The Food Co-op 500 Program is a collaborative effort on the part of three cooperative organizations; The National Cooperative Bank, Cooperative Development Services and the National Cooperative Grocers Association. This program is in a pilot stage to grow to 500 food co-op stores in ten years, and is an industry-wide effort to improve and strengthen the food cooperative sector within the United States.
The principle of Cooperatives Helping Cooperatives is a unique and powerful tool that co-ops have to improve their competitive advantage in today’s business world. Cooperatives of all kinds can come together to create synergy that solves problems or stimulates new ideas that provide continuous improvement or the creation of new products and services.
The Food Co-op 500 task force is exploring the development of “Meet in the Middle” whereby the existing food co-op community meets new emerging co-ops and helps them through the building stage in systematic and formal ways. We welcome your insights and support
The first deadline for the Seed and Sprout fund applications was September 15. The 2006 deadlines will be in February, May, August and November
For more information see www.foodcoop500.coop.