Co-op E-News & Updates // Co-ops: The Power to Act // 2017 Neighboring Food Co-ops:


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Co-operatives: The Power to Act for a Better World

As we enter the New Year, it may be easy to feel disheartened. But there is work to do, and co-ops can help.

UN.SDGs.Vertical.png2016 saw global temperatures that were the hottest on record, a steadily widening gap in wealth and opportunity, and electoral processes that have drifted far from our ideals of democracy, diversity, and dialog.

In this context, the continuing engagement of the co-operative movement in building a better world has been inspiring. At the International Summit of Co-operatives in Quebec last Fall, for example, delegates approved a declaration, “Co-operatives: The Power to Act,” calling on co-ops around the world to commit to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Approved in 2015, the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes seventeen goals that recognize that sustainability is not simply a matter of conserving resources, but includes other priorities including the elimination of poverty, gender equality, and reducing wealth disparities (see graphic).

“The co-operative model is now, more than ever, the answer the world needs to address the challenges it faces and to take advantage of the opportunities that arise,” states the Summit Declaration. “By committing to the Sustainable Development Goals in a measurable way and adopting growth objectives for 2030, the global co-operative movement is putting forward its collective expertise and its power to act.”

As member-owned enterprises driven by a distinct set of values and principles, co-ops combine both social and economic purposes. Our engagement in the Sustainable Development Goals is an opportunity to engage members in a positive vision for the future, and support shared business success by communicating our difference to consumers, activists and policymakers.  From energy conservation to clean power, good jobs to sustainable business, local economics to co-op to co-op trade, honoring diversity to Healthy Food Access and community empowerment, our Neighboring Food Co-ops have much to offer and much to gain from engagement in this effort to build a better world.

In support of this effort, the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) has launched the  “Co-ops for 2030” campaign, which includes a website where co-ops can learn more about the SDGs, pledge their commitment to specific sustainability goals, and see what other co-ops are doing.

For more information, visit

Erbin Crowell, Executive Director

Neighboring Food Co-op Association


Join us at the NOFA-VT Winter Conference

Your Neighboring Food Co-ops are committed to collaboration for a more healthy, just and sustainable food system for everyone, locally and around the world.

NOFAVT.wc17coverart.jpgWe are proud to sponsor the NOFA-VT Winter Conference, coming up February 18-20 in Burlington, VT.  This year’s theme is Beyond Borders: Our Role in the Global Food Movement, acknowledging that while we often focus on the local food movement, the issues we all face – health, environment, justice and community – are global and cross all borders.

Indeed, food co-ops have been pioneers, innovators and partners in healthy food and organic agriculture, growing the local economy and building international Fair Trade.

Please join us – and 1,200 of your fellow organic food enthusiasts – for three days of learning, inspiration, good food, and great conversation. And be sure to look for our exhibit table where you can find information on your Neighboring Food Co-ops and how co-operatives empower people and their communities to build a better world.

For more information on the conference, please visit


New Member Co-op: Welcome, GreenStar Co-op!

The Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) is pleased to welcome it’s first member co-op from upstate New York: GreenStart Co-op Market.

GreenStar.Parade.jpg“GreenStar Co-op Board Members and Staff have already been enthusiastic participants in the NFCA, attending our gatherings and contributing their skills and experience to the shared success,” said Erbin Crowell, NFCA Executive Director. “We are so excited to have them as members as we continue to grow our co-operative of food co-ops.”

GreenStar Cooperative Market was incorporated in 1982 to serve the citizens of the beautiful and remote town of Ithaca, New York. Over the past ten years, the co-op has grown to include three store fronts and a catering and events space generating over $21 million in revenue, 25% of which is sourced from farms and vendors within 100 miles of Ithaca. The co-op is locally owned by over 12,000 members, and has been an innovator in food security and Healthy Food Access, working to make healthy, eco-friendly products and co-operative ownership more accessible to all community members.

“GreenStar is delighted and honored that NFCA has reached out to central New York to invite us to join your co-operative organization,” said Brandon Kane, General Manager. “It is supportive groups like the NFCA which truly exemplify the concept of co-operation among co-operatives. We look forward to working with fellow NFCA members, learning with and from each other to help reach our full collective potential.”

To learn more about the member co-ops of the NFCA, visit:


What’s So Cool About This Broccoli?

We all know we should eat our Broccoli. But what makes this Broccoli so cool? (Beside the fact that it’s frozen.)

frozen.broccoli.label.jpgBroccoli is good for you. It’s full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Research also shows that Broccoli can contribute to bone health and inhibits certain cancers. And when you choose organic, you are keeping chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms our of our food system and environment.

