October is Co-op Month!

 Upper Valley Food Co-op is Committed to Our Community

Joins in National Celebration of Co-op Month in October

This October, Upper Valley Food Co-op is joining over 30,000 co-ops and credit unions across the United States in celebrating Co-op Month, observed nationally since 1964. This year, the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International has chosen “Co-operatives Commit” as the theme for the month, highlighting the many ways that co-ops are committed to their communities.

“When you shop at your local food co-op, you’re getting more than good food for you and your family,” said Erbin Crowell, Executive Director of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA). “You are also joining with other people in your community to build local ownership, provide good jobs, support your local farmers and producers, and build stronger, more vibrant communities.”

For example, the NFCA includes more than 35 food co-ops and start-ups, locally owned by more than 130,000 people. Together, these co-ops provide good jobs for over 2,000 people, generate revenues of more than $315 million, and purchase more than $60 million from local producers each year. In addition, a recent survey found that member co-ops demonstrate their commitment to their communities in a wide variety of ways including programs supporting local producers, food security, sustainability, education for young people, and collaboration with local community organizations.

From food co-ops to farmer co-ops, worker co-ops to credit unions, and housing co-ops to energy co-ops, many different types of co-operatives contribute to our communities and the economy. Co-ops are also more common than you might think: here in the United States, 1 in 3 people are members of at least one co-op or credit union. Nationwide, co-operatives create 2.1 million jobs and generate more than $650 billion in sales and other revenue annually. Because they are member-owned, co-ops empower people from all walks of life to work together to build a better world.

Learning more about co-ops in our food system is easy at your Neighboring Food Co-ops: Just look for the “Go Co-op” signs on our shelves that identify products made by co-operatives. You may be surprised by what you find, including dairy products from Organic Valley, fresh produce from Deep Root Organic Co-op, fairly traded coffee, tea and chocolate from Equal Exchange, beverages from Katalyst Kombucha and Green River Ambrosia, seeds and bulbs from FEDCO, naturally fermented vegetables from Real Pickles, Northeast Grown frozen fruits and vegetables from your Neighboring Food Co-ops — and many others.

For more examples of how co-ops are committed to their communities, please visit www.nfca.coop

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