The National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) today announced it is calling on its member co-ops’ suppliers and vendors nationwide to help raise funds for family farmers in the upper Midwest affected by the historic floods that devastated portions of the area last month.
As part of this endeavor, NCGA has committed to matching the first $50,000 raised for family farmers. NCGA is a business services cooperative for 110 consumer-owned food co-ops located throughout the United States.
“These organic farmers – who are our friends as well as our business partners – need more help,” said Robynn Shrader, NCGA’s chief executive officer. “The Upper Midwest represents the second highest concentration of organic farmers in the nation. It’s still too soon to assess, but the damage sustained could force many organic producers out of business and boost prices for consumers. Some farmers have seen hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. Others may not be back next year.”
NCGA is asking funds be donated to Sow the Seeds – a non-profit organization created by the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy to purchase farmland and preserve it from commercial development. The recent flooding, however, refocused Sow the Seed’s mission to providing flood relief to sustainable and organic farmers hardest hit by the floods.
The initiative expands upon an effort currently underway by 20 co-ops nationwide – most in the upper Midwest – that have joined forces to raise over $30,000 for Sow the Seeds to date.
“NCGA, its member co-ops and suppliers can’t solve all the farmers’ problems or heal their wounds, but we can take some of the sting out of this tragedy,” Shrader added.
NCGA distributed a letter to suppliers and other vendors last week requesting support. “These organizations represent most brands that our member co-ops carry nationwide, ” said Shrader. “We feel it’s critical that we all stand side-by-side with the small family farmers who grow our organic food.”
Individuals and organizations seeking to make a donation may visit www.sowtheseedsfund.org or submit to:
Sow the Seeds Fund
2105 First Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(make checks payable to “IATP/Sow the Seeds Fund”)