National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative for 112 natural food co-ops nationwide, has been awarded the first-ever dotCoop Global Award for Cooperative Excellence – a recognition that underscores NCGA’s commitment to furthering the cooperative business model within its organization and throughout the nation.
The dotCoop Global Awards for Cooperative Excellence were created to recognize the application of cooperative values and principles to drive cooperative and business success. DotCooperation LLC (dotCoop), the sponsor of the .coop Internet domain, sponsored the awards and convened an international panel to review and judge submissions from every continent.
NCGA is among three winners in the international contest. Categories are small, medium and large – based on overall revenue and assets. NCGA won in the medium category. NCGA received its award November 18th in Geneva at the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) General Assembly, which unites, represents and serves cooperative businesses and associations worldwide.
“NCGA’s mission is to provide the vision, leadership and systems to catapult a virtual chain of food co-ops to a position of prominence in the natural foods industry,” said Robynn Shrader, chief executive officer for NCGA. “To make this work, cooperative values and principles are essential and demonstrated in every aspect of our organization. We’re delighted to receive this recognition, and we’re so appreciative of our members and staff who share in this award.”
“The level of excellence showcased among all the cooperative businesses that competed for the awards was truly amazing,” said Carolyn T. Hoover, chief executive officer for dotCoop. “NCGA consistently demonstrated its willingness and ability to reach beyond their core focus of natural and organic food and products to enrich the overall cooperative business model and society as a whole which came across clearly in their entry.”
Among the activities NCGA conducted over the past year that factored into their recognition:
- Supporting the development and implementation of a www.go.coop Web site to promote co-ops to consumers and to demonstrate the important role that co-ops in all sectors play in everyday lives.
- Sponsoring an online video contest, My Co-op Rocks, intended to help people share their co-op stories. Co-op staff, members and shoppers ages 18+ were invited to create and enter a 2 minute video that reflected the reasons they love their co-op at www.mycooprocks.coop.
- Hosting a 2009 “Co-ops Rock!” benefit concert to raise funds for the Cooperative Disaster Relief Fund, which provides financial relief for farmers impacted by weather events and natural disasters.
- Serving as founding member and major financial sponsor for The Alliance for Employee Benefit Cooperatives, a broad-based coalition of cooperative organizations committed to advancing health care and benefits coverage for American workers and families.
- Establishing a Development Cooperative, a subsidiary co-op aimed at assisting its member co-ops obtain capital and strategic support for expansion and/or new store projects.