Press release by Neighboring Food Co-op Association - On Saturday, July 2nd, co-ops in our community and around the world will be celebrating the International Day of Co-operatives, joining the United Nations (UN) and the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in a commemoration that began in 1923. This year's theme, “Co-operatives: The Power to Act for a Sustainable Future,” highlights the contribution of co-operative enterprise to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
“Co-op Day is an opportunity for us to look at our impact on global issues,” said Bonnie Hudspeth, Member Programs Manager of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), a federation of 35 food co-ops and start-up initiatives, locally owned by over 100,000 people across New England. “It is also an opportunity for our food co-ops to share the work they do every day to make our food system and economy more fair, equitable, and sustainable.”
During the UN General Assembly in September 2015, world leaders committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, outlining an ambitious plan to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change over the next fifteen years. The co-operative movement is recognized as having a unique role to play in these efforts, representing a business model based on ethical values and principles, with sustainable development at its core. Locally rooted and people driven, co-ops contribute to sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental responsibility.
Here in New England, food co-ops have been at the forefront of movements for sustainability, from organic agriculture to Fair Trade, energy conservation to alternative energy, and local foods to food security.
Celebrated internationally on the first Saturday in July, Co-op Day in the United States coincides with Independence Day, offering a unique opportunity to focus on the democratic values of the co-operative business model. Based on the principle of one member one vote, co-ops reflect American ideals of democracy, self-help, self-responsibility, and social responsibility. And because co-operatives are focused on meeting member needs rather than maximizing profit, they are focused on goals identified by their members, including social, economic and environmental sustainability.
For more information and a map of food co-ops across our region, please visit www.nfca.coop.