The International Day of Co-operatives (#CoopsDay) is coming up on July 3 and the theme for 2021 is “Rebuild Better Together.”
On Saturday, July 3rd, your Neighboring Food Co-ops are joining co-operatives and credit unions around the world in celebrating International Co-ops Day. This year’s theme, #RebuildBetterTogether, highlights the resilience of co-ops during the pandemic and the role they are playing in helping our communities rebuild in a more inclusive and sustainable way.
“In the last year, we have witnessed how the co-operative model has been working towards the well-being of people and respect for the planet, underscoring what the co-operative movement stands for,” says Bruno Roelants, Director General of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA). “We will indeed rebuild better together, and I’m confident that we will see many stories of how the co-operative movement can help communities become stronger in the post-pandemic world.”
International Co-ops Day has been celebrated annually since 1923, and the theme this year was chosen by the ICA and the United Nations to raise awareness of how co-ops have helped their communities weather the pandemic and are contributing to efforts to rebuild the economy.
“Across our region, food co-ops have worked to keep their communities safe while ensuring access to healthy, local food,” said Erbin Crowell, Executive Director of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA). “And as we work to build back better, we know that our co-ops will be taking the lead in working together to ensure a more healthy, just, and sustainable future for everyone.”
The NFCA is a regional federation of more than 40 food co-ops and startups, locally owned by more than 163,000 members and employing over 2,340 people. During the pandemic, co-ops have been leaders in working to ensure that shoppers could access healthy food while remaining safe, including online ordering, curbside pick-up, and special shopping hours for at-risk consumers. At the same time, they remained committed to local producers, selling more than $100 million in local products annually – or over 25% of store sales, on average. Last year, more than 12,000 people joined their Neighboring Food Co-ops, reflecting growing interest in food security, community ownership, and economic inclusion.
As part of Co-ops Day celebrations, food co-ops across the Northeast are demonstrating their commitment to our communities and to building more inclusive economies as we work to rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Celebrated internationally on the first Saturday in July, Co-ops Day in the United States coincides with Independence Day, offering a unique opportunity to focus on the democratic values of the co-operative business model. Based on the principle of one member one vote, co-ops reflect American ideals of democracy, self-help, self-responsibility, and social responsibility. And because co-operatives are focused on meeting member needs rather than maximizing profit, they are focused on goals identified by their members, including social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
Learn more about how co-ops are helping our communities Rebuild Better Together by visiting your local food co-op. You can find a searchable map at this link.
Neighboring Food Co-ops: Download our sample press release, newsletter story, and images to help you celebrate #CoopsDay as we #RebuildBetterTogether!