About the NFCA

The Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) is a co-operative federation bringing together more than 40 Food Co-ops and Startup initiatives that are working together toward a shared vision of a thriving co-operative economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable regional food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise.


Flatbush Food Co-op, Co-op Month Celebration, 2021

The NFCA includes more than 40 Food Co-ops and Startups across the Northeast (click here for a map of member locations).

Our co-ops are member-owned and democratically governed community grocery stores ranging in size from large, multiple storefront retailers with thousands of members to smaller markets with just a few hundred.  The average NFCA member co-op has been in operation for more than 30 years, with two founded more than 80 years ago. Many of our member co-ops have been expanding and new stores have opened their doors in just the past few years.

Food co-ops have been innovators in the development of more sustainable food systems, and continue to be leaders in emphasizing local products, organic agriculture, and Fair Trade.  Together, we are working to support shared success and increase our impact for communities across our region.

Shared Economic Impact

Every year, the NFCA surveys our Member Co-ops to better understand and communicate our shared impact.  Our 2023 Annual Food Co-op Impact survey revealed that our more than 40 Member Co-ops and Start-ups were stronger than ever.  

Our impact numbers for 2023!

For example, last year your Neighboring Food Co-ops:
  • Were locally owned by more than 185,000 people in communities across the Northeast;
  • Generated Annual Revenue of $442.5 million (up from $425 million in 2022);
  • Contributed over $1 million to community organizations;
  • Operated retail locations in 39 communities across the region;
  • Employed 2,545 people (60% of whom are also member-owners), and
  • Sold $121 million dollars in local products — or an average of 27% of total sales!

In a rapidly changing economy, we are seeing growing interest in community-owned enterprise and more just inclusive food systems, and more than 10,000 people joined our member food co-ops in 2023 alone.

Member Co-ops showing their Co-op Pride during Co-op Month in October of 2023

What We’re Doing

Neighboring Co-operators at the 2024 NFCA Annual Meeting raising their hands to say this was their first time at a NFCA Annual Meeting!

The members of the NFCA are working together to support the shared success of our Food Co-ops through peer collaboration and innovation, education and advocacy, food system development, and partnership with likeminded organizations. A focus of our work has been to increase our regional impact and use our shared purchasing power to build a more healthy, just and sustainable food system. For example, in 2022 the NFCA was the first retail organization to join the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership, working to sustain our region’s organic dairy farms.

Food Co-ops make a difference every day, empowering people from all walks of life to work together to improve access to healthy, affordable food, support local producers, and build stronger, more resilient and sustainable communities. We are telling our stories, increasing our impact, and communicating our difference.

Rooted in the Co-operative Values of mutual Self-Help and Self-Responsibility, Food Co-ops enable people to work together to access healthy, nutritious food, support local producers, and build stronger, more sustainable and inclusive communities.  Together, we are growing our co-ops and building shared success.

Education, Training & Information” is a basic Principle of the International Co-operative Movement, equipping people to transform their lives, communities, and the economy around us. We’re providing opportunities for learning and action to support successful Food Co-ops.

Our vision is of a Co-operative Economy, rooted in a more healthy, just and sustainable food system. We’re working together to leverage the shared purchasing power our Food Co-ops to create change.

National policy influences our regional farm and food system – and the wider economy. We’re working together with partners to strengthen our democracy and influence the policies that affect us all.

The Co-operative Economy is much bigger than you may think – and its potential is even greater. We know that the best way to increase our impact is by working together.

Running a small Food Co-op or getting a new one off the ground is both rewarding and challenging.  We’re working together to support the shared success of our co-operatives.

Partnerships & Networks

As a regional association of food co-ops, the NFCA is an example of the 6th Principle of “Co-operation among Co-ops,” which 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

We also work in collaboration with other organizations to increase our impact on the food system, economy, and policy.  For example, we partner with National Co+op Grocers, Food Co-op Initiative, and Dorsey LLP to support the start-up, growth, and success of food co-ops.  We work with other co-operative associations such as the International Cooperative Alliance, the National Cooperative National Business Association, and the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-ops to grow the wider co-operative movement.  Individual co-ops such as Cabot Creamery Co-opDeep Root Organic Co-op, Organic Valley, and Real Pickles have been partners in growing the Co-operative Economy in our region.  We are an affiliate member of the New England Farmers Union, reflecting our shared commitment to a healthy regional food system, family farming and co-operative enterprise as a tool for community ownership, sustainable agriculture and economic resilience.  And key partners such as CoBank, Cooperative Development Foundation, Cooperative Fund of the Northeast, and National Cooperative Bank have provided key support for our work over the years.

Together, we are working together toward a shared vision of a thriving co-operative economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable regional food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise.