On December 19-20, 2012, the United Nations held the official closing ceremony for the International Year of Cooperatives. In his remarks regarding the event, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon observed that there “…continues to be a hunger for policies and approaches that address social and economic goals that go beyond a one-dimensional bottom line. By emphasizing core values, cooperatives help advance a vision that embraces social objectives into the business model.” The UN’s IYC Short Film Festival—a highlight of the ceremony—announced seven winners, including two films produced in the US: What’s to Love About Food Co-ops?, by the National Cooperative Grocers Association; and Food for Change: the Twin Cities, by Steve Alves.
In What’s to Love About Food Co-ops?, NCGA uses engaging animation to highlight the leading role played by its 128 member and associate food co-ops, who operate 165 storefronts in 35 states with combined annual sales of over $1.4 billion. The other US winner, Food for Change: The Twin Cities, showcases a chapter from a full-length documentary about the food co-op movement in this country that is to be released in Spring 2013. The Food for Change short film focuses on the Wedge Natural Foods Co-op and nearly a dozen other food co-ops in the Twin Cities region. Together, these co-ops employ 13,000 people, serve 70,000 members and generate gross revenues of $151 million a year.