Give Thanks for Co-operation! // NFCA News, November 2021

Your Neighboring Food Co-ops

Locally Owned by More Than

160,000 People Like You!



Give Thanks for Co-operation!

As we give thanks this holiday season, we especially appreciate our food co-op staff, who are working hard to keep our communities safe while ensuring access to healthy, nourishing food. 

And as we gather in smaller groups and work together to slow the spread of COVD-19, we can also look forward and consider how co-ops help us rebuild our communities. Because when you shop at your local food co-op this holiday season, you’re getting more than healthy, delicious food and gifts for yourself and your family. You are also helping to…

  • Strengthen Your Local Community. When you shop at the co-op, more of your money stays in the community, supporting local producers, and building shared wealth. On average, local products account for more than 25% of sales at our member food co-ops (compared to 2% in supermarkets). Last year, our customers purchased over $100 million in products from local producers, helping to build local economies.
  • Support Good Jobs. On average, food co-op staff receive higher wages and more are employed full-time than in supermarkets in our region. Over 60% of our 2,460 co-op employees are also members, sharing in the ownership of their community grocery store.
  • Build Sustainability. Your purchases support sustainable agriculture, Fair Trade, reduced packaging through bulk buying, renewable energy, and increased efficiency — contributing to a healthier environment.
  • Grow a More Inclusive Economy. Food co-ops are locally owned and democratically governed by their members — more than 164,000 people like you who live and work in our communities — empowering people to work together to build an economy that works for everyone.

Control of our food system matters and working together our co-ops are already building this system. Based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity, co-operatives offer a different approach to business.

All are welcome to shop at your local food co-op, and we invite you to become a member-owner, joining with your neighbors as we work together to build more healthy, just, and sustainable communities.

To find a food co-op near you, please visit: http://nfca.coop/members


Go Co-op for the Holidays

Gift giving and special meals? Go Co-op! Help your co-op to keep building a more healthy, just, and sustainable food system and a stronger local economy by going co-op for gift giving this season. 

Choosing your local food co-op for their offerings. There are many creative options, including:

  • Special Holiday Foods and Beverages and all of the ingredients you need for holiday celebrations like artisan and regional special cheeses for creating the perfect cheese platter.
  • Make your own gift basket filled with Locally Made items or Personalized Themes for everyone on your list like these suggestions from GreenStar Food Co-op’s Gift Guide or health themed from Franklin Community Co-op or like the offerings at Fiddleheads Food Co-op, peruse the household department items in your co-op.
  • Food as gifts, learn to make special foods to give as gifts or for shared meals. Check out your co-op’s cooking classes like Co-op Food Stores offerings or try something new like City Market’s livestream cooking and baking sessions or with the kids in Monadnock Co-op’s virtual series specially designed for young people.
  • Can’t decide what to get your loved ones? Give the gift of co-operation with a co-op gift card  or a membership in your local food co-op or start-up like Dorchester Food Co-op. Great for mailing too!

However you choose to celebrate this season, you can find all of the ingredients you need for to bring joy to friends and family, whether near or far — and a more inclusive and sustainable community — at the co-op!


“That’s Rad!” Co-operation Among Co-ops

In celebration of Neighboring Food Co-op Association’s decade of impact, we’re sharing stories of what’s possible when we leverage our collective strengths and innovations through intentional association and co-operation. 

NFCA’s Bonnie Hudspeth (Co-operative Development) joined Littleton Food Co-op’s very own (and very rad) host Anastasia Maher for a conversation about Co-operation Among Co-ops on “That’s Rad!” a podcast by (and about) the Littleton Food Coop.

This podcast episode covers the sixth co-op principle, “Cooperation Among Cooperatives” about how do co-ops, well, cooperate? First, did you know that the Littleton Food Co-op is actually a member of other co-ops? One of those is the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), and Bonnie Hudspeth shares why it is so important for co-ops to work together, and the results that can happen when they do so.

Listen to the “That’s Rad” podcast featuring NFCA here


In Memory of Chuck Snyder

Chuck Snyder, President of NCB (National Cooperative Bank), will be remembered as a tireless advocate for co-ops and a generous mentor to so many leaders. 

The NFCA expresses our profound sympathies to Chuck Snyder’s family and to our friends at NCB, which he led for 38 years.   Chuck was a passionate advocate for co-operatives of all sectors, and particularly their ability to give disadvantaged communities more control over their lives and futures.  His efforts were widely recognized, including the Jerry Voorhis Award from the National Association of Housing Cooperatives and the Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award from the Consumer Federation of America.  And he was inducted to the Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2012.

“So many of our co-ops and communities were touched by Chuck during the course of his life and career,” said Erbin Crowell, executive director for the Neighboring Food Co-op Association. “Our hearts go out to the Snyder family and our colleagues at NCB as we remember his life and contributions, and recommit ourselves to continuing our work, together.”

To learn more about Chuck Snyder’s life and work, please visit https://ncb.coop.


Hudspeth Appointed CFNE Board President

Bonnie Hudspeth, who leads the Neighboring Food Co-op Association’s Co-operative Development programming, has been appointed President of the Board of Trustees for the Cooperative Fund of New England.

