Go Co-op!

We know that the best way to grow the Co-operative Economy is by working together.

That’s why we work with other co-ops and credit unions across the economy to educate and engage members, consumers, policy makers and activists about the co-operative difference.  For example, every July we promote International #Coops Day with International Cooperative Alliance and co-operators around the world.  In October, we join with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) to celebrate Co-op Month, providing our member food co-ops with educational resources and tools for promoting co-operative suppliers such as Cabot Creamery Co-opOrganic Valley and Real Pickles.  And year ‘round, we offer tools and ideas for raising awareness about the impact of the wider co-operative movement, from farmer co-ops to food co-ops, housing co-ops to credit unions, worker co-ops to mutual insurance — and everything in between.

Purchase from Co-ops

We also invite you to look for co-op products when you shop at your local food co-op. “GO CO-OP” signs on our shelves identify items that have been supplied by co-ops. You may be surprised by some of the examples that you might find from our region, including:

Cabot Creamery

Cabot Creamery is owned by a co-operative of 1,200 family farmers in New England and New York State. Look for their award-winning cheese, butter and other dairy products. http://www.cabotcheese.coop

Deep Root Organic Co-op

Deep Root Organic Co-op includes 14 family farm members in Vermont and nearby Québec offering fresh organic produce. http://www.deeprootorganic.com

Organic Valley logo.jpg

Organic Valley

Organic Valley is a co-operative owned by farmer members across the U.S., including more than 175 here in the Northeast. http://www.organicvalley.coop

For a larger list of co-op products and services, visit www.nfca.coop/co-opproducts.

INVEST IN CO-OPERATION

You can also put your money to work by investing in co-ops and funds that help co-ops grow and serve their communities.  Examples include:

Shared Capital Cooperative

Shared Capital Cooperative (SCC) is a co-operative community development financial institution (CDFI) committed to fostering economic democracy by investing in co-operative enterprises.

Cooperative Fund of the Northeast

The Cooperative Fund of the Northeast (CFNE) is a non-profit community development financial institution (CDFI) that serves as a bridge between socially responsible investors and co-ops, community oriented non-profits, and worker-owned businesses in the Northeast.

Learn more about Co-ops

Looking for resources for education and outreach?

Co-op Education Webinar Series

Thanks to the National Farmers Union (NFU) and the Co-operative Development Foundation (CDF), NFCA has developed a series of five educational videos with thought provoking, reflective questions at the end of each approx. 35-minute video. This series is aimed at Co-op Staff, Managers, and Board Members. Co-op Education Webinar Series

Cooperatives: the Business of Teamwork

Check out “Co-operatives: The Business of Teamwork,” an educational curriculum includes modules for all age groups from first grade to adult, developed by the Farmers Union and the NFCA: Co-operatives: The Business of Teamwork (PDF)

Learn TOGETHER

Start a Study Group at your co-op or in your community using a book on the co-operative movement.

Strengthening the Cooperative Community

Strengthening the Cooperative Community (2021), by E.G. Nadeau, How can we reduce inequality, combat global warming, and become more democratic? The author proposes practical recommendations on how co-ops can become an even more dynamic force for positive change that benefits people and the environment in the 21st century.

Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement

Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement (2018), by Monica M. White, expands the historical narrative of the Black freedom struggle to embrace the work, roles, and contributions of southern black farmers and the organizations they formed, including co-operatives.

From Corporate Globalization to Global Co-operation

From Corporate Globalization to Global Co-operation (2016), by J. Tom Webb, argues that a massive shift to co-operative enterprise is a viable alternative to global capitalism and our best hope for the future.

Building Co-operative Power

Building Co-operative Power (2014), by Janelle Cornwell, Michael Johnson and Adam Trott, with Julie Graham, explores worker co-ops in the Connecticut River Valley, the development of the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-ops, and its collaboration with the Neighboring Food Co-op Association and other partners to grow the co-operative economy.

Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought & Practice

Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought & Practice (2014), by Jessica Gordon Nembhard, is a pathbreaking book on the important role of co-operative economics in African American history.

The Cooperative Solution

The Cooperative Solution (2012), by E.G. Nadeau, is a short, readable book on how co-ops offer a solution to our current economic, social and environmental crises.

The Co-operative Revolution: A Graphic Novel

The Co-operative Revolution: A Graphic Novel (2012), published by the New Internationalist co-operative, this book “illustrates the history and enduring appeal of this robust business model.”

EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want

EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want, by Frances Moore Lappé, challenges the way we see the world and includes co-ops as a solution.

Happiness, Democracy & the Cooperative Movement

Happiness, Democracy and the Cooperative Movement: The Radical Utilitarianism of William Thompson (2014), by Mark Kaswan, explores conceptions of happiness before moving to theories of utility, then to democratic theory, and finally to practice in the first detailed account of how Thompson’s ideas laid the foundations for the cooperative movement, which is now the world’s largest democratic social movement.

Humanizing the Economy: Co-operatives in the Age of Capital

Humanizing the Economy: Co-operatives in the Age of Capital (2010), by John Restakis, is an excellent overview of the history and relevance of the co-operative movement to contemporary challenges.

Local Dollars, Local Sense

Local Dollars, Local Sense (2011), by Michael Schuman, includes a chapter on the “Hidden Power of Co-operatives.”

Weavers of Dreams: Founders of the Modern Co-operative Movement

Weavers of Dreams: Founders of the Modern Co-operative Movement (2012, 2nd Ed), by David J. Thompson, presents the story of the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers who in 1844 established the basic economic principles that continue to guide the modern co-operative movement.

TAKE A COURSE ON CO-OPS!

Opportunities in our region include:

The international Centre for Co-operative Management

The International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary’s University offers rigorous and dynamic online degree programs for co-operative management professionals, as well as shorter training and education programs. Choose the 3-year Master of Management, Co-operatives and Credit Unions, the Graduate Diploma in Co-operative Management (20 months) or the Bilingual Certificate in Co-operative Management (10 months), or from a menu of trainings offered throughout the year.

The University of Massachusetts, Amherst

The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, offers a number of courses on co-ops as well as a Certificate in Applied Economic Research in Co-operative Enterprise. The NFCA is a member of the UMASS Co-operative Enterprise Collaborative (UMACEC), which has helped to develop these programs in collaboration with the Economics Department.

NFCA Co-op Calendar

Visit the NFCA’s Co-op Calendar for upcoming conferences, trainings, and other co-op and food system-related events.