. As with our existing co-op storefronts, these startups will come in many shapes and sizes and be located in a variety of communities large and small, urban and rural. Given that diversity, the general managers also likely will come in a variety of shapes and sizes and from a wide range of backgrounds and experience. Read more »

Gastrodemocracy:

Ontario’s food and farm co-ops

Up north of the 49th parallel, a great wave of co-operative development is transforming the food system. Like the United States, Canada has a food system in grave need of healing. Communities across the country face challenges in accessing healthy, culturally appropriate, and affordable foods. Many urban communities experience the hollowing out of downtown cores, while rural communities witness grocery stores leaving for greener pastures. Read more »

Startups Continue to Get Up and Running

Six years ago, the Up and Coming, Up and Running (UCUR) conference debuted with the goal of providing training and networking opportunities for startups and new co-ops in the region. This year a record 114 cooperators representing 41 co-ops participated in the conference. Attendees came from 19 states across the country to network, share ideas, and learn from the experts and each other. Attendees liked what the conference delivers—they liked it a lot. UCUR has consistently gotten rave reviews, and this year rated a positive 3.97 out of a possible 4 points on overall evaluations. Read more »

NCG Focuses on WIC

National Co+op Grocers (NCG) has been focusing attention on the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program while the federal legislation that governs the program, the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, is debated in Congress as part of its five-year reauthorization schedule. We are looking into ways to move the dial towards healthier food access by removing WIC requirements that are barriers to organic, bulk, and natural foods, and in the process, open the program up to allow greater co-op participation. Read more »

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