|October is National Co-ops Month|
Did you know October is National Celebration of Co-ops Month?
This October, we at theBrattleboro Food Co-op arejoining over 30,000 co-ops andcredit unions across the United States in celebrating Co-opMonth, recognizing the manyways cooperatives help to build stronger communities and moreresilient local economies. For 2016, the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International has identified “Cooperatives Build” as the themefor the month, spotlighting theadvantages co-ops offer to theirmembers and the communities in which they live and work.
“Across New England, foodco-ops help people build community,”said Erbin Crowell, Executive Director of the Neighboring FoodCo-op Association (NFCA). “For example, the majority of our member co-ops have been in business for over 30 years, providinghealthy food, jobs and a market for local producers for decades.”
The NFCA includes more than35 food co-ops and start-up initiatives, locally owned by more than 107,000 people. Together, theseco-ops employ over 1,800 people, generate revenues of more than $250 million, and purchase more than $50 million from local producers each year.
Cooperatives are businesses that are owned and governed by their members, the people who use the products and services they provide. From food co-ops to farmer co-ops, worker co-ops to credit unions, and housing co-ops to energy co-ops, cooperatives make a difference in people’s lives every day. Co-ops are also more common than you might think: Here in the United States, 1 in 3 people are members of at least one co-op or credit union. Nationwide, cooperatives create 2.1 million jobs and generate more than $650 billion in sales and other revenue annually.
Learning more about some of the cooperatives in our food system is easy at your Neighboring Food Co-ops: Just look for the “Go Co-op” signs on our shelves. You may be surprised to find so many items made bycooperatives in New England,including dairy products fromCabot, McCadam and Organic Valley, fresh produce from Deep Root Organic Co-op, fairly traded coffee, tea and chocolate from Equal Exchange, beverages from Katalyst Kombucha and Green River Ambrosia, seeds and bulbs from FEDCO, naturally fermentedv egetables from Real Pickles, northeast grown frozen fruits and vegetables from the Neighboring Food Co-op Association — and many others.