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Healthy Food Access: Lessons From The Field, CCMA 2013


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Get the latest on what New England food co-ops are doing to make healthy food more accessible and affordable through the “Food Co-ops and Healthy Food Access” project, a collaboration between the Neighboring
Food Co-op Association and the Cooperative Fund of New England. This presentation shares the lessons learned to date, plans for future development, and resources so other food co-ops can more easily start healthy food access
programs at their co-ops.

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Healthy Food Access: Lessons From The Field, CCMA 2013

  1. 1. Healthy Food Access:Lessons from the FieldBetsy Black & Bonnie HudspethCCMA Conference // June 7, 20131
  2. 2. Overview• Why Bother?• Introductions• Context• Food Co-ops & Healthy Food Access• Next Steps• Questions?• Discussion2
  3. 3. Why Bother?3
  4. 4. Healthy Food Access Context:New England Demographics• In the US, 23.5 million Americans (including6.5 million children) live in areas with limitedaccess to affordable and nutritious food• This need is spread through urban, rural, andincreasingly suburban communities• A majority of New England food co-ops arenot in densely-populated cities4
  5. 5. The Birth & Growth of theCo-op Movement• Rochdale Pioneers• Begin with a store• Accumulate sharedcapital• Leverage purchasingpower for new Co-openterprises• All about HEALTHYFOOD ACCESS 5
  6. 6. “User” Focused• User-Owned: The people who use the co-op’sservices also own it.• User-Controlled: The people who use theco-op control it on a democratic basis (one-member, one-vote).• User-Benefit: The people who use the co-opreceive benefits such as patronage dividends,improved price, goods and services &employment. 6
  7. 7. Co-ops & ResilienceCommunity ownership & control+ Focus on service, meeting needs before profit+ Development of local skills & assets+ Regional economic efficiencies+ Ability to assemble limited resources+ Difficult to move or buy-out+ Root wealth in communities, not markets+ Member, customer loyalty+ Low business failure rate & are long-lived------------------------------------------------------------------= More stable local food systems, infrastructure,employment, services & economy7
  8. 8. Co-ops TodayAre more common than we think• 1 billion members worldwide (1 in 4 in the US)• More people than own stock in privately traded corporations• Majority of US farmers are co-op membersAre innovative• Healthy food, organic agriculture, Fair Trade, re-localization, regionalaggregation & distributionAre successful• 30,000 co-ops in all sectors of US economyAre resilient• Survived and grew during the global recession8
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  10. 10. Co-ops in New England• 1,400 co-ops across industries(Food Co-ops, Farmer Co-ops, Credit Unions, WorkerCo-ops, Energy Co-ops, Housing Co-ops, etc.)• 5 million memberships• Employ 22,000 people10
  11. 11. VisionFocusAreasStrategyThrivingRegionalEconomyNetworkPartnershipsCollaborationamongCo-opsHealthy, Just &Sustainable FoodSystem11
  12. 12. VERMONT• Brattleboro Food Co-op, Brattleboro• Buffalo Mountain Food Co-op, Hardwick• City Market / Onion River Co-op, Burlington• Co-op Food Store, White River Junction• Granite City Grocery, Barre• Hunger Mountain Food Co-op, Montpelier• Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, Middlebury• Plainfield Food Co-op, Plainfield• Putney Food Co-op, Putney• Rutland Area Food Co-op, Rutland• South Royalton Food Co-op, South Royalton• Southshire Community Market, Bennington• Springfield Food Co-op, Springfield• Stone Valley Community Market, Poultney• Upper Valley Food Co-op, White River Jct.CONNECTICUT• Elm City Co-op Market, New Haven• Fiddleheads Food Co-op, New London• The Local Beet Co-op, Chester• Willimantic Food Co-op, WillimanticNEW HAMPSHIRE• Co-op Food Store, Hanover• Co-op Food Store, Lebanon• Great River Co-op, Walpole• Littleton Food Co-op, Littleton• Manchester Food Co-op, Manchester• Monadnock Community Market, KeeneMASSACHUSETTS• Assabet Village Food Co-op, Maynard• Dorchester Community Co-op, Dorchester• Green Fields Co-op Market, Greenfield• Leverett Village Co-op, Leverett• McCuskers Co-op Market, Shelburne Falls• Merrimack Valley Food Co-op, Lawrence• Old Creamery Co-op, Cummington• River Valley Co-op Market, Northampton• Wild Oats Co-op Market, WilliamstownRHODE ISLAND• Urban Greens Food Co-op, Providence12
  13. 13. NFCA Member Impact• A Co-op of 20 food co-ops and12 start-up projects• 90,000 individual members• 1,400 employees (2010)– 1,200 in 2007– VT members among top 25employers in the state• Paid $28.6 million in wages…– Average wage was 18% higher thanthe average for food and beverageindustry in same states.• $200 million revenue (2010)– $161 million in 2007• $33 million in local purchases(2007)13
  14. 14. • Non-profit mission based lending institution• Started by food co-ops in 1975 to– To provide investment opportunities, debt financingand technical assistance– To advance co-ops and community-based nonprofits– In New England and eastern upstate New York14
  15. 15. • Lend to co-ops, non-profitsand other democraticallyowned enterprises• Loaned $29+ million• 99.2% repayment rate• 100% repayment rate toiinvestors• Created/saved 8,415 jobsiand 4,462 housing units15CFNE Impact
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  17. 17. Food Co-ops & Healthy Food AccessProcess:• Surveys• InterviewsOutcomes:• Framework• Case Studies & Toolbox• Neighboring Approach to HFA17
  18. 18. Framework: Aspects ofHealthy Food Access Programs1. Collaboration with Partner Organizations2. Inclusive Marketing3. Education of Individuals4. Product Affordability5. Accessible Ownership6. Infrastructure18
  19. 19. Case Studies: 4 NE Food Co-ops1. City Market--Food for All2. Franklin Community Co-op--Co-op Basics3. Berkshire Co-op:--Community Card Program4. Putney Co-op:--Marketing, Education & Outreach19
  20. 20. - Brattleboro Food Co-op- Monadnock Food Co-op- Putney Food Co-op20A Neighboring Approach…
  21. 21. Co-Branding = Bigger Impact21
  22. 22. Challenges & ResponsesChallenges:• Reaching prospectiveco-operators• Pricing• Perception re: co-opsas expensive• Cost of implementingaffordability programsfor new or small co-opsResponses:• Smart partnering• Basics, bulk, educationre: cooking.• Education re: variety &value• Grants, loans, sharedprogram among severalco-ops22
  23. 23. Successes & Strengths Willingness to do it Community and member based entities Vision of inclusion Transactional =Flexible23
  24. 24. What’s Next?1. Toolbox2. TechnicalAssistance3. Peer-to-PeerAudits4. Coordinatedroll-out5. Partnering for success24
  25. 25. Discussion• What innovations has your co-opcome up with to make healthyfood more accessible to all?• What could we accomplishtogether, as a movement of foodco-ops across the country?25
  26. 26. Contact UsBetsy Black, Northwest Loan and Outreach OfficerCooperative Fund of New // www.coopfund.coopBonnie Hudspeth, Outreach CoordinatorNeighboring Food Co-op //