Building a democratic economy rooted in community.

MOFGA Common Ground Country Fair 2014


MOFGA | Common Ground Country Fair 2014 | SEP 19, 20, 21

VISIT OUR BOOTH on the corner of Social & Politcal Action Tent #2!

CO-OP WORKSHOP| SAT SEP 20 11a-12p | ‘Farm Labor, the Missing Link.’ | Jane Livingston & Jonah Fertig | SPA Speakers Tent

CO-OP WORKSHOP | SUN SEP 21 11a-12p | ‘CO-OPS 101‘ | Deborah Hawkins | SPA Speakers Tent

Paul Sheridan
H 207-338-0350
C 207-322-3961

HOPE Festival 2014 | 20th Annual

Cooperative Maine has a table at this indoor HOPE festival on the Saturday nearest to Earth Day each year.

This year it is Sat. April 26th from 11-4 in the Student Recreation & Fitness Center, Hilltop Road, University of Maine campus in Orono.

Deb and Gloria HOPE 2013

Deb and Gloria HOPE 2013

Food Co-op Revolution Underway in Maine

Great article about the new generation of food co-ops around Maine! Five New Food Co-ops from Fort Kent to Portland! Great interviews, photos, charts, graphs, & statistics!


March 10, 2014       [ MaineBIZ]

Food co-ops on the rise as Mainers seek local foods, buying power

by Lori Valigra

The number of member-owned food co-operatives in Maine is on a course to almost double to 11 this year, leavened by a taste for locally produced food that is safe and healthy.

While these new storefronts still plan to be community venues, they aren’t our parents’ co-ops. Many aim to offer one-stop shopping, carrying a wider variety of goods in addition to the traditional bulk items and “granola-type” fare. And backed by development loans and legions of member owners, they have become a force in the local economy.

“There’s a local economic multiplier,” says Kate Harris, education and publicity coordinator at Belfast Co-op, which started in 1976. “Our bank and payroll are based in the community. A much higher percentage of money stays in the community. We spend as much as we can locally. And the largest contribution is that we won’t leave the state.”

Nationally, every $1,000 a shopper spends at a local food co-op generates $1,604 in their local economy, $239 more than if they shopped at a conventional grocery, according to, a consumer website run by the National Cooperative Growers Association. Other metrics: 157 local farmers and producers on average work with a food co-op versus 65 with a conventional store; 20% of products are locally sourced versus 6% for a standard store; and 38% of revenue is spent locally versus 20% for a regular store (see chart, next page).

View FULL article FREE online HERE.

Portland Food Co-op approaching goal of 1,000 members

At 930 & growing, the Portland Food Co-op is nearing its goal of 1,000 member-owners.  Show some Principle Six love and join the PFC to help them to open the new storefront retail market at 290 Congress Street in Portland.  This community-owned market is expected to create up to 20 new jobs!  Help build a democratic economy rooted in community by becoming the newest member-owner and sign up online right now at!  It takes just a few minutes!

Portland Food Co-op logo

CO-OP WORKSHOP – Principle Six: The Cooperative Future of Food in Maine

“Principle Six: The Cooperative Future of Food in Maine”

A meeting for and by Food Co-ops and buying clubs

Saturday, February 15 (snow date 22nd) 9 AM-4 PM

Mediation & Facilitation Resources, 11 King St., Augusta


35 seats now FULL!

For waiting list please email: Paul Sheridan

… we will be talking with food folks about making this an annual event.

Thank You

Facebook event page:

 “Please forward freely to any Maine food buying club

             or co-op in formation that you know about—

             they may find this info very useful—Thanks


Help the Gardiner Food Co-op Get Started

Practice PRINCIPLE SIX!  Help a neighboring co-op out!

Here’s an excerpt from Kennebec Local Food Initiative ( about their exciting project:


Help Us Open the Doors!

Become a Member-Owner Today!

Get Your Boots on the Ground!

Our goal is to get 150 member-owners by the end of February!

We’ve already begun but we need your help to meet- or surpass!- that goal!

lets-make-a-coop (2)The vision for the Gardiner Food Co-op & Cafe is of a vibrant space owned by the community, dedicated to offering wholesome, fairly-priced food with an emphasis on local, organic, and fair trade.  In addition, there will be a cafe where friends and neighbors can gather to enjoy a warm soup, do work or brainstorm ways to bring about positive actions in our local community.

KLFI is planning the opening of this very space in downtown Gardiner in 2014.  In order to do it successfully and show funders and lenders that there is sufficient backing, we need your support…today.  To learn more or to purchase a share, click here or on the Gardiner Food Co-op menu tab.

