October is Co-op month….Let’s Celebrate “The Co‐op Connection”!


Since 1930, co-ops across the United States have convened every October to celebrate the cooperative movement’s history and economic impact on communities nationwide. The annual event continues to provide a key opportunity to reflect on the cooperative legacy.This month millions of co-­op members across the U.S. will observe Co-­op Month with festivals, contests and open houses. This year’s theme—”The Co-­‐op Connection” celebrates the ways co‐ops connect with each other, their communities and their world.

What are Co-ops?
Cooperatives, a.k.a. Co-ops, are businesses that are owned and governed by their members—the same people who use the co-­op’s goods or services. Profits are distributed to members (not stakeholders) and reinvested in the co­‐op or the community, often meeting needs that might otherwise go unmet. Co‐ops range in size from small storefronts to large Fortune 500 companies.

Why Go with a Co‐op?
Co‐ops mean business. They provide a viable alternative to the traditional business model for more than 130 million members across the U.S. Co-­ops also mean connections. They strengthen ties with members through education and networking opportunities. They connect with other cooperatives by practicing Cooperative Principle #6, or “cooperation among cooperatives.”

How do Co-ops connect?
Co-­ops connect with policymakers through advocacy, and with young people through engagement. Through sustainable development, co-­ops connect with their communities and help build a better future. Watch this clip from CNN’s “Issue #1” featuring a NCBA CLUSA spokesperson talking the ability of food cooperatives in providing an economical food distribution alternative:

Worldwide, co­‐ops are recognized as a force for positive economic and social change. We are proud to work with numerous cooperatives across the United States such as these National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA)* affiliated co-ops listed below. We encourage you to check them out if you are in the following locations:

Lakewinds Natural Foods in Chanhassen, Minnetonka and Richfield, MN
The Merc in Lawrence, KS
Outpost Natural Foods Co-op Milwaukee, Mequon and Wauwatosa, WI
Brattleboro Food Co-op in Brattleboro, VT
Mississippi Market in St. Paul, MN
Willy Street Co-op in Madison and Middleton, WI
City Market/Onion River Co-op in Burlington, VT
GreenStar Cooperative Market in Ithaca, NY
Mariposa Food Co-op in Philadelphia, PA
New Leaf Market Co-op in Tallahassee, FL
Ashland Food Co-op in Ashland OR
Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco CA

*About the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA)
NCGA is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. The organization represents 143 food co-ops operating over 190 stores in 38 states with combined annual sales of over $1.6 billion and over 1.3 million consumer-owners. NCGA helps unify natural food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power, and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere.

About The National Cooperative Business Association
The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) is the oldest and largest national membership association dedicated to ensuring that cooperative businesses have the same opportunities as other businesses operating the United States and that consumers have access to cooperatives in the marketplace. NCBA’s mission is to protect, advance and defend domestic cooperative business.  For more information on cooperatives, visit www.ncba.coop.

Article Source: www.ncba.coop

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