October is National Co-op Month, a time for cooperative businesses to educate others about their shared principles while celebrating the ways in which they build and grow community. Did you know that Minnesota has the highest per capita number of grocery cooperatives in the U.S.? Minnesota was also the first state to declare an official Co-op Month proclamation in 1948. Since 1964, National Co-op Month has been celebrated annually during the month of October. This year, we are proud to join with nearly 150 food co-ops throughout the country to celebrate the fact that many cooperative companies, suppliers, manufacturers, and farmers are growing strong, resilient communities. Co-ops offer a way to transform how business is conducted by providing an opportunity to get the products and services you need while simultaneously strengthening our community. Together, with your assistance, we are able to make a world of change!
Mississippi Market proudly contributes to a thriving local food economy and supports environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable agriculture practices through direct connection to our suppliers. As a cooperatively owned and operated business, Mississippi Market is controlled by over 16,000 people for the collective benefit of our members, staff, and the farmers and producers with whom we work. We operate not solely for economic reasons, but are also inclusive of social and environmental values. Mississippi Market’s mission is to create positive change in our community by influencing the production, distribution, and enjoyment of food. When you choose to purchase products from co-op farmers and producers, that communal impact grows exponentially!
To celebrate National Co-op Month, we’re supporting October Positive Change recipient Cooperative Development Services (CDS), a local St. Paul-based nonprofit that helps farmers develop business plans and access funds to grow their sustainable, organic, or cooperative businesses. CDS assists in developing and supporting local Minnesota farmer cooperatives and food vendors and specializes in applying the cooperative business model to sectors related to agriculture, environmental stewardship, and community development. CDS has provided support to a number of Mississippi Market’s farmers and food vendors, including Thousand Hills Cattle Company, Featherstone Farm, Whistling Well Farm, Hoch Orchards & Gardens, Pastures A Plenty Farm, Whole Grain Milling Company, Cedar Summit Farm, and more. Throughout October, 100% of Positive Change donations raised will go towards CDS’ Cooperative Food Systems program to provide support for farmer cooperatives and farmers who are members of co-ops.
At Mississippi Market, building, growing, and supporting local community is what defines us. We give back through our Positive Change program, our community class offerings, through financial donations to local organizations, and as sponsors of community events. Thanks to our co-op shoppers, in the past year we have donated over $115,000 to local community organizations through our Positive Change program. Thank you for your commitment to values-based community building and for supporting our cooperative business. Happy Co-op Month!