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06/24/2022

Grocers Among Those Celebrating 100th Int'l Day of Cooperatives

NGC boasts 148 members operating 200+ stores in 38 states
Julio Sanchez
Editorial Intern, Progressive Grocer
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International Day of Cooperatives was first marked by cooperatives worldwide in 1923 and then officially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on the centennial of the International Cooperative Alliance in 1995.

National Co+Op Grocers (NCG) will join cooperatives worldwide in celebrating the 100th International Day of Cooperatives, which is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July. This year, the observance falls on July 2.

International Day of Cooperatives was first marked by cooperatives worldwide in 1923 and then officially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on the centennial of the Brussels-based International Cooperative Alliance in 1995.

Among those marking the occasion are food co-ops, independent grocery stores that are owned by community members and operate for the benefit of their members according to common principles agreed upon by the international cooperative community.   

“For our co-op and co-ops worldwide, one of our seven cooperative principles is ‘concern for the community,’” said C.E. Pugh, president and CEO of NCG. “We’re proud to be a part of this global movement to truly build a better world.”

This year’s annual celebration will not only be the 100th time that this occasion has been observed, but also the 28th International Day of Cooperatives recognized by the UN. Since 1995, the ICA and the UN have jointly set the theme for the celebration of International Day of Cooperatives, also known as CoopsDay. The theme for 2022 is “Cooperatives Build a Better World,” similar to the theme in 2012, which the UN also declared The International Year of Cooperatives.

“When you consider there are more than 3 million cooperatives worldwide, the collective positive impact on their communities is tremendous,” added Pugh.

As food co-ops continue to rise, many communities are starting to see the benefits of adopting a healthier and more environmentally friendly alternative to grocery shopping, according to NGC’s “2021 Food Co-Op Impact Report.” The report also highlighted food co-ops’ ability to make natural and organic foods more affordable through promotion programs and local investments to farms. Organic products made up 40% of co-op sales and certified B Corps made up 9% of co-op sales, compared with 2% at conventional grocers. 

St. Paul, Minn.-based NCG, a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops throughout the U.S., helps unify food co-ops to optimize operational and marketing resources, increase purchasing power, and ultimately offer more value to food co-op owners and shoppers. Its 148 member co-ops operate more than 200 stores in 38 states, with combined annual sales of more $2.4 billion.

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