NCGA Sponsors First Ever "Cooperate for Community" Contest

Jul 30, 2007

Do you know people in your community who are working for more sustainable food, while exemplifying a spirit of cooperation along the way? Now through Sept. 14, 2007, natural food cooperatives nationwide are calling for nominations of community members who deserve recognition for their outstanding work.

The National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative representing more than 109 food co-ops nationwide, is sponsoring the first-ever “Cooperate for Community!” contest to honor local community members for their work in sustainable foods. Nominations of 500 words or less will be accepted from people 18 years or older at participating food co-ops. For a list of participating co-ops, visit

Local winners will advance to a national competition sponsored by NCGA and Frontier Natural Products Co-op, a wholesale cooperative specializing in natural and organic products, for a chance to win $7,500 toward a charity of their choice.

“You may know someone who started a neighborhood organic garden, or a parent who has tirelessly lobbied for school lunches with local ingredients,” said Robynn Shrader, NCGA's chief executive officer. “We’re always hearing about people, and we know a few ourselves, who are doing incredible work for sustainable food. At the same time, they are cooperating with community members in a way that benefits as many people as possible. These are the special individuals and organizations we’d like to honor.”

Three to four judges in each participating co-op’s community will select two local finalists and a winner who will be announced on or around Sept. 24, 2007. The prizes for local finalists and winners prizes will vary.

Local winners will then advance to the national contest where a panel of three to four judges designated by NCGA and Frontier Natural Products Co-op will select the national finalists and winners, who will be announced on or around Oct. 8, 2007. Two national finalists will win $2,500 toward the non-profit of their choice; the national winner will receive $7,500 toward the non-profit of their choice.

The “Cooperate for Community!” contest is being held during the months leading up to National Co-op Month in October. National Co-op Month is dedicated to celebrating the cooperative business model and informing communities about the purpose and values of co-ops.

“We’re excited to highlight individuals who represent the values our co-ops believe in,” said Shrader. “Natural food co-ops have always been committed to sustainable foods and the cooperative model of doing business. They are the true pioneers of the natural and organic food industry and have long been a favorite among people who want delicious, highest quality and healthy food produced in a way that is mindful of human, environmental and animal health, and fair prices for suppliers and consumers.”

For more contest information and rules, visit