Co-op Policy Roundtable // NFCA News, January 2020

Your Neighboring Food Co-ops

Locally Owned by More Than

150,000 People Like You!

In this Month’s E-News, check out:

New England Co-op Policy Roundtable

Neighboring Food Co-ops to Co-Host Dialog on Co-operative Policy in Conjunction with March Annual Member Meeting

Co-operative businesses are a powerful part of the U.S. economy, boasting almost 65,000 establishments and a total membership of over 115 million people.

By connecting member needs to services provided, co-ops are stable, responsive, locally-based enterprises that nurture and develop authentic local leaders and informed and empowered members. While co-operatives contribute to the creation of healthy, sustainable and equitable communities, national, state and local policies can hinder their growth and development.

On Friday, March 20, 2020, the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA), the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) and local partners the Neighboring Food Co-op AssociationCooperative Development InstituteAssociation of Vermont Credit UnionsCooperative Credit Union AssociationCredit Union League of ConnecticutNew England Farmers UnionMaine Credit Union League and Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives will host a Regional Co-operative Policy Roundtable on the campus of Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

This one-day New England Cooperative Policy Roundtable discussion is an opportunity to connect with local leaders and co-operative business experts to identify and articulate the most significant strategic national, state and local policies, financing mechanisms and other systems and structures that support or impede co-operative development.

On the next day, Saturday, March 21, member co-ops and partners of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association will welcome Congressman James P. McGovern, U.S. Representative for the 2nd District of Massachusetts, as speaker for their 9th Annual Meeting. Mr. McGovern was first elected to Congress in 1996 and has a long history of working for justice, food security, and an economy that works for everyone. He currently serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and as a senior member of the Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Nutrition and Oversight, and was a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal. More recently, Congressman McGovern joined the bipartisan Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus, initiated by NCBA CLUSA to provide greater visibility of co-operative economic impact and drive a more co-op-friendly legislative agenda.

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

Urban Greens Co-op Market Joins NCG

Urban Greens Co-op Market Reaches a New Milestone, Joining National Co+op Grocers.

Urban Greens Co-op, a long-time startup member of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), has made steady progress since it was incorporated in 2007, driven by a dedicated group of volunteers working with local government and organizations to bring a full-service food co-op to the West Providence, RI. Their dream: to make healthy, affordable food and community ownership more accessible to everyone.

That dream came true this Summer when the Co-op opened its doors, supported along the way by the NFCA and its member co-ops, and organizational partners including Food Co-op Initiative, Columinate, Cooperative Fund of New England, and Firebrand.

Now Urban Greens has reached a new milestone, joining National Co+op Grocers (NCG) and its national network of food co-ops.

“NCG is delighted to welcome Urban Greens Cooperative Market as one of its newest members in 2019,” said C.E. Pugh, NCG Chief Executive Officer. “We’re excited to see this beautiful new store reach its potential in serving the local community and in extending the co-operative economy into the Providence market. We appreciate the support that NFCA provided to Urban Greens and its support of other area food co-ops.”

At the Grand Opening, the NFCA’s Bonnie Hudspeth congratulated the Co-op’s founding member-owners for taking their power back by creating and opening their food co-op — which they own and control together — and filling a missing link in RI’s food economy by supporting local farmers and producers year-round, while increasing the consistent availability of healthy, local, culturally-appropriate produce and products.

“It’s no small feat, opening a food co-op,” said Erbin Crowell, NFCA Executive Director. “And we are proud to have supported the members, board members, and staff of Urban Greens as they worked together to open their doors. We also know that the ability of our member co-ops to grow and serve their communities over time depends on a network of support. We’re looking forward to continued collaboration with NCG and other partners as we work to support the shared success of food co-ops across our region.”

Learn more about Urban Greens Co-op

Now Offering Personal Impact Deposit Accounts

Open an account today and help increase access to local, healthy food, deliver health care to more people, create affordable housing and build renewable energy. Your Choices Reflect Your Values. Your Bank Should Too. Check our rates and Open an Account today.

Farm to Freezer: Corn All Year ‘Round

…Northeast Grown Corn all Year ‘Round

Bringing Northeast grown fruits and vegetables to you through your co-op is a part of NFCA’s vision of a thriving co-operative economy, rooted in a healthy, just, and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise.

Our farmers have worked hard to bring us fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the season and with choosing Neighboring Food Co-op Association frozen vegetables, you can know you are supporting family farms in our region all year long.

The NFCA Frozen Corn is packaged and frozen at harvest time enabling Northeast grown, non-gmo sweet corn to be available throughout the year. Your local food co-op has the ingredients you need for making hearty soups and chowders such as this Basic Corn Chowder. Meal prep doesn’t need to be complicated to prepare tasty and nourishing meals.

