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The past few years have been a watershed opportunity for food co-ops and for the wider cooperative movement. When the United Nations declared 2012 the International Year of Co-ops, it brought public attention to the cooperative business model. In the wake of continuing global recession, cooperative enterprise was showing itself to be a resilient business model that strengthened local economies, sustained jobs, and contributed to economic democracy. The central purpose of the year was to shine a light on co-ops as effective tools for poverty reduction, social engagement, and food security, particularly in the context of the UN’s Millenium Development Goals.


In early 2013, the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) launched a Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade. This ambitious vision acknowledges co-operatives as leaders in economic, social, and environmental sustainability, the preferred business model of people around the world, and consequently the fastest growing form of enterprise by 2020. (From NFCA  >Read more)

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