Exploring the Potential of Regional Sourcing

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This 2014 presentation to the Eastern Corridor Steering Committee of the National Co-operative Grocers Association (NCGA) outlines some of the NFCA's projects in regional sourcing and next steps in building a thriving regional economy.

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Exploring the Potential of Regional Sourcing

  1. 1. Exploring*the*Potential** of*Regional*Sourcing* * * * * Kari*Bradley*&*Erbin*Crowell* Presentation*to*the*NCGA*Eastern*Corridor*Steering*Committee* Friday*17th*Jan*2014*
  2. 2. Neighboring*Food*CoIops* •  Brattleboro Food Co-op’s 100 Year Vision •  Desire for Regional Support, Collaboration   Formerly provided through CGAs, NE Co-ops •  NCGA East Corridor Interest Group   Funding, Coordination, Administration •  Impact Study (Hoffer, 2008) •  Scenario Planning: Vision •  Dues Supported Staff •  Project Related Grants •  Network Collaboration (Co-ops & Other Orgs)
  3. 3. Vision Focus Areas Strategy Network Partnerships Collaboration among Co-ops Healthy, Just & Sustainable Food System A Thriving Regional Economy
  4. 4. Regional*Impact! The NFCA in 2012: •  34 member co-ops and start-ups •  91,000+ member-owners •  7,000+ new member-owners •  1,480+ employees •  $214 million in annual revenue •  $30 million* in local purchases •  $2.2 million* in Fair Trade purchases •  $2 million* in purchases from other co-ops *incomplete reporting
  5. 5. Priorities! •  Organizational Development •  Peer Collaboration •  Shared Marketing & Education •  Network Partnerships •  Regional Sourcing TheUnitedNationshasdeclared2012theInternationalYearofCo-ops. Please visit www.nfca.coop for more information and a map of our more than 20 member food co-ops, including these area stores. T
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01370-­‐0093 info@nfca.coop // www.facebook.com/neighboring // www.nfca.coop Vermont Brattleboro Food Co-op, Brattleboro
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 Buffalo
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Mountain
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Food
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Co-­‐op,
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Hardwick
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 Co-­‐op
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Food
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Stores,
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White
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River
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Junction
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 Hunger
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Mountain
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Co-­‐op,
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Montpelier
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 Plainfield
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Food
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Co-­‐op,
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Plainfield
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 Putney
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Food
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Co-­‐op,
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Putney
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 Rutland
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Area
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Food
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Co-­‐op,
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Rutland
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 Springfield
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Food
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Co-­‐op,
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Springfield
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 South
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Royalton
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Royalton
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 Stone
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Valley
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Community
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Poultney
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 Upper
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Valley
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Food
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White
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River
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Junction New Hampshire
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 Concord
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Co-­‐op
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Market,
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Concord
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 Co-­‐op
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Food
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Stores,
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Hanover
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Lebanon
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 Kearsarge
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Grocer,
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New
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London
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 Littleton
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Food
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Littleton
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Community
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 Keene
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(Opening
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2012)
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Fields
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Greenfield
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 McCusker’s
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 Shelburne
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Falls
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Valley
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Co-­‐op
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Market,
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Northampton Co-ops Build a Better World! Stop in at Your Local Food Co-op and See What the Buzz is All About.
  121. 121. Synergy*with*NCGA! •  Regional Marketing of Member Co-ops •  Local System for Collaboration – Increase Success •  “Runway” for Smaller Co-ops to NCGA •  Forum for Innovation, Experimentation
  122. 122. Regional*Sourcing! •  Background •  Priorities •  Pilots •  Learning   Challenges   Opportunities cave to co-op sheep milk bloomy rind creamy, mushroomy, buttery Woodcock Farm Weston,Vermont Summer Snow o n s p e c i a l $ 1 5 . 9 9 / p o u n d cave to co-op sheep milk bloomy rind creamy, mushroomy, buttery Woodcock Farm Weston,Vermont Summer Snow o n s p e c i a l $ 1 5 . 9 9 / p o u n d Cave to Co-op is a partnership of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association, Provisions International Ltd and regional artisan cheesemakers. For more information, please visit www.nfca.coop Cave to Co-op is a partnership of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association, Provisions International Ltd and regional artisan cheesemakers. For more information, please visit www.nfca.coop
  123. 123. Background*to*Regional*Sourcing* 1.  Core priority: Leverage purchasing power 2.  Development of priority product list   Products with limited availability regionally 3.  Member dialog on regional sourcing criteria   Member co-op product priorities   Likelihood of success   Manageability   Alignment with vision   Support Competitive Advantage
  124. 124. Exploring*Our*Priorities* Members support… •  Regional impact in sourcing… •  …regional distribution to all members •  Healthy, organic, non-GMO •  Fair trade principles •  Collaboration with other co-op sectors •  Balance mission, quality, affordability
  125. 125. Focus*on*Pilots* •  Limited external response to priority list •  Pilots as model for exploration of potential •  Opportunity for food system collaboration •  Direct experience of challenges & opportunities •  Exercise more control – Branding, sourcing, priorities, etc.
  126. 126. What*We*Have*Learned* Cave to Co-op (5,688 pounds cheese, ‘12) Project: Local artisan cheeses available to member co-ops at discount. 5+ years. •  Pros: Member benefit; shared impact, promote regional producers; easy to manage; builds market for regional producers… •  Cons: slim margins; limited control, branding; no income for NFCA; distribution limited; sales bump is temporary…
  127. 127. What*We*Have*Learned* Farm to Freezer (13,000# produce, ‘13) Project: Regionally sourced frozen fruits & vegetables. 2-year pilot, supported in part by NCGA Eastern Corridor grants. •  Pros: Innovative – new product in marketplace; branded, available exclusively to NFCA co-ops; some potential for income, cross sector collaboration… •  Cons: Pricing; processing capacity limited; conflicting priorities; distribution expensive, inefficient…
  128. 128. Opportunities* •  Buzz: Raised the profile of Food Co-ops and their role in local food systems. •  Branded regional product – supports competitive advantage of member co-ops. •  Working with co-operative partners we have the potential for product development, efficiencies gained through aggregation, common vision, excitement around co-ops. •  Regional associations (e.g. NFCA) can focus on regional while NCGA leverages national.
  129. 129. Core*Challenge:*Distribution* Key Constraint on… •  Ability to serve members •  Branding, identity •  Scale, volume •  Affordability •  Collaboration •  Innovation •  Sustainability •  Control: Vision & Priorities
  130. 130. Potential*for*Collaboration* •  Food co-ops   Aggregated purchasing (efficiency)   Coordination of demand (planning, risk mgmt) •  Supplier co-ops   Aggregated supply (efficiency, affordability)   Coordination of processing (product development) •  Basis for collaboration   Shared principles, values, vision, message   Efficiency, potential and impact of co-op model   Not-for-profit co-operative model for distribution •  Volume, efficiency, focus
  131. 131. Next*Steps* •  USDA Value Added Producer Grant   Collaboration with regional farmer co-op   Support from Farmers Union, CoBank   Exploration of priority products   Co-op partners (farmer, fishery, processing, etc.)   Co-op structure   Feasibility study   Business plan •  Workplan & Timeline   2014 Calendar Year
  132. 132. Discussion* •  Feedback •  Questions •  Ideas

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