As food retailers look at what’s trending now, it’s that people will continue to pay more for products that they believe add value, things that are fresh, natural, organic, and tasty—even in a tough economy. But along with that, more and more consumers are also demanding transparency. They want to know the story behind the food. Not just fluffy stories about happy cows, but how people and the earth are treated behind the scenes. Are they supporting trustworthy and reputable companies with their hard-earned dollars? Consumers are basing their purchasing decisions more and more upon what companies do, as well as the products they offer.

I think that this is something food co-ops have educated people to do. For decades now, we’ve been telling the story of where food comes from and seeking to support producers who do the right thing. Quite simply, we love food and people, and our motivation is to provide good service and quality. People have responded by asking questions and making food choices based on ethics and quality.

The food co-op sector is also peopled with professionals who care deeply about service, and want to use their skills to help retailers improve and thrive. It’s been my great pleasure to learn more about the business of fresh food retailing from Pete Hodgson and Mark Mulcahy, who know so much about groceries and co-ops it’s encyclopedic. Our other consultants will also be at the CCMAconference in June, and we hope you get the opportunity to meet them, too. On Thursday and Friday evenings before and afterCCMA events, CDS CC is hosting gatherings in our hospitality suite. See our display table at the conference for room information.

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