Visit us at the Common Ground Fair, Sept 20-22, 2013 in Unity, ME

We always love to put faces together with phone voices or e-mail names.  Please stop by even for a few minutes at table #50 in the second Social and Political Action tent, right opposite the food vendors, and just at that corner.

We are also doing presentations in the SPA speakers tent:

Friday 12 noon-1 pm    and       Sunday 9-10 AM

Come to one or both if you can,  thanks.

HOPE FESTIVAL table and Annual Meeting!

THANKS to all who made the day successful!

Deb and Gloria HOPE 2013.tif                                                              Deborah and Gloria at 2013 event.

Cooperative Maine has a table at this indoor festival on the Saturday nearest to Earth Day each year.

Festival is Sat. April 27  from 11-4 in the Student Recreation & Fitness Center, Hilltop Road, Univ. of Maine campus.

Info: <>

Al SmithrocksWeb                                                                 Al Smith of Bath, rocking on out at HOPE…..

We need a minimum of one, preferably two, and sometime three “co-op friendly” people to greet folks with questions.

No special expertise needed, just passion for cooperatives.

Busiest times are 12-2, when we need extra hands.

Sign up here:  <>

Followed by:

Co-op Maine’s “Annual Meeting”

a time and place where we actually get to see each other face to face!

Potluck if you can, or food court just nearby.

Approx. 4-6 PM, after festival, in Totman Room, Memorial Hall

(Campus Map: <>)

Printable versions: <>

The sign on the door will say that the room is reserved for the “Philosophy Department”, but it is reserved for us.

In Belfast: CDI’ s own Rob Brown

Co-ops: New Directions, Common Roots presentation

1/14/13    6:30pm, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St, downtown Belfast

On Monday, January 14 at 6:30pm in the Belfast Free Library, at 106 High St in downtown Belfast, join the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) and the Belfast Co-op for a free presentation with Rob Brown, who will give an overview of the variety of co-ops that exist in Maine, the U.S., and across the globe.  His talk will examine how cooperatives improve economic and community development, and provide practical information on how individuals can join together to start new co-ops.

Co-ops come in many shapes and sizes but, at root, are business enterprises formed by groups of people who voluntarily develop, jointly own and democratically control the enterprise to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs.

While many area residents are familiar with the Belfast Co-op, they are likely unaware of the larger cooperative community, of which it is a part.  According to Brown, “the cooperative enterprise sector nationally is comprised of over 29,000 businesses with over 2 million jobs, 130 million members, $652 billion in annual sales and assets of $3 trillion.  Perhaps more than any other policy innovation, cooperative enterprises hold the greatest potential to simultaneously advance economic opportunity, social justice and environmental sustainability, offering fresh thinking beyond the traditional prescriptions of the left and right that usually accompany our country and state’s stale economic debates.”  And, he adds, “A lot of people talk about sustainability, but there can be no sustainability without broadly shared prosperity.  Economic insecurity is the greatest threat to sustainability.  Therefore, sustainability initiatives must be built, first and foremost, on an understanding of what the community members economic needs are, and a plan to address them.”

Brown works for the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI), the Northeast’s center for cooperative business education, training and technical assistance.  CDI’s mission is to build a cooperative economy through the creation and development of successful cooperative enterprises and networks in diverse communities in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York.  He Lives in Liberty and works with CDI’s Resident Owned Communities Program, which works with mobile home park residents throughout Maine and New England to form an affordable housing cooperative and buy and manage the parks where they live.

For more information about CDI’s work, visit:   For additional information about this event, email Belfast Co-op’s education coordinator, Kate Harris, at kate @, or call the Co-op at (207) 338-2532.

t300-Rob Brown

Courtesy of: Rob Brown, sailing in Belfast Harbor

from:      <>

Cabot Creamery co-op community tour, Portland, ME, July 7, 2012

Deb, Gloria, Jane in Port, 7.2012Deb (L), Gloria LeBrecque, the Maine rep for the Co-op Fund of New England (CFNE), and Jane (R)

CM bannerCM banner (with thanks to Gloria for the photos!)

Cabot Cooperative Dairy community tour, Portland, ME, July 7, 2012

Co-op Maine was invited to participate. Deborah Hawkins and Jane Livingston represented CM.

Deb, globe, Jane

Deb, globe, Jane

Jane, Gloria, and friends

Jane, Gloria, and friends



Jane and friend

Jane and friend

flying globes

flying globes


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 755 other followers

%d bloggers like this: