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City Council celebrates 'Co-operative Month'

During this week’s City Council meeting, the Council voted to adopt a resolution to declare the month of October as “Co-operative Month.”

The first national “Co-op Month” was celebrated in 1964 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has been celebrated every October in the United States. Co-operatives are businesses that are locally owned by everyday people who join together to achieve shared goals, solve a challenge or meet a community need together.

Co-operatives are recognized in the laws and statutes of Massachusetts as member or user-owned, user-governed and user-benefiting enterprises, giving people a real stake in their economic destiny and the future of their communities. Co-operatives enable people to meet a wide variety of needs, goals and aspirations including healthy food, employment, farm products, financial services (credit unions), electric, telephone and cable services, and health care, housing, and insurance.

In the United States, there are about 65,000 co-operatives, and one out of every three people is a member of at least one co-op or credit union. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has 6 food co-ops: Franklin Community Co-op in Greenfield and Shelburne, Leverett Village Food Co-op of Leverett, Old Creamery Co-op of Cummington, Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op in Orange, River Valley Co-op in Easthampton & Northampton and Wild Oats Co-op Market in Williamstown.

The state of Massachusetts has 3 start up initiative food co-ops: Assabet Co-op Market in Maynard, Common Share Food Co-op in Amherst and Dorchester Food Co-op in Dorchester, which collectively are owned by over 21,580 local members, together, employing more than 340 people, generating over $49 million in annual revenue, and selling more than $11.5 million in local products.

Dorchester Food Co-op is joining with other members of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association in endorsing the Co-op Month 2021 theme established by the National Co-operative Business Association / CLUSA International, as “BUILD BACK FOR IMPACT,” emphasizing the manner in which co-operative enterprises are helping our communities rebuild from the pandemic in a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable manner.

The co-operative philosophy of working together for the common good has promoted community, well-being and improved the quality of life for citizens of Dorchester and Boston.

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