Member Gatherings

Providing a space for networking, collaboration, and mutual support is central to the work of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA).  Member co-ops are invited to send representatives from their staff and board of directors to our biannual gatherings, which include our Annual Meeting, held in the Spring, and our Fall Member Gathering.  These gatherings are typically attended by over 100 co-operators from our member co-ops and representatives from partner organizations, and they include workshops, guest presentations, strategic discussions, and opportunities for networking and information sharing. 

Our gatherings are made possible by the support of our members, other co-operatives, and co-op support organizations.

Below are presentations and photos from recent NFCA member gatherings:


 
The Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) held its Fifth Annual Meeting on March 5, 2016 at the Arts Block in downtown Greenfield, MA. The meeting brought together over 100 co-operators from 35 food co-ops, start-up initiatives and partner organizations from across our region for networking, strategic dialog and workshops.

Special thanks to Judy Ziewacz, President and CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) for joining us a keynote and setting the tone for the day as she reflected on NCBA CLUSA’s 100 year legacy and vision moving forward. NFCA Executive Director Erbin Crowell and Bonnie Hudspeth, Marketing and Outreach Manager, reported on the activities of the past year, and NFCA’s priorities moving forward, followed by small group dialog on our founding document, the Middlebury Manifesto.

Special thanks to our sponsors from our co-operative community for their support of our gathering: CoBank, Artisan Beverage Cooperative, Association of Vermont Credit Unions, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, CDS Consulting Co-op, Cooperative Credit Union Association, Cooperative Development Foundation, Cooperative Fund of New England, Cooperative Grocer Network, Deep Root Organic Coop, Equal Exchange, Food Co-op Initiative, Franklin Community Co-op, National Cooperative Bank, National Cooperative Business Association, National Co+op Grocers, New England Farmers Union, Organic Valley, Real Pickles, Sobey School of Business Co-operative Management Education Program, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, and Valley Co-operative Business Association.

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The Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) held its Fifth Annual Meeting on March 5 at the Arts Block in downtown Greenfield, MA. The meeting brought together over 100 co-operators from 35 food co-ops, start-up initiatives and partner organizations from across our region for networking, strategic dialog and workshops.

Afternoon sessions included peer to peer dialog on topics of importance identified by our members, followed by a panel on "Building Alignment for Success." This workshop focused on developing strategic alignment between the governance and operational aspects of co-ops, with examples of effective collaboration and alignment. Workshop presenters featured:

  • Kari Bradley, General Manager, Hunger Mountain Co-op & NFCA President, Moderator
  • Terry Bowling, NCG Eastern Corridor Development Director
  • Faye Conte, Board of Directors, Onion River Co-op/City Market & NFCA Board Member
  • Glenn Lower, General Manager, Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, & NFCA Board Member

Special thanks to CoBank and National Cooperative Bank, and these co-operative community sponsors for their support of our Annual Meeting: Artisan Beverage Cooperative, Association of Vermont Credit Unions, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, CDS Consulting Co-op, Cooperative Credit Union Association, Cooperative Development Foundation, Cooperative Fund of New England, Cooperative Grocer Network, Deep Root Organic Coop, Equal Exchange, Food Co-op Initiative, Franklin Community Co-opNational Cooperative Business Association, National Co+op Grocers, New England Farmers Union, Organic Valley, Real Pickles, Sobey School of Business Co-operative Management Education Program, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, and Valley Co-operative Business Association.

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On October 24, 2015, the Neighboring Food Co-op Association's 5th Fall Gathering at Greenfield Community College brought together over 100 reps from NFCA food co-ops, other co-ops, and partner organizations for networking, shared learning, mutual support, and collaboration. Keynote speaker David Thompson from Twin Pines Co-operative Foundation presented “Co-ops & the Civil Rights Movement," his research and perspective on the co-operative advantage in times of social change. Co-operators considered how our co-ops engage in the social issues of our time in a way that builds on our principles & reinforces our business success and ability to influence the world around us. A great way to wrap up ‪‎Coop Month‬ 2015!

Special thanks to CoBank and National Cooperative Bank, and these co-operative community sponsors for their support of our Annual Meeting: Artisan Beverage Cooperative, Association of Vermont Credit Unions, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, CDS Consulting Co-op, Cooperative Credit Union Association, Cooperative Development Foundation, Cooperative Fund of New England, Cooperative Grocer Network, Deep Root Organic Coop, Equal Exchange, Food Co-op Initiative, Franklin Community Co-opNational Cooperative Business Association, National Co+op Grocers, New England Farmers Union, Organic Valley, Real Pickles, Sobey School of Business Co-operative Management Education Program, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, and Valley Co-operative Business Association.

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On March 21, 2015, the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) held its Fourth Annual Meeting, hosted by the Putney Food Co-op in Putney, VT. The gathering was attended by nearly 100 co-operators from more than 35 food co-ops and start-up initiatives from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and over 10 regional and national partner organizations. Jerry McGeorge of Organic Valley and Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) was our featured keynote, sharing his thoughts on cross sector collaboration to grow the co-operative economy.
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Ten years after food co-op leaders in our region first gathered to discuss working more closely together, over 100 co-operators met in Hanover, NH, on September 27th for the Fourth Annual Fall Gathering of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA). The meeting brought together representatives from more than 40 food co-ops and start-ups and partner organizations. Keynote speaker J. Tom Webb addressed "The Co-operative Difference in Challenging Times," laying out the shortcomings of conventional business and the potential for co-ops to help build a better world.

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On March 29th, 2014, the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) held its Third Annual Meeting, hosted by the Putney Food Co-op in Putney, VT.  The gathering, facilitated by David Fowle, Eastern Corridor Advisor for the National Co-op Grocers Association, was attended by over 100 co-operators from more than 35 food co-ops and start-up initiatives from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and over 10 regional and national partner organizations.


NFCA Fall Gathering Presentation, 7th Sept 2013


NFCA Annual Meeting Photos, 2012