Cooperatives - the business model of the future

In recognition – and celebration – the NW Cooperative Development Center, the Alaska Cooperative Development Program, and Mission Mountain Food Enterprise and Cooperative Development Center, are partnering to present “Celebrating Our Food Community,” a conference to consider how cooperative business models will contribute to the future of our local and regional food systems. We spoke with Jan Tusick, Center Director for Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, about her organization’s part in establishing and supporting co-ops in western Montana.
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Who's Responsible for Your Dinner?

Last Sunday, as we sat down to dinner, we realized that three family businesses were responsible for most of the food on our plates. Here is our “tip of the hat” to these fine folks!
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CoFed Teaches Students to Run Campus Food Co-ops

College campuses have always been a testing ground – and launching point – for new and creative ideas. The Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFed) is a program that teaches and helps students to build and operate ethically sourced, community-run cafés, beverage service, and grocery stores on college campuses.
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A Gallon a Day Keeps MOO Milk on the Shelf

Milk, eggs, fruits and vegetables – those are all the basics of life; and yet the ups and downs of the economy over the last several years have been especially hard on the small to mid-sized farmer. Local, organic dairies are especially hard-pressed to make a go of it; milk has a shelf-life measured in days and to get it on the shelves and sold quickly is tough, even in the best of times.
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Organics From Mexico - Are They Safe?

In winter and early spring, while most of our regional farms lie dormant, grocery store produce sections remain well stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables. Much of this vast selection comes from Mexico. How did these fruits and vegetables arrive here? If Mexican produce is labeled organic, how do we know that it is reliably organic?
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Organic Product Buyers Shift to Traditional Grocers/Target

Nearly 40% of US consumers buy products that are – or contain – certified organic ingredients, a number that has held steady for the last three years. Where those consumers are shopping for those products has changed toward conventional and mass market outlets and away from natural food stores.
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Co-op Membership Pays – Wedge Food Co-op Refunds $1 Million

When member-owned food co-ops make a profit, it goes to the shareholders – the members – in various forms. The Wedge Food Co-op, Minneapolis, has reached a milestone: the annual refund to members is $1 million dollars, about 80% of its member-generated profits.
Read more: Co-op Membership Pays – Wedge Food Co-op Refunds $1 Million