When you purchase the NFCA’s Northeast Grown Frozen Fruits & Vegetables, you are not only making a good decision for yourself and your family, you are helping to grow the local economy. Our frozen Blueberries, Organic Broccoli, Organic Edamame, Organic Green Beans, and non-GMO Sweet Corn are all produced, picked, processed and packed (say that five times fast) right here in the Northeast. And they are available only at your local Neighboring Food Co-op.

This recipe is designed to be quick and easy, designed around one 10 oz package of frozen Broccoli and ready to eat in 30 minutes.


  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cooking Time: 25 mins
  • Total time    30 mins
  • Makes 2 Servings


  • 1 / 10 oz package of NFCA’s Frozen Organic Broccoli
  • Olive Oil (about a Tablespoon)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • You could also try Hot Pepper Flakes (if you like a little heat), or Parmesan Cheese.


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees;
  • Once heated, pour olive oil in a large bowl;
  • Break up frozen broccoli into the bowl and stir until covered with oil;
  • Spread florets on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.;
  • Place in oven and roast for 25-30 minutes; and
  • Remove, place on a small platter and serve as a side or snack!

To learn more about the NFCA’s Frozen Products, visit


Cave to Co-op: “Experience” from Consider Bardwell Farm

Look for the “Cave to Co-op” signs in the cheese section of your participating Neighboring Food Co-op.

CaveToCo-op.2017.01.Experience.jpg“Cave to Co-op” is a partnership between Provisions International and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) to support artisanal cheese producers in our region and make their products more easily available to co-op shoppers. Each month, a delicious local cheese is featured at a great price.

January’s “Cave to Co-op” special artisan cheese is “Experience” from Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet, VT.  It is made from pasteurized Jersey cow milk and is hand-cut and hand-stirred and washed with local Stout.

Excellent on a cheese plate, or try one of these seasonal recipes:

The “Cave to Co-op” program is available at participating member co-ops in the Connecticut River Valley. For more information, visit:


For Our Food System, Congress Must Act on Climate Change

Rising temperatures. Extreme precipitation. Drought. Flooding. Pathogens, parasites, and weeds.

Logo.NEFU.jpgOur food system is incredibly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. From the farmers that produce the food we eat, to the retailers that aggregate and distribute the food, to the consumers that rely on healthy, safe and affordable food, all of us stand to be affected by the enormous challenges posed to food security by climate change.

We can, however, engage all stakeholders in the food system in the battle to adapt to and help mitigate the effects of climate change, and that is through the upcoming Farm Bill – our nation’s largest farm and food policy package.

National Farmers Union is taking a lead on this because our family farmer and rancher members are on the front lines of climate change, and they are already experiencing the incredible volatility of the changing climate.

Please join us as we call on Congress to enhance our climate resiliency and mitigate climate change through the Farm Bill. Take action today and tell Congress to act on climate for the sake of domestic and global food security. Farmers and consumers alike rely on it.

Sign the petition at

You can also strengthen the voice of New England farmers and consumers by joining the New England Farmers Union at

The Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) is an affiliate member of the New England Farmers Union (NEFU), representing our commitment to collaboration among consumers and our region’s family farmers and fishermen to influence food system policy and build a more vibrant, resilient and co-operative food system in New England. NFCA Executive Director Erbin Crowell serves as Vice President of NEFU, and many of our Neighboring Food Co-ops are organizational members.  For more info on our partnership & how you can become a member:



For More Co-op & Food System Related Events, Visit:

Co-op Calendar

January 28, 2017
Northeast Organic Food Association NH Winter Conference

February 18-20, 2017
35th Northeast Organic Food Association VT Winter Conference

February 28, 2017 (8 week online course)
Food Co-op Development Certificate, University of Vermont

Launching Your New Food Co-op

March 1-3, 2017
Saint Mary’s University Co-operative Education Program
Intensive Executive Education Program, Guelph, ON

Click Here For More Information and to Register

March 18, 2017
Neighboring Food Co-op Association 6th Annual Meeting
For Member Food Co-ops & Start-Ups

May 11-13, 2017
2nd International Symposium on Accounting and Reporting
Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


The Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) is a co-operative federation of 35 food co-ops and start-up initiatives across New England, working together toward a shared vision of a thriving co-operative economy, rooted in a healthy, just, and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of  co-operative enterprise.