Category Archives: Cooperatives

2013 Up & Coming Up & Running (Food Co-op Conference) scheduled for March 1-2

Save the Date for Up and Coming, Up and Running 2013

Hosted by the Indiana Cooperative Development Center
March 1 & 2, with Optional In-Depth Workshops on February 28

Starting a new food co-op, or in your first years of operation Up and Coming, Up and Running 2013, held in Bloomington, Indiana, offers the resources and connections needed to move new co-ops from dream to reality, ensuring their success.

Learn from expert advisors, industry leaders, co-op resource developers, and your peers. Tour the three Bloomingfoods stores, its Commissary Kitchen, and learn about project management in relation to the newest Bloomingfoods project—a neighborhood store scheduled to open in Summer 2013.

The Up and Coming, Up and Running Food Co-op Startup Conference, now in its 4th year, brings people together who are shaping the future for new co-ops in communities all across the United States. Plan ahead to ensure the participation of steering committee, board, and staff members of your co-op project.

Scholarship Opportunities 

For more information, visit and contact Debbie Trocha of the Indiana Cooperative Development Center: 317-692-7707.  A limited number of scholarships are available from the Indiana Cooperative Development Center through a grant from the Howard Bowers Fund.

Food Co-op Initiative is also offering a limited number of registration and travel scholarships to early registrants. Contact Rosie at: for information. Applications are due by Dec. 26.

Scholarships may be available through the Ralph K. Morris Foundation Cooperative Leadership Fund.  Please visit their website at for more information.

CUNY Mondragon Event this coming Monday, November 12th – NYC

Fire Your Boss: Worker Cooperatives, Community Development, and Social Change

A Panel Discussion presented by CUNY Law Review

Monday, November 12th, 5:30pm


Omar Freilla, founder of Green Worker Cooperatives, an organization dedicated to incubating green and worker-owned businesses in the South Bronx

Michael Peck, North American delegate of the Mondragon Cooperatives Corporation, the largest worker cooperative in the world

Brian Glick, Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Fordham Community Economic Development Clinic

Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Associate Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development, Dept. of African American Studies, CUNY John Jay College

Moderated by CUNY Law’s own Carmen Huertas-Noble, Founding Director of the Community & Economic Development Clinic (CEDC)

The event will be followed by a release reception celebrating CUNY Law Review’s latest publication — Vol. 15.1. Dinner will be served.

CUNY School of Law

2 Court Square 
Long Island City, Queens

Date: November 12, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM – 8:00 PMContact:
Admission: Free

New App from NCBA helps Consumers “Live Cooperatively”

Earlier this week, the National Cooperative Business Association, in partnership with Co-operatives UK and National Cooperative Bank, announced the release of a new mobile App to help consumers identify local cooperatives. 

The App is a free resource, compatible with Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, which provides access to around 29,000 US cooperatives from credit unions to healthcare and transportation. In addition, users can accumulate points redeemable for prizes and discounts, and stay up to date on cooperative news. 

The news article quotes Liz Bailey saying, “Cooperatives continue to outperform for-profit businesses when it comes to consumer satisfaction and now consumers have a free resource at their fingertips that will enable them to experience the co-op difference firsthand,” 

For more information on the App and the research behind it, visit the article on the National Cooperative Business Association’s website.

OEOC Co-op Development research goes International during the Year of the Cooperative.

The OEOC was recently contacted by a center in South Korea, iCOOP Cooperative Institute, to request permission to translate the OEOC’s “Solidarity as a Business Model; A Multi-stakeholder Cooperatives Manual” into Korean and make it available on their website. “Solidarity as a Busines Model” was developed as part of a USDA funded OEOC project to provide basic information for those considering a multi-stakeholder approach for their enterprise. 

iCOOP Cooperative Institute is a non-profit institute, located in Seoul, for the development and research of cooperatives. The institute is affiliated with iCOOP Korea, an organization developed in 1998 to promote cooperative participation from both consumers and producers. iCOOP contunues to focus on ethical consumerism based on the belief that consumers can promote more desirable production practices. Both the iCOOP Cooperative Institute and iCOOP Korea are members of the International Cooperative Alliance

We hope that this will create broader opportunities for the sharing of ideas and research within the international cooperative community. 


