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The Case for Co-ops
The co-op structure is used across our economy to help people help themselves: [list style=”bullet”]

  • Credit unions provide their members with financial services.
  • Worker co-ops support better job security.
  • Housing co-ops provide shelter.
  • Energy co-ops provide heat and light.
  • Producer co-ops enable farmers, fishermen and other producers to process, market and distribute their products.[/list]

Co-operative enterprise has been particularly important to helping family farmers and fishermen to address some of their enduring challenges as well as opportunities in the marketplace. A majority of our country’s two million food producers are members of about 3,000 producer co-ops. Co-operatives come in many shapes and sizes, enabling family farmers to aggregate and collectively market their goods, buy goods and services, access equipment and land, and add value to their crops. By working together, small producers can take advantage of the benefits of scale without giving up local ownership and control, empowering them to compete more effectively in the marketplace.

NEFU advocates for co-ops. See our Co-op Policy Priorities. And check out our policy book for a detailed description of our policy positions.

The Role of Co-operative Enterprise in a Resilient Food System

NEFU’s Co-operative Manual

NEFU’s Food Co-op Members

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