Hudspeth has worked for a decade with the NFCA, a co-operative federation of more than 45 food co-ops and startup initiatives that supports the growth, innovation, and shared success among their food co-ops across the Northeast United States.Having served on the board of the Cooperative Fund of New England (CFNE) since 2015, including as vice president, Bonnie has been working with the board and staff toward a vision for economic justice for all through thriving co-operative enterprises. CFNE works for economic, social, and racial justice by advancing community-based, cooperative, and democratically owned or managed enterprises with a preference for assisting cooperatives in low-income communities by providing financial products at reasonable rates, developing business skills, offering an investment opportunity that promotes socially conscious enterprise.


Co-op Jobs

When you work at your local food co-op, you’re part of something bigger: You’re also helping to grow a more healthy, just & sustainable food system that works for everyone!

Want to develop new skills, advance your career, and do meaningful work for a business that makes a difference in your community? Come join the co-op team!

From our beginnings, co-ops have been guided by a commitment to shared values of democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. And across our region, food co-ops have been pioneers in healthy food, sustainable agriculture, and building a more inclusive economy that works for everyone.

And working together, we are increasing our impact. Our food co-ops are locally owned by over 164,000 members, generate annual revenue of more than $382 million, and sell more than $100 million in local products. We also sustain good jobs in the community, employing 2,460 people – 65% of whom are also members, sharing in the ownership of their food co-ops.

Not only is working at your local co-op truly meaningful, it’s also fun working with others who also want to help build a better world. We’d love for you to be part of our co-op community and work to build a more healthy, just, and sustainable food system and a more inclusive economy.

Get more info and to help spread the word: https://nfca.coop/co-opjobs.


November’s Cave to Co-op Special

Butter Cheddar, Billings Farm, Woodstock, VT

Butter Cheddar, also known as Butterkäse, is mild and creamy with a slightly salty or acidic taste reminiscent of Muenster or Gouda cheeses. Known for its delicate flavor, it literally melts in your mouth. This cheddar is made from raw, Jersey cow milk exclusively from the Billings herd of over 40 purebred, registered Jersey cows. Billings Farm’s Jersey cows have a pedigree that dates back to 1871 and is still considered one of the finest Jersey herds in North America. These cows are known for their award-winning genetics, affectionate disposition, and high-quality, high-protein milk.

Billings Farm was established in 1871 by Frederick Billings, a  Vermonter known for his work as a lawyer, railroad builder, and pioneer in scientific farm management and reforestation. Billings set out to make his 270-acre Woodstock farm a model dairy operation for farmers in the region, founded on the principles of efficiency, sustainability, and responsible land use.

Now owned and operated by The Woodstock Foundation, Inc., a non-profit educational institution founded by Laurance and Mary Rockefeller in 1968, the Billings Farm & Museum was established in 1983 to preserve the historic Billings Farm as well as the character and heritage of rural Vermont.

The Billing’s herd is cared for by the Deome family with cheese making taken on by Grafton Village Cheese using Billing’s recipe. Butter Cheddar is aged for at least 60 days and contains no additives, preservatives, or artificial coloring. The milk not made into cheese is sold to the Cabot Co-op and as fluid milk on the farm.

Each month our Cave to Co-op partnership between Provisions International and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) offers a delicious regional cheese featured at a great price. Strengthening our local and regional farmers and producers by supporting artisanal cheesemakers is a key goal of the Cave to Co-op program.

You can find more information, photos and recipes on our November Cave to Co-op page.


Join the Farmers Union!

 

As we give thanks for the bounty produced by our local farmers and fishers, we need your help to grow the movement for more resilient, sustainable & inclusive food system in the Northeast.

With a new administration in office in DC, we want to continue to ensure that we have the attention of legislators as they make decisions about agriculture, rural policy, and rebuilding our economy. Your food co-op is committed to supporting local producers through your purchasing power, long-term partnerships, and collaboration.  We can also work together by joining our voices in calling for a more just, inclusive and sustainable food system that works for everyone.

That’s why we hope you will join the New England Farmers Union!

Family Farmers and Fishers are the heart of the Farmers Union — and consumers are also invited to join as a “Friend of the Farmer” for just $15! Businesses or organizations can also join, and NFCA Member Co-ops can sign up at a special discounted rate — and when you do, we’ll send you one of these beautiful metal signs and complimentary one-year memberships to offer to your favorite local farmers!

Your support will help us build a better food and farm system in the Northeast, joining our voices with family farmers, fishers, and co-operatives from across our region to lobby policy makers on a range of issues important to our region including:

  • Supporting Pandemic Recovery. As we work to help our communities rebuild, family farmers and co-operatives must be able to access the government support they need to survive and grow.
  • Strengthening Rural Communities. We need reinvestment in our rural hospitals and mental health resources, improved broadband connectivity in rural areas, and repairs to the damage done to our postal service.
  • Fighting Consolidation of our Food System. Our regional producers and processors need more direct access to markets, greater transparency from buyers, and more stable prices for dairy and other farm commodities.
  • Combatting Climate Change. Farmers need the resources, technology, and information necessary to adapt to climate change — and a seat at the table and a strong voice in the development of climate policies and programs.

These efforts are vital for the future of our regional food system. But we need your help to grow the movement by helping us grow membership in the Farmers Union.

We hope you’ll consider joining the Farmers Union at this critical time!

For more information, please visit www.newenglandfarmersunion.org.

Our Local Farmers & Fishermen Need You!

Do you care about where your food comes from and want to support the people who produce it? Join the 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 www.newenglandfarmersunion.org.


Co-op CalendarThe WCC Logo - 'Deepening our cooperative identity'

For More Co-op Events, Visit http://nfca.coop/calendar


The Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) is a co-operative federation of over 40 food co-ops and startup 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.