Ohio to be first state to allow interstate sales of state-inspected meats from small processors

On August 9, 2012, during Senator Sherrod Brown’s local foods conference, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture announced that Ohio will be allowed to participate in a cooperative interstate program which will allow small processors “in Ohio to sell products to neighbors in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, and beyond.”

Prior to this policy, small-scale meat producers who were inspected in Ohio could only sell within state lines even though Ohio’s regulations are at least as strict as the federal regulations. 

According to Ohio Agriculture Director David Daniels, this new program will allow Ohio meat processors to “expand their customer base and get their products into new markets without making burdensome and costly changes to their facilities.”

Visit the Farm and Dairy webpage to read more on this development.

Registration is open for “An Introduction to Farm Succession Planning”

UPDATE (8.14.2012) This session has been cancelled. Look for information on a webinar in lieu of this event coming soon.

On September 18, 2012, the Business Succession Planning Center at Kent State University and Braintree Business Development Center will be presenting An Introduction to Farm Succession Planning. 

This workshop will be targeted at farmers and other small family businesses that want to explore transferring ownership to the next generation, but will also be of interest to business and financial consultants, bankers and economic development professionals. 

Facilitators include;

  • Bob Cohen, Braintree Business Development Center and Cooperative Development Center at Kent State University
  • Bob Hendrix, Attorney
  • Edward R. Klesack, CLU, LUTCF, MBA, RFC of Centarus Financial, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC.

For more information, click here.

Alaska, the “Last Frontier,” expected to see its first food cooperatives soon

The Alaska Dispatch recently announced that food co-ops may “change the way Alaskans shop for groceries.” Alaska, home to the most successful fishing co-op in the US, may soon be home to two new shopper-owned grocery stores. 

In Fairbanks, community members raised the idea of creating a central hub for local food and raised more a million dollars to move forward with the effort. The Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market is expected to open in late 2012 or early 2013. 

The food cooperative movement in Juneau arose out of need for a local grocery after the Alaskan and Proud Grocery closed unexpectedly in Fall of 2012. The Juneau co-op is currently at the planning stage. 

Read more about the cooperative food effort in Alaska on the Alaska Dispatch webpage. 

House Expected to Begin Consideration of $500B Farm Bill This Week

Since the $500 billion farm bill passed in the Senate on June 21, many Ohio farmers have been waiting for the final result so they can plan for next year.

According to a Columbus Dispatch report on June 22, “The Ohio Farm Bureau hailed passage of the bill, saying that a number of its priorities were included, citing in particular ‘an emphasis on conservation and support for research and rural development.'”

The Youngstown Vindicator also indicates strong support for the bill across Ohio, because among other things it will strengthen safety nets for farmers.

Experts said that if the bill stays largely intact, then Ohio’s 74,700 farms can look forward to stronger crop insurance policies and five years of consistency, until Congress is required to pass a renewed farm bill.

To read more in the Vindicator’s coverage of the farm bill, click here.

Cirque du Soleil to Perform at International Summit of Cooperatives 2012

Co-operative News announced that Cirque du Soleil will be performing at the 2012 International Summit of Cooperatives in Quebec. Cirque du Soleil President and CEO Daniel Lamarre explained that cooperativism is a key component of everything that Cirque does;

When you look to an act of Cirque du Soleil, it’s probably the best example you can get of the cooperative model, because if you’re an artist and you do an acerobatic act you need the other one in order to perform at the level that you want to perform. So, I like to think that Cirque du Soleil is a good example for all the participants of this Summit.

You can read more about the Cirque du Soleil’s participation in the Summit and watch a video of Daniel Lamarre’s interview here.

Credit Unions a “Lifeboat” for Students Struggling with Debt?

Student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt and is predicted to cross $1 trillion this year

According to Emily Barker at Co-operative News, students may find a “saving grace” in credit unions.

While many banks have began to shy away from the student loan market, credit unions are still committed to providing fixed rate loans for students struggling with debt.

More than 130 credit unions nationwide have joined together to launch cuStudentLoans to connect students with not-for-profit lenders. cuStudentLoans now serves 2.1 million credit union members and has US$18 billion in combined total assets. Credit unions not only decrease the interest on student loans, but they actively encourage better debt management.

To read more of this article at Co-operative News, click here.