Co-op E-News & Updates: Give Co-op This Holiday / December, 2017 Neighboring Food Co-ops:

Locally Owned by More Than

100,000 People Like You!

In this Month’s E-News, Celebrate the Holidays with Gifts of:

Gifts that Grow the Local Economy

In December of 1844, a group of community activists established the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, opening a humble, community-owned grocery store in the North of England. While this food co-op seemed a modest effort on the surface, its success eventually changed the world, launching a global movement for economic democracy that today includes more than a billion members worldwide. Rooted in values such as democracy, equality and solidarity, co-ops empower people to meet the needs of their communities through democratically governed, community-owned enterprise.

As we gather to celebrate the holidays together, consider giving gifts also help build a more healthy, just and sustainable food system and a stronger local economy ! Your local food co-ops offer many options, including:

  • Brattleboro Food Co-op in VT has a range of local gifts, Cozy Jars, Holiday Wine specials & a Holiday Gift Guide to help you choose some prezzies for your favorite people
  • Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene, NH, has 6 local gift ideas highlighting local products for your holiday celebrations.
  • River Valley Co-op in Northampton, MA has a Holiday Gift Guide featuring Fair Trade gift ideas
  • Can’t decide what to get your loved ones? Many co-ops in our region, such as the Willimantic Food Co-op in CT offer gift cards or certificates for the special people on your list.

To find a food co-op near you, visit:

Thanks to CoBank for their support of our Neighboring Food Co-ops

Give the Gift of Co-op Education

As you consider your year-end giving, consider one of the many opportunities that our co-operative community has created that help leaders of all ages to access the training and information they need to be effective co-op members, board members and staff, including:

  • The J. Kevin Crocker Scholarship Find for Education in Co-operative Enterprise honors UMASS Amherst Professor’s service, dedication and contribution to co-op education, and To make a charitable contribution to the Crocker Fund please visit, click on the “Donate” button, and indicate that your donation to the NEFU Education Foundation is in honor of “J. Kevin Crocker.”
  • The Howard Bowers Fund offers grants for the training and education of food co-op staff, managers, and board members. You can make a special charitable donation in honor of recipients of the NFCA’s “Neighboring Co-operator” Award, including Alex Gyori, former General anager at Brattleboro Food Co-op, and Terry Appleby, retiring General Manager at Co-op Food Stores / Hanover Consumer Co-operative Society.
  • The Ralph K. Morris Foundation provides resources to help emerging leaders expressing interest in applying and advancing the principles of co-operation, and in promoting farmland preservation, land stewardship and sustainability. Their support has enabled people to access educational opportunities and networking such as conferences.
  • The Co-operative Management Education program at Saint Mary’s University offers and online Master of Management program and in-person opportunities for co-operative professionals. You can support scholarship resources by giving online at Be sure to specify that your gift is for the “Leadership in Co-operative Management Education Bursary (Sobey School of Business)”.

Education and training is a basic Principle of the Co-operative Identity, recognizing that the ability of the co-ops to empower people more in their economic lives depends on engaging “the general public — particularly young people and opinion leaders — about the nature and benefits of co-operation.”

Your support will help ensure that the next generation of leaders has the tools they need to grow the Co-operative Movement for the future.

Give the Gift of New Food Co-ops

Our food co-ops build an economy that is owned by and accountable to the people who use it and is rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable regional food system. Last year, the 35 food co-ops and start-ups of Neighboring Food Co-op Association were owned by more than 130,000 people like you, generated annual revenue of $315 million, purchased more than $60 million from local businesses, and provided good jobs to over 2,000 people in our region, paying annual wages of over $49 million (2016).

Imagine the impact in our region if 10 more food co-ops opened their doors!

We love working with Food Co-op Initiative to help start-up food co-ops organize and open. In their first 10 years, Food Co-op Initiative (FCI) helped over 141 startup food co-ops to open their doors. With direct support, online training, educational tools, and our FCI Seed Grant programs, we’ve effectively helped startup food co-ops learn, communicate, connect, and get their stores open.

