For many of us, our warmest, most intimate connection with a cooperative is our local grocer and at the National Co+Op Grocers the business of that co-operative is helping its 145 members, each a consumer facing co-op grocer, successfully compete against increasingly powerful national grocers.
The good news is that most co-op grocers are holding their own.
There had been tough times for co-op grocers, admitted this podcast’s interview, C. E. Pugh, CEO of the National Co+Op Grocers. A big reason is that in the past decade the big national grocers, from WalMart on down, all discovered the consumer appeal of organic, of brown rice, of soy and almond milk, the kinds of products co-op grocers had long depended upon for successes.
And then they had a lot more competition.
But co-op grocers also have a trump card, said Pugh. They can and should double down on local goods, local farmers, the local community. They are truly of the local community and to succeed, they need to accentuate that.
Many are doing just that.
Consider this podcast a guide to running a thriving food co-op.
Want to know still more about food co-ops? Tune into The Cooperators Podcast Episode 9 with Stuart Reid of the Food Co-op Initiative. That discussion has a focus on starting new food co-ops, where the Pugh talk is more tilted towards succeeding at an operating co-op.
Like what you are hearing? The Cooperators Podcast seeks sponsors and supporters to help us spread the word about cooperatives and how they often are the better way. Contact Robert McGarvey to find out what you can do to sustain this podcast.