A fascinating and detailed look at the impact of food co-ops has just been released by the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA): www.strongertogether.coop/food-coops/food-co-op-impact-study. Available as a pdf, this 21-page report compares co-op and conventional food retailers in several areas:
- supporting local food systems;
- employment and job quality;
- economic impact;
- environmental stewardship;
- promoting healthy and sustainable foods.
In each of these areas, food co-ops provide impressive measures by comparison with conventional retailers. Food co-op data in the study is based on the NCGA membership, which totals 165 stores with $1.4 billion in sales and 1.3 million member-owners.
The NCGA report was researched with the help of ICA Group, a national, nonprofit consultancy. “Healthy Foods, Healthy Communities: Measuring the Social and Economic Impact of Food Co-ops” was based on numerous data sources, which are listed at the end of the study with links to those sources.
This article was featured in Cooperative Grocer, Issue 162 October 2012. Click here to subscribe.