Four representatives of the Cedar Falls Food Co-op attended the “SMALL AND STRONG” Food Co-op Conference in Bloomington, MN, on November 7, 2015. We learned from industry experts with organizations like Food Co-op Initiative, Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund, and CDS Consulting Co-op and networked with other Midwest food co-ops. With topics like Financing the Startup Co-op and Designing an Effective Member Recruitment Campaign, we all returned with many new take-aways, but also with much reinforcement and encouragement.
For starters, we’re not in this alone: just in the Midwest, there are plenty of opportunities to collaborate with food co-ops that are in startup mode, as well as great consultants who make helping co-ops their life’s work. We are making a difference for our community; a co-op strengthens the entire community and is a source of pride. And while much of the funding for a food co-op comes from its member-owners, ownership is more than just capital. It’s a pledge of support and an important source of leverage.
We thank the Northcountry Cooperative Foundation and the other conference presenters and sponsors for this opportunity to connect and learn with other co-op folks in our region. We look forward to attending again next year!