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In this issue:

CCMA 2018: Food Co-op Leaders Converge on Portland, OR

With over 60 years running, the 2018 Consumer for Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) Conference this past June in Portland, OR was filled with rich traditions and attended by it’s usual enthusiastic food cooperative sector. Hosted by UWCC and the Portland area food cooperatives, CCMA brought together 425 food co-op leaders from 81 cooperatives and 32 states to discuss pressing issues and innovations. This year’s theme, Courageous Evolution: Strategies for Strong Co-ops and Communities, stressed the importance as well as courage it takes to evolve and address the imminent changes that are upon the retail grocery sector.

Participants toured host co-ops, local cooperatively-owned businesses, and community organizations throughout Portland. The two opening keynotes -- C.E. Pugh, Interim CEO of National Co+op Grocers and Elizabeth Pontefract, Vice President of Finance and Strategy at PCC Community Markets -- addressed the state of the grocery cooperative industry and PCC’s strategic differentiation in a crowded retail market. That Saturday, Eric Holt-Gimenez, Executive Director of Food First, highlighted how capitalism drives our local food systems. Thirty breakout sessions had topics ranging from board compensation to living wage; consolidation to expansion in new neighborhoods.

Recognizing outstanding leadership and innovation in food cooperatives, the 2018 Cooperative Excellence awards were given to:
  • Cooperative Service – Barry Smith, General Manager, Flatbush Food Cooperative
  • Cooperative Innovation & Achievement – Durham Co-op Market
  • Cooperative Board Service – Alan Weisberg, BriarPatch Food Co-op
  • Cooperative Board Service – Laura Miklowitz, Hendersonville Community Co-op
  • Cooperative Excellence Award – BriarPatch Food Co-op
Look forward to next year’s CCMA 2019, which will be hosted in Durham, North Carolina!

Related links:

Save the Date! Farmer Cooperatives Conference

Webinar Series:
Cooperative and Community Needs

“Cooperatives and Community Needs”, a five-part webinar series funded by a 2017 Rural Cooperative Development Grant, was developed to highlight examples and resources for possible cooperative solutions to rural economic development challenges. Upcoming webinars include:

Webinar: Cooperatives and Business Succession Strategies
This webinar will look at the conversion of businesses to cooperatives owned by the employees as one effective method for retaining businesses, jobs, and wealth in local communities.
July 19, 2018, 12 - 1 pm Central Time

Webinar: Cooperative and Community Infrastructure Needs
September 19, 2018, 12-1 pm Central Time

Webinar: Cooperatives and Community-Owned Businesses
October 17, 2018, 12 - 1 pm Central Time

Previous webinar recordings and the presentations on are available on UWCC website. In May and June, the Cooperative and Community Needs webinar addressed community care needs such as child care cooperatives and affordable housing options.

Grants Awarded to Support Forestry Cooperative Development

The University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives awarded nine grants for forestry cooperative development around Wisconsin totaling $45,000 in June. The grant recipients are:  Golden Sands Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc.; Intertribal Maple Syrup Producers Cooperative; Kickapoo Woods Cooperative; Northwoods Alliance Inc.; Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.; Shiitake Growers Association; Wisconsin Wood Marketing Team; Madison Urban Wood Center; and Vernon County Land and Water Conservation Department. Recipients will use their funds for a range of activities from membership development and sustainable forest management workshops to producing educational videos and launching a new cooperatively-owned urban wood enterprise.   

Upcoming Events

Webinar: How to Start a Base/Excess Plan in Your Co-op
Hosted by Wisconsin Farmers Union

Free educational webinar about dairy co-op base/excess plans used to balance milk supply with processing/marketing capacity.
July 19, 2018, 11:30 am - 1 pm Central Time
More information

Employee Ownership Solutions Seminar
This one-day workshop will highlight the various forms of business conversations to employee ownership including worker cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, and employee stock ownership plans. 
Cottage Grove, WI | September 21, 2018

Farmer Cooperatives Conference
This two day event brings together top agricultural cooperative leadership as they address today’s most pressing competitive challenges and techniques to improve their farmer-owned cooperative.
St. Paul, MN | November 7-9, 2018
More information

Co-op Directors Forum

Co-hosted with Cooperative Network, this event brings together cooperative board directors from all sectors of business to network, share in peer to peer learning and address pressing issues for cooperatives.
La Farge, WI | December 12, 2018
Copyright © 2018 University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, All rights reserved.

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