Eat healthy and support family farmers all year long with delicious produce from our region. Look for our Northeast Grown Frozen Fruits and Vegetables in the freezer section. They’re easy to find because they’re packed in a clear package so you can see what’s inside!

Basic Corn Chowder 

Easy to prepare, great to re-heat the next day. Makes about 6 cups.


  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 small Onion, diced
  • 1-2 stalks of Celery, diced
  • 2 cups Potatoes, diced (Yukon Gold are a great choice)
  • 1 ½ cups or one 10 oz NFCA Frozen Corn package (let defrost)
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon Dill (dried or fresh chopped)
  • Water
  • 1 cup of ½ & ½ (milk/cream)
  1. In a medium pot, saute the onions and celery in butter until onions are translucent
  2. Add potatoes, salt, bay leaf and enough water to just cover the potatoes, bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 min or just until potatoes are fork-tender
  4. Add corn, simmer for 2 minutes more
  5. Add ½ & ½, season with pepper and dill
  6. Heat until warmed, do not let boil
  7. Serve immediately, cool leftover and refrigerate up to 5 days

For more Farm to Freezer information and recipes visit:

Thanks to Cabot Creamery Co-operative for their support of our Neighboring Food Co-ops

January’s Cave to Co-op Cheese Special

Beatrix Brie Buttons, Blythedale Farm, Corinth, Vermont

The Beatrix Brie Button is a small 2-ounce creamy mouthful of cheese, made with the milk of Bythedale Farm’s happy cows. Cheesemaker Beck Loftus makes these bloomy rind, two-week aged rounds from slow pasteurized Jersey cow milk.

For over 100 years, the old barn at Blythedale Farm has been a focal point of the village of Cookeville, Vermont. The farm protects a viable piece of Vermont’s rural character and agricultural industry by sitting at the heart of Cookeville village amidst historic buildings including the Town Offices and Academy Building. In 2004 Becky and Tom Loftus purchased the property after seeing an ad which read ‘Milk a few cows and make money making cheese. Corinth, Vermont”. Today the 750-acre farm and much newer barn houses the 60 or so Jersey cattle in their herd. These cows supply all of the milk for Blythedale Farm’s Cheeses: Vermont Brie, Camembert Vermont, Green Mountain Gruyere, Cookeville Grana, Jersey Blue and the newest, a Brie Button with the drawing of beautiful Beatrix on the label.

All of Blythedale Farm’s Cheeses are free from added animal enzymes and are made with a microbial rennet. All the cows who live at Blythedale Farm have a good home. They are cared for with love and respect and live in a clean, comfortable stable, with year-round outdoor access. Their stress-free lives create a milk with delicious flavor.

The Brie Button is delicious on its own as part of a cheese plate or perfect on a salad or paired with ripe fruit or seasonal chutney. For more recipes and serving suggestions using Cave to Co-op featured cheeses see:

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.

For more information on Cave to Co-op,


The New England Farmers Union Needs You!

If you care about where your food comes from and want to support the people who produce it, consider joining NEFU as a Friend of the Farmer for just $15. Your membership will help ensure that our region’s producers and consumers are heard by policy makers here at home and in Washington, DC. For more information, please visit

Our Neighborhood Co-op Calendar

Our Neighboring Food Co-ops are proud to sponsor these upcoming Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Winter Conferences as part of our vision for a healthy, just and sustainable food system.

18th Annual NOFA-NH Winter Conference

Saturday February 8th, 2020, 7:30 am – 6:30 pm


“Celebrating our Interdependence”

NOFA-VT 38th Annual Winter Conference

February 15-17, 2020


For More Co-op Events, Visit



Sat, Feb 8

NOFA NH Winter Conference (Sponsored by NFCA)


Sat-Mon, Feb 15-17

NOFA VT Winter Conference (Sponsored by NFCA)


MARCH 2020


Saturday, March 7

NOFA CT Winter Conference


Friday, March 20

New England Cooperative Policy Roundtable (Co-Hosted by NFCA)

Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA


Saturday, March 21

9th Annual Meeting of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA)

Join us for full day of presentations, workshops, and networking for member food co-op board members & staff.


JUNE 2020


June 4-6

CCMA for Food Co-ops Conference


JULY 2020


July 4

International Co-ops Day




August 13-15

Federation of Southern Co-operatives 52nd Annual Meeting




October 7-9

NCBA CLUSA Co-op Impact Conference


Saturday, October 17

Columinate Co-op Cafe (Co-Hosted by NFCA)

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.