New Study: Twin Cities Co-op Local Food System

Just published: a new, in-depth look at food co-ops in the greater metropolitan Minneapolis-St. Paul area and their local food system, from member-owners to retailers to producers.  It is available for download (pdf) at  Cooperative Development Services (CDS) is the publisher, and the authors are Joan Stockinger of CDS and Dave Gutknecht of Cooperative Grocer Network.   The study was funded by a grant from Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The study provides much detail, both data and commentary, on a system of 300-350 local producers, a co-op distributor, 15 co-op retails operating 17 stores, and 91,000 member-owners providing a total of $179M in annual sales in 2012.  Strongly producer-friendly practices have enabled local sales to reach 30 percent of that total, and for a group of producers to receive significant income through the food co-ops.

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