“Boldly going together, where no one could go as well alone!”
Monadnock Food Co-op Staff and Board Members attended the Co-op Café with the theme “Embracing Change with Courageous Leadership” held at Keene state back on March 12th.
One-hundred thirty five people representing twenty co-ops, spread through out New England, came together for the day — a day filled with short presentations by a varied group of presenters and small group conversations/brainstorms on specific questions followed by sharing of insights with the larger group.
The saying above was part of a presentation on the growth of River Valley Co-op in Northampton, MA by their General Manager Rochelle Prunty. They opened their new store in 2008 and they are now planning for opening a second store, as they are bursting at the seams with sales over 25 million annually.
She lovingly referred to our store as their little sister Co-op. This is where the value of the day and of being part of the larger Cooperative movement becomes so apparent — as the support and sharing of lessons learned, both successes and failures are freely shared.
Dave Olson from National Co-op Grocers (NCG) spoke of the nationwide trend of increased competition in the sales of organic and natural foods. As the demand has increased, there are more and more retailers looking to capture a share of this market, however none of them have the same commitment to supporting the growth of local producers and growers that the co-op community does.
Events like the Co-op Café can help build understanding of our common goals and aspirations. It inspires us to work together to realize our dream of access to good food for all and at the same time a more equitable society.