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Author: admin, 22.08.2015. Category: Organic Fertilizer

ONFC is one of two remaining independent natural food co-ops in North America, as most have demutualized or  been absorbed by UNFI (United Natural Foods). Whitteker also added that creating a community of thought around sustainable food was one of the underlying aspects of ONFC’s work and its LOFC project, in addition to facilitating creation of actual physical hubs. ONFC has a 53 000 sq ft warehouse located in Mississauga, ON, and it uses 7 trucks as well as some common carriers.
While ONFC has no natural resources, the land of LOFC partners can be considered natural resources that matter to the organization and the project. With 4000 products carried by the ONFC, the projected sales for 2011 are at $37 million “generating about $800,000 in operating surlpus that is allocated to carry out the initiatives identified in our operational plan for 2010-2012.
In addition to the financial support from ONFC, the LOFC project has received seed funding from the Carrot Cache, Ontario Market Investment Fund, ICP (Innovative Co-op Project through the Co-op Development Institute), and the Co-operators. In addition to the wealth of community resources already noted under “human resources,” Renglich pointed out that the LOFC project has been fortunate to draw on the knowledge and experience of those working with the Organic Council of Ontario and Local Food Plus. Outside of the OMIF grant, there seemed to be few government programs or policies that could be identified as resources.
Renglich indicated that she would like to see more representation in OMAFRA of small scale production that straddles both environmental and social sustainability. Whitteker added one more concern – a sense that Canada Revenue Agency is “preoccupied with searching out not for profits that they may challenge for legitimacy of status.” ONFC has already dealt with that on the municipal level when their status was unsuccessfully challenged by the City of Etobicoke in the mid 1990s.
More generally, in terms of local food initiatives as whole, Renglich identified the following barriers: lack of local processing and distribution capacity, lack of government support, divided resources, loss of farmland, zoning, and access to appropriate space (for processing, warehousing etc). ONFC’s longevity and success gives it a reputation that is an asset in itself, but it also provides an example that co-operative food work can be economically viable while still upholding environmental and social justice principles.
Food cooperative programs that allow members to scoop rice, sort organic vegetables and ring up sales in return for grocery discounts are fading fast amid a changing marketplace and fears of violating labor laws. The member labor or volunteer programs are intertwined with the do-it-yourself idealism that launched a wave of co-ops in the '70s.
Supporters say the involvement of member-owners differentiates co-ops in an age where even strip-mall supermarkets sell locally grown arugula. Working member programs were a basic feature of co-ops, launched decades ago during a flush of interest in natural living and alternatives to big capitalism. Early co-ops foreshadowed the wider public's interest in local, wholesome food and then benefited once the wave hit. The larger issue weighing on the board at Honest Weight and other co-ops is the fear that labor officials could classify their working members as employees rather than volunteers, leaving them open to charges they are violating minimum-wage rules.
At Honest Weight, Horwitz believes there's no real evidence of a threat until labor officials go after co-ops.
It's not clear how many food co-ops still maintain their programs, though the list gets shorter each year. City Market in Burlington, Vermont, this year finished phasing out of its traditional member work program in favor of one that gives members credit for out-of-store community volunteering.
One big exception is the 16,700-member Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, which requires most of its members to work. In Albany, the co-op board with Horwitz and two other new members is discussing what to do next. Northern California has been home to some of the most famous co-ops, in Berkeley and Palo Alto, for example. The Patch also has organic dairy products, organic and natural meats and poultry, an extensive selection of bulk foods and a full- service deli. Thanks to its success, BriarPatch management also is being called upon for its expertise in helping to start a new co-op in Placerville and to expand one in Reno. This is an example of a text widget that you can place to describe a particular product or service.
With the continued trend of ownership concentration, ONFC is increasingly concerned with preserving and supporting independent initiatives and small-scale production.


