NFCA Sixth Annual Meeting, March 2017

"Building a Co-operative Future: Diverse, Inclusive & Resilient"

Over 150 co-operators gathered to celebrate Neighboring Food Co-op Association's Sixth Annual Meeting at Greenfield Community College around the theme “Building a Co-operative Future: Inclusive, Diverse & Resilient” for a day of networking, peer learning, and workshops. "What if the residents of communities truly owned the economic base and infrastructure of their communities? What if they owned the farms, the land, the processing facilities and the grocery stores?" Co-ops make the "what if" possible! said keynote Cornelius Blanding, Federation of Southern Co-operatives. Special thanks to our sponsors for supporting this event, including CoBank, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Associated Buyers, CUNA Mutual Group, National Co-operative Bank, New England Farmers Union, Cooperative Fund of New England, FEDCO Seeds, and Food Co-op Initiative.

Presentations:

Additional Resources


Morning Presentations: Board & Staff Reports

Morning sessions included reports by the NFCA Board of Directors and Staff on our activitites and progress in 2016, and prioirities for 2017. 

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Keynote Address: Cornelius Blanding, Federation of Southern Co-operatives / LAF

Our Annual Meeting keynote was Cornelius Blanding, Executive Director of the Federation of Southern Co-operatives / Land Assistance Fund. As the Federation celebrates its 50th Anniversary, Blanding reflected on the role of co-operation in movements for Civil Rights, Black land retention, and community empowerment, and opportunities for collaboration and solidarity in a new political environment. In his talk, he challenged food co-ops to consider the basic question, "What If...?"

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This presentation at NFCA's Sixth Annual meeting explores opportunities and strategies across the food co-op structure — from membership, to the Board, and to operations — for building more welcoming stores, expanding diversity, inclusion and overall access to membership and participation. This includes how we can learn from each other’s approaches to engage and empower more people in our communities, expand membership and participation, and increase our impact and success.

Additional Resources

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Expansions & Resets: Reaching More Customers (Afternoon Panel)

At NFCA'S Sixth Annual Meeting, NFCA Member Co-ops share key factors for successful expansions and resets, especially in terms of Board / Management alignment, planning, and execution. Whether your food co-op is considering a new location or store improvement, or is in the process, this presentation offers examples of how we can grow our food co-ops in a competitive environment.

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Financial Tools for Start-Ups (Afternoon Workshop)

Stuart Reid, Executive Director, Food Co-op Initiative (FCI), presented to start-up staff, steering committee, and Board members at NFCA's Sixth Annual Meeting. This presentation reviews some of the most important financial tools that every start-up food co-op needs. This includes Sources & Uses budget, financial pro formas, and market studies, and focus on how to understand these tools and use the information to strengthen your co-op's plans.

Additional resource: Sample Board Budgets for Start-ups

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Afternoon sessions included Peer Networking dialogs, workshops, Board elections and appreciation of outgoing Board Members as well the announcement of Kay Litten as recipient of the 2017 Neighboring Co-operator award. Organizations and individuals are invited to make a tax-deductible donation in Kay's honor to the Bowers Fund for Food Co-ops at www.cdf.coop/nfca.

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