Growing Good Food Ideas Spotlight: Food & Farm Co-ops In Ontario: A Natural Model

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Author: Jenn Kucharczyk

Posted: October 1, 2013

Categories: Digital Media (videos, infographics, digital stories) / Featured Videos / Growing Good Food Ideas / News from Sustain Members / News from Sustain Ontario

Powerline Films has been traveling across Ontario gathering stories of people and places that are transforming the future of food. Created in partnership with Sustain Ontario and more than a dozen partners, these videos shine light on good food ideas from many regions of our province.

For each of the past 24 weeks, we have been showcasing a different video from the 2012-2013 Growing Good Food Ideas series. The videos were launched in April at a special event at Queen’s Park with Premier Wynne in attendance. We wrap up our spotlight campaign today with this video from the Local Organic Food Coops Network, featuring food and farm co-ops in Ontario. Watch the rest of the videos on

We hope you’ve enjoyed watching these videos and that you will continue to share them widely!

The premise of co-operation is simple. Individuals come together to democratically govern an organization that serves their needs as members.  Co-operatives weather economic recessions better than traditional forms of business, have a business survival rate twice that of other forms of corporations after 10 years, and employ more than 15,000 people across Ontario.  Within the world of food, co-operatives exist at every stage in the food chain, whether growing, processing, distributing, retailing, or serving food.  Through the principle of “one member, one vote,” co-operatives give individuals a chance to build strength collectively, creating something that is more than the sum of its parts. By providing an opportunity for small, local operations to work together and get their products to market, food co-ops put the “culture back in agriculture,” help to shorten the distance from farmer to eater, and keep value (money, jobs, investment) within their communities. Membership within a co-op elevates all stakeholders to greater levels of engagement and empowerment, moving the consumer to the role of food citizen, and giving greater voice to farmers, producers, and workers. This video features members and leaders from co-ops across Ontario who are involved in the Local Organic Food Co-ops Network, telling their stories and illustrating the diverse ways in which these member-based organizations are increasing food democracy by engaging communities in the very process that nourishes them.