• Only two days left to vote in NCBA CLUSA’s 2017 Board of Directors election!

    Election results will be announced at NCBA CLUSA’s Annual Business Meeting & Virtual Town Hall on May 2 at NCBA CLUSA headquarters in Washington, DC.

    Election results will be announced at NCBA CLUSA’s Annual Business Meeting & Virtual Town Hall on May 2 at NCBA CLUSA headquarters in Washington, DC.Election results will be announced at NCBA CLUSA’s Annual Business Meeting & Virtual Town Hall on May 2 at NCBA CLUSA headquarters in Washington, DC.NCBA CLUSA members have until Thursday, April 27 to vote in NCBA CLUSA’s 2017 Board of Directors election. This is your chance to help shape the body that directs and inspires the organization, bringing consistent focus to its longer-term impacts and future opportunities.

    There are eight candidates running to fill five seats on the 2017 Board of Directors: Joseph Bergeron, Cornelius Blanding, Linda Brockway, Carla Decker, Esteban Kelly, Barbara Peterson, Hans Theyer and Karen Zimbelman. Read their bios and candidate statements here.

    NCBA CLUSA’s Board election is handled electronically through Simply

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  • REI, Cabot join 2017 Cooperative Issues Forum lineup

    This year’s Cooperative Issues Forum is co-hosted by NCBA CLUSA, the Cooperative Development Foundation and Cooperatives for a Better World.

    This year’s Cooperative Issues Forum is co-hosted by NCBA CLUSA, the Cooperative Development Foundation and Cooperatives for a Better World. This year’s Cooperative Issues Forum is co-hosted by NCBA CLUSA, the Cooperative Development Foundation and Cooperatives for a Better World.Registration is now open for the 2017 Cooperative Issues Forum, a gathering of co-op influencers and supporters that falls during Co-op Week, the U.S. co-op community’s annual emphasis week in May celebrating the business model and honoring its leaders and champions.

    Join co-hosts NCBA CLUSA, the Cooperative Development Foundation and Cooperatives for a Better World (CBW) on May 3, 2017, from 2-4:45 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. for this important conversation generously sponsored by the Ralph K. Morris Foundation

    With a spotlight

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  • NCBA CLUSA continues supporting vanilla co-ops in Madagascar through new USAID Trade Hub project

    Vanilla farmers in Madagascar learn how to form a cooperative.

    Vanilla farmers in Madagascar learn how to form a cooperative.Vanilla farmers in Madagascar learn how to form a cooperative.Through a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development's East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, NCBA CLUSA is doubling down on its efforts to strengthen market-oriented vanilla cooperatives, increase incomes for vanilla farmers and create a more sustainable value chain with the Increasing Vanilla Value Chain Competitiveness project in Madagascar. This $100,000 USAID-funded project runs until October 2017 and leverages financial and technical support from a public-private partnership with a national vanilla exporter and a Fortune 1000 company.

    Madagascar is the world’s largest exporter of vanilla, but challenges including volatile markets, crop resilience in the wake of natural disasters and security issues such as harvest theft threaten global supply of the spice. These setbacks particularly impact smallholder farmers—Hurricane Enawo last month destroyed up to 80 percent of vanilla vines for some smallholder farmers.

    To address these challenges and strengthen

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  • Meet the candidates running for election to the 2017 NCBA CLUSA Board of Directors

    The online election will open March 27 and close April 27. During this period, NCBA CLUSA members in good standing—those who have renewed their membership for 2017—are invited to cast their votes.

    The online election will open March 27 and close April 27. During this period, NCBA CLUSA members in good standing—those who have renewed their membership for 2017—are invited to cast their votes.The online election will open March 27 and close April 27. During this period, NCBA CLUSA members in good standing—those who have renewed their membership for 2017—are invited to cast their votes.NCBA CLUSA is pleased to announce the candidates running to fill five seats on the 2017 Board of Directors: Joseph Bergeron, Cornelius Blanding, Linda Brockway, Carla Decker, Esteban Kelly, Barbara Peterson, Hans Theyer and Karen Zimbelman. 

    The NCBA CLUSA Board directs and inspires the organization. The Board brings consistent focus to the association’s longer term impacts, results, purposes and future opportunities to serve the needs of members; emphasizes proactive leadership in policy development, clear distinction and respect for board and management roles, collective decision-making after consideration and encouragement of a diversity of viewpoints and evaluation of organizational performance in terms

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  • Only one day left to renew membership, be eligible to vote in NCBA CLUSA's 2017 Board of Directors election

    calendar reminder 500 333 280fecalendar reminder 500 333 280feElection results will be announced at NCBA CLUSA's Annual Business Meeting on May 2, 2017. To make your voice heard, make sure you've renewed your membership! NCBA CLUSA members planning to vote in the 2017 Board of Directors election have until Wednesday, March 22 to renew their membership. The online election will open on March 27 and close on April 27; during this period, NCBA CLUSA members in good standing are invited to cast their votes.

    If you cannot locate your renewal notice, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it....

  • NCBA CLUSA defends co-ops, responds to Trump Administration's Budget Blueprint

    Earlier today, the Office of Management and Budget released a Budget Blueprint outlining the Trump Administration’s FY2018 Budget. The Blueprint proposes to reduce or eliminate several programs important to developing and supporting the work of cooperatives, both domestically and abroad. Examples include the elimination of discretionary programs at USDA, such as the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG), as well as deep reductions in international development funding and the elimination of tailored U.S. development agencies.

    In a statement released today in response to the Trump administration’s Budget Blueprint, Judy Ziewacz, President and CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association stated:

    “As presented, President Trump’s proposed Budget Blueprint appears to directly and negatively impact cooperative business of all sizes with deep reductions in domestic discretionary spending and foreign aid. On behalf of the over 120 million members of cooperatives and 40,000 cooperative businesses throughout the nation that inject over $600 billion back into the economy, we express strong concern about the direction of this proposal and what it could mean to families and communities, both domestically and internationally.

    Cooperatives and the use of cooperative principles are a time-tested strategy to stabilize economies and provide economic opportunities to families and small businesses. Internationally, it is in the interest of the U.S. to invest in stabilizing and growing developing economies. This budget would cut deep into domestic and

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  • Early-bird registration now open for inaugural Co-op IMPACT Conference!

    As the first and only national cooperative conference of its kind, IMPACT 2017 is a unique opportunity to advance the shared interests of the cooperative movement.

    As the first and only national cooperative conference of its kind, IMPACT 2017 is a unique opportunity to advance the shared interests of the cooperative movement.As the first and only national cooperative conference of its kind, IMPACT 2017 is a unique opportunity to advance the shared interests of the cooperative movement.Early-