Whitteker explained that those numbers also include “a strong, long term core group of employees and board members.” LOFC has one Animator (Renglich) in a temporary full-time position. Hence, dedication to the agroecological principles is more than just a moral statement for LOFC. Members contribute an additional $140,000 in equity, in the form of a member loan, based on 1% of invoice.
The Ontario Co-operative Association (through the Co-operative Internship and Experience Program) is partly funding Renglich’s position for several months.
Moreover, the work of FoodShare has been instrumental in this work, albeit in more indirect ways.
This despite operating in the shadow of UNFI (United Natural Foods), which has over the years absorbed nearly all natural food co-ops in North America.
We are all in this together, so we should be sharing resources and connecting around ideas and willing to bring other people in with us, rather than protecting our individual projects.” ONFC is in the process of putting together a set of co-op related resources including a toolkit on how to start a co-op.
The programs offered cheap labor for stores with little capital and fit in snugly with co-op principles like open membership and democratic control.
Honest Weight began in a cramped side-street store and is now a bright, modern market that rings up about $25 million annually in sales. A small number of co-ops nationwide have settled complaints over the decades instead of testing that interpretation, according to longtime observers.
The program's fate will ultimately be up to members, but that is not expected to happen soon.
They flourished during the Industrial Revolution, when workers lost their jobs to machines, as well as during the Great Depression and oil crisis of the ‘70s. One of the stalwarts is right in our backyard—the BriarPatch Co-op Community Market in Grass Valley. It is experiencing profound growth as well, recording an 18% increase in sales from last year and a 9% growth in ownership. Use it as a way to get your visitors interested, so they can click through and read more about it.
The overarching goals of ONFC are to support and scale up the existing organizations, create synergies to foster values-based supply chains, create local food hubs, and create awareness and education. Its purpose is to create a strong network, to educate about and promote sustainable farming and food co-ops, and to connect and scale-up local and regional food hubs.
However, the coordination team for LOFC includes support from ONFC – with the general manager, purchasing manager and member relations and education manager all on the team – as well as representation from the Ontario Co-op Association, and Russ Christianson as an independent consultant. These financial resources, coupled with the occasional grant program are generally sufficient to help us achieve our operational objectives. From vitamins and herbal supplements to locally grown produce and exotic foods from other countries, Vermont offers a variety of organic food choices. At Albany's Honest Weight Food Co-Op, an effort to drop its volunteer program has riled members, illustrating its cherished place in co-op culture. It is among more than 200 co-ops nationwide that have combined sales of over $1.8 billion, according to a trade group. But the initial uproar led to a shake-up of the board that cost the president his position. Bloomingfoods of Bloomington, Indiana, ended its limited program recently after implementing its first union contract for employees. The cooperatives also have led to a boom in organic foods, now the fastest growing sector of the grocery business.
Its beginning included a storefront on Washington Street in Grass Valley and a store on Joerschke Drive in the Brunswick Basin. Our family thanks you!December 30, 2013 By Jenny Cutler 39 Comments When we began eating traditional foods, locating good sources was very challenging and I found it hard to wrap my head around.
In March 2010 baseline market research was completed followed by the second meeting in April of that year.


In terms of food hubs, their purpose is to both support existing initiatives[1], and to assist in creation of new regional hubs. The two dozen individual co-ops that are officially participating all have a contact person who also provides input and support. Vermont food co-ops and health food stores feature locally grown produce  and organic products. I was used to getting everything I needed at the grocery store and didn’t even know where to start to find better sources. Creating incubator kitchens and clusters of producers and processors is also being considered by the ONFC as a part of the LOFC work.
Additionally, there is an advisory panel forming in the larger community with people like Mary Lou Morgan from the Carrot Cache, representation from Sustain Ontario, Everdale, and others, as well as participation from universities in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond (including a link to St Mary’s University’s Co-operatives program).
Whitteker also added: “We seem to have adequate resources to carry out the occasional grant application, but are fortunate that we are very self-reliant.
Many blogs and books I read discussed food co-ops, which I had never heard of before, much less knew how to go about finding one. Shortly after, the research results report, and business and marketing plan, both developed by Russ Christianson, were published. ONFC emphasizes the ethic of co-operation and collaboration, and is involved with many groups while also seeking to expand the networks.
However, it sometimes has to rely on products from outside of Ontario and it ultimately has no overarching limitations on products. Let’s get them answered today!What is a food co-op?Food co-ops, or food cooperatives, are groups of people or workers that buy food together. Instead, theiraffiliates create their own rules and the ONFC carries products that align with its values. Often there are drop offs at one co-op member’s home and others nearby pick up their orders from the hosting house.
While many westerners and midwesterners use the popular Azure Standard, other regions don’t have that option. When I was just starting out, I had heard so much about Azure that I went to the website all excited to find what I needed, only to discover it didn’t reach anywhere near me. Learning how to find a local co-op took some time, but it was well worth the effort!I recommend using Local Harvest and searching for a co-op by your city or zip code on their website.
However, if you do have trouble locating one that contains what you need, I would increase your search to your entire state (or even nearby states if you’re near a border! It turned out that I found the co-op we use regularly by increasing my search terms to a statewide search of Virginia.
Even though it didn’t show up in the search terms for my city, there was a drop off location 3 miles from my house.
The search terms don’t always show the delivery distance range, just where the headquarters are, so there may be closer drop offs than you realize! While food co-ops often have prices that are exceptionally lower, especially when purchased in bulk, not all items may be a great deal.  At least for my co-op, produce and meat are much more expensive than the health food store or farmer’s market. While I could order items we use a lot of like Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar or Real Salt at our co-op, I have found better prices nearby at our local health food store or Amazon.
The beans, grains, and baking supplies are significantly cheaper through the co-op, where I might get a 20 or 50 pound bag.Do you use a food co-op to purchase items? Is this something that would be helpful to people who are on a fix income or on disability?



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