Food Hubs and Co-ops: How local family farms can feed our communities
Workshop One: Establishing an Online Food Cooperative
Saturday, April 6, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Highland Community College’s Klinefelter Barn
1774 230th St., Hiawatha, KS.
What is a co-op?
We all have childhood memories of parents, teachers and others encouraging us to work together. A co-op is what "working together" looks like all grown up. From the outside, many co-ops look like any other business, since a co-op provides products and services like conventional businesses do. But it's what goes on behind the scenes that makes it different. A cooperative exists to serve its members, but what makes co-ops unique is that the members are also the owners. So, in addition to getting the products and services you need, you also have a say in the business decisions your cooperative makes. Rather than rewarding outside investors with its profits, a co-op returns surplus revenue to its members in proportion to how much they use the co-op. This democratic approach to business results in a powerful economic force that benefits the co-op, its members and the communities it serves.
Why a local food co-op?
A food co-op is good for both farm and rural economies; every dollar spent with the co-op sends money into the pocket of the farmer and back into businesses within the community. Food co-ops deliver the farmers market to the consumer’s front door. Local food is usually picked at the peak of ripeness, which brings better taste and nutrition; supplying fresh, safe and local food that helps build a self-sufficient community.
Joining us for How to Start an Online Food Cooperative will be the founders of several successful food co-ops who will provide education and answers based on experience. This workshop is for anyone involved in local food production, marketing and consumption. Plan to attend this workshop…the room will be full of experts!
Nationally known speakers will participate, sharing the success stories from their regions. (See Speaker Bios)
A chuck wagon lunch and refreshments will be served. A $25.00 registration fee will be charged to cover expenses, food and handouts.