About CGN Membership

Cooperative Grocer Network (CGN) is a nonprofit, 501(c)6 trade association intent on strengthening all retail food co-ops by a creating a community of cooperators who can develop and share their best resources and practices.

Our community of board and staff from North American food cooperatives interacts using web-based discussion groups (Spaces) and contributes various resources to an online Library. Some of these resources are shared with the general public in order to promote the understanding and development of a cooperative economy. Others are available only to members of CGN, who log into the collaborative platform.

Besides operating this website, we publish the bimonthly magazine, Cooperative Grocer, a trade journal documenting our history since 1985. Our Library includes the magazine archives. Subscriptions are $28 per year, and your co-op or organization receives two free subscriptions with CGN membership.

CGN provides an ongoing dynamic learning and networking experience that strives to build on the NCBA-organized in-person conference, CCMA, the annual meeting of the Consumer Cooperative Management Association. We provide an online place for peer support, such as that gained through gatherings such as NCG's Marketing Matters, Tech Connect, and Convergence. As new co-ops get up and running, we offer a place for them to gain insights every day, based on the experience of established stores.

We strive to work with all of the organizations, both cooperative and non-profit, dedicated to strengthening the food co-op sector. Ours is a communication platform broadcasting the good news about what we do in our stores, offering a long-distance handshake and a route to enduring relationships with others committed to the same cause.


Co-op Members are retail or consumer food co-ops incorporated as a cooperative or a nonprofit with bylaws that meet the definitions of a cooperative: “… an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.”— from the International Co-operative Alliance Statement on the Co-operative Identity. Co-op Members have one vote in the annual CGN Board of Directors election.

Associate Members are organizations or individuals who are clearly in league with, and provide value to, the food cooperative sector. Associate Members do not vote in the annual election.

Membership dues of either kind cost $80 per million dollars of the previous year’s revenues, with a minimum cost of $400 and a maximum of $1,600. 

Joining is easy!

To apply for either class of membership, download and submit our member application form and statement of support form; or the associate membership form.

Included with Co-op Membership/Associate Membership are:

  • Unlimited enrollment of official staff or board members to CGN’s online Cooperator Directory and Discussion Groups.
  • A self-administered directory listing in our heavily visited online Food Co-op Directory.
  • Two subscriptions to Cooperative Grocer magazine.
  • Free submission of classified and job listings to the online Marketplace section.
  • 5% discount on ads in the magazine and website.

CGN requires each member to provide a CGN Account Manager who can serve as a primary administrative contact, helping enroll and encourage others in your organization to become involved. CGN Account Managers are given administrative tools and support to help them manage their co-op’s participation. They ensure that member participation conforms to any internal policies the member co-op or association may have. 

Enrolled member cooperators must be official staff or board members accountable to the member organization. All participating cooperators must be aware of, and agree to follow CGN’s policies, terms, and conditions.

Member cooperators may:

  • Create a personalized profile that can be viewed by other logged-in CGN users.
  • Access their own dynamic dashboard that provides an overview of content and admin tools.
  • View other cooperator profiles and connect with peers—using email, chat, phone, or other tools.
  • View the full Directory listings of members and associate members.
  • Participate in established Discussion Groups (Spaces), per the policies of their member co-op and the particular discussion group.
  • Create ad hoc Discussion Spaces for short-term or new topics, or private discussions.
  • Access member-only-designated content in the Library.
  • Contribute documents to the Library.
  • Order items from the CGN Store (restricted items must be authorized by account manager).

We’d love to have your co-op or support organization join CGN! 


Contact Ellen Michel, Executive Director – [email protected]  612-260-2287

or Dan Nordley, Admin Support – [email protected] 

2600 E. Franklin | Minneapolis | MN | 55406

612-436-9177 |  612-845-2556 cell

Fax: 612/692-8563