10 years = 130 NEW food co-ops = 1,020 jobs = 130 newly resilient communities!

This holiday season, help build the next 138 food co-ops! Give to Food Co-op Initiative here:

We also partner with Cooperative Fund of New England to support new co-op start-ups. Making a tax-deductible contribution to CFNE helps get field staff out to meet, coach and help groups organizing new co-ops to obtain the financing and technical savvy they need to succeed.

Donate to CFNE now

Give the Gift of Local Artisan Cheese

December’s Local Artisan Cheese is “St. Albans”

Looking for a great, local cheese for your holiday celebrations? Try St. Albans, from Vermont Creamery.

Made from milk sourced from St. Albans Co-operative Creamery in Vermont, hand-shaped and aged for eleven days, these delicate cheese disks are packaged in sturdy ceramic crocks which serves as an ideal vessel for baking; warm St. Albans in the oven for a decadent, silky fondue and serve with sliced baguette or roasted fingerling potatoes. A delicious cheese to share this holiday season, and a great way to support our region’s artisan cheese makers and co-operative farmers!

The project 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.

Try out these recipes over the holidays:

For more information on the program, visit:

Thanks to Dorsey & Whitney LLP for their support of our Neighboring Food Co-ops.

 Give the Gift of Thriving Family Farms

During the holiday season, we follow traditions that keep important celebrations alive. As we prepare meals and break bread with family and friends, we can also remember to thank the people who grow the abundant food for our tables, and support policies and programs that will help them to continue to increase their productivity.

During the holiday season, we follow traditions that keep important celebrations alive. As we prepare meals and break bread with family and friends, we can also remember to thank the people who grow the abundant food for our tables, and support policies and programs that will help them to continue to increase their productivity.

In this country and around the world, the foundation of our food system is the family farm, a proven model for stability, sustainability and productivity. Because the family farm model represents 98% of all farming households worldwide, the key to feeding the global population is to provide a fair playing field for family farmers and ranchers. We can also advocate for policies that promote co-operative development, enabling producers to achieve the scale needed to meet growing global demand while supporting local ownership and control.

As you consider your year-end giving, we hope you will consider becoming a friend of our region’s farmers and fishermen by joining the New England Farmers Union, giving a gift membership, or making a special year-end charitable contribution to the NEFU Education Foundation.

A thriving regional food system needs the voice of our region’s family farmers and fishermen. For more information, please visit

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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. For more information on our partnership & how you can become a member, visit:

Co-op Calendar

For More Co-op & Food System Related Events visit:

Saturday, Jan 13, 2018

Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter Winter Conference

Worcester, MA


Jan 19-21, 2018

Northeast Organic Farming Association New York Chapter Winter Conference

Saratoga Springs, NY


Feb 2-3, 2018

35th Annual New Hampshire Farm & Forest Expo

Manchester, NH


Feb 17-19, 2018

Northeast Organic Farming Association Vermont Chapter Winter Conference

Burlington, VT


March 3-6, 2018

National Farmers Union 116th Annual Convention

Kansas City, MO


Saturday 17, March 2018

Neighboring Food Co-op Association 7th Annual Meeting

For NFCA Member Co-ops and Partner Organizations


March 18, 2018

Northeast Organic Farming Association New Hampshire Chapter Winter Conference

Concord, NH


April 4, 2018 (Wed)

Associated Buyers Table Top Show

Portland, ME


May 2, 2018

Co-op Hall of Fame

Washington, DC


May 5, 2018

NFCA Food Co-op Start-Up Training

Keene, NH


May 31 – June 2, 2018

CCMA National Food Co-op Conference

Portland, OR


July 7, 2018

International Day of Co-operatives


August 10-12, 2018

Northeast Organic Farming Association Summer Conference

Amherst, MA



Oct 3-5, 2018


NCBA CLUSA Co-op Impact Conference

Washington, DC

Oct 6, 2018


NCBA CLUSA Co-op Festival

Washington, DC

October 13, 2018


CDS Consulting Co-op’s “Co-op Cafe”

Greenfield, MA

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.