The Next Frontier
After returning from studying cooperatives in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, I am now ready to begin a new phase of Food For Change that will focus on educating college students about the principles and practices of cooperatives. This school year we currently have ten presentations lined-up at colleges throughout Massachusetts. To expand the program we are seeking more contacts at institutions of higher education and are turning to our co-op friends for suggestions. » read more
Marketing = Education
Learning & Teaching
On Friday I am heading to Italy to study the region of Emilia Romagna, considered to be the world’s most successful and sophisticated cooperative economy. Co-op sectors in this region include agriculture, food processing, retail, construction, manufacturing, housing, finance, transportation, and social services. It’s the home of 8,100 producer, worker, and consumer co-ops that accounts for 30 percent of the region’s GDP. » read more
Time to Act
When a story is commonly held, in trust, it affects the way we think about ourselves, gives us hope, and leads to action. This is the reason I made Food For Change, to counter the dominant narrative of individualism and provide a touchstone for people in communities across the country who are organizing to address their needs through cooperation.
As we embark on an era of great concern for the direction of our nation, it’s important to tell stories that provide something positive to believe in—citizens strengthening their ties to solve their problems.
Big Change is Coming
Since their beginning, cooperatives have been on the forefront of progressive social change—advancing the principles of diversity and universal membership at a time when slavery was the norm and women were chattel. In the U.S., food co-ops were the leaders of change during the Great Depression, the War on Poverty, and the 1970s organic food movement. Along the way we’ve fought red-baiting attacks from bankers and monopolies, and the lowering of health standards when grocery chains enter new markets. We are now, once again, going through a time to test our mettle, our powers of reason, and our unifying strengths.