About the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA)
The NFCA is a co-operative federation of more than 35 established and start-up food co-ops across New England and New York. Together, we are working to support the shared sucess of our Member Co-ops and advance our vision of a “thriving co-operative economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable regional food system.”
The NFCA is a co-operative incorporated in that Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our members are Food Co-ops in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York State, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Membership is open to Food Co-ops in our region that are committed to shared success and the advancement of our vision, complete a membership agreement, contribute annual dues and other support, and attend member gatherings.
- Full Voting Membership (Food Co-ops): One-time purchase of a member share of $100, plus annual dues based on revenue.
- Associate Membership (Start-Up Initiatives): Annual dues of $100.
Benefits of Membership
The NFCA recognizes that “co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures” (The 6th Principle of the Co-operative Identity). We support the success of our Member Food Co-ops through shared marketing and educational programs, sourcing initiatives, organizational partnerships, and peer networking, collaboration and mutual support. Benefits of Membership include:
- Democratic Governance of our association through election of and the opportunity to run for our Board of Directors.
- Promotion of Member Co-ops on the NFCA website (www.nfca.coop/members) and in regional advertising, press, printed materials, social media, and outreach at regional events.
- Free Gathering Registration for up to three representatives from your staff and board of directors at NFCA member gatherings (Annual Meeting & Fall Member Gathering: www.nfca.coop/membergatherings), which include speakers, presentations and peer networking opportunities to support your food co-op’s success. (Additional representatives can attend for a small registration fee.)
- Access to our Peer Collaboration Network and programs such as department trainings, Food Co-ops & Healthy Food Access (www.nfca.coop/healthyfoodaccess) and to workshops and events with partners and technical support organizations.
- Network & Peer Support from member co-ops and organizational partners on topics such as strategic planning, lessons learned, effective community outreach, job descriptions, fundraising and loan campaigns, member engagement, etc.
- Food Policy Education & Advocacy through NFCA’s affiliate membership in the New England Farmers Union (NEFU) and discounted membership in NEFU for your Foo Co-op ($100/year, reg $150) and your Co-op’s individual members ($25/year, reg $35).
- Access to Exclusive NFCA Sourcing Programs such as “Farm to Freezer,” our line of Northeast grown frozen fruits and vegetables, and “Cave to Co-op,” a monthly discount program for local artisan cheeses (where available) (www.nfca.coop/regionalsourcing).
- Linkage with our Community of Co-ops through our E-News, member updates and social media.
- Resources to Promote our Collective Impact on the food system and economy, the “Co-op Advantage,” and Co-op Month Resources include PowerPoint presentations, articles, and press release templates for use in your Co-op’s promotional materials. Presentations by NFCA staff at your co-op’s event or Annual Meeting promoting our activities, the co-op movement, and the role of co-operative enterprise in creating a stronger, more resilient regional food system and economy.
- Educational Initiatives such as the Certificate in Applied Research on Co-operative Enterprises, in collaboration with the Department of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-ops.
- Discounts on services such as online elections from Simply Voting.
Requirements of Membership
As a co-operative of food co-ops, the NFCA depends on the support and participation of its Member Co-ops to accomplish our work together, including:
- Appointment of Staff & Board Representatives to the NFCA in keeping with our bylaws and other rules.;
- Attendance at Member Gatherings, including the presence of staff and/or board of directors representatives at our Annual Meeting, Member Gatherings, and other activities;
- Promotion of the NFCA and our programs on your co-op’s website and in newsletters, e-news, and social media;
- Participation in NFCA activities such as sourcing (e.g. Farm to Freezer) and peer networking activities; and
- Timely Payment of Member Dues to support our programs, activities and progress toward our vision.
For more information, e-mail info at nfca dot coop.