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The National Cooperative Grocers Association has welcomed two new members and three new associate co-ops, bringing affiliate totals to 125 food co-ops with combined annual sales of more than $1.4 billion.
“We are excited to welcome Amazing Grains Natural Foods Market, Just Local Food, Mariposa Food Co-op and Medford Food Co-op to NCGA. We’re also happy to announce that the Boise Food Co-op has transitioned from associate co-op to member status,” said Robynn Shrader, CEO of NCGA. “2012 is the International Year of Cooperatives, and we’re thrilled to have more communities to join in celebrating the social and economic benefits of cooperative businesses.”
Amazing Grains has been in Grand Forks, N.D., since 1972. In addition to making high-quality natural foods available at reasonable prices to its 850 owners and the general public, Amazing Grains also organizes cooperative gardens on vacant lots to increase the availability of fresh vegetables and herbs, build a sense of community and foster connections to the environment.
Idaho’s Boise Food Co-op was founded in 1973 by a small group of people interested in buying healthy, great-tasting food founded the co-op. It now boasts a membership of more than 30,000.
Just Local Food is a community-supported, worker-owned cooperative serving Chippewa Valley, Wis., since 2004. With 16 worker-owners, this full-service grocery store focuses on locally grown farmer-direct produce, meat and dairy.
Since the early 1970s, West Philadelphia, Pa.’s Mariposa Food Co-op has been providing its 1,200 owners and other residents with healthy, locally grown and sustainably produced food. The co-op is relocating to a significantly larger retail space, an expansion that will allow it to serve even more shoppers.
Oregon’s Medford Food Co-op opened its doors just six months ago. Already 800 owners strong, the co-op serves the entire Rogue Valley community with more than 15,000 fresh, local and organic products.
“The food co-op sector is flourishing from coast to coast,” Shrader said. “We’re proud to welcome these new affiliates and excited to include them as we celebrate the International Year of Cooperatives.”