To celebrate National Co-op Month, we’re supporting Cooperative Development Services (CDS), a local St. Paul-based nonprofit that helps local farmers and producers 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
- CDS also actively pursues and engages new cooperative businesses in order to help them successfully launch and plan for long-term viability in the marketplace
- They have 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, and more
CDS supports their clients with:
- Business services, including feasibility studies, market analysis, business plans, marketing plans, and accounting systems
- Business training, including board, governance, and policy education
- Organizational and cooperative development
- Capital sourcing and financing, including loan and grant procurement, grant writing, financial packaging, financial projections and budgeting, and matching funds to leverage grants
- Project development and management, including development planning and strategic planning
Positive Change donations in October will be used for CDS’ Cooperative Food Systems program to provide support for farmer cooperatives and farmers who are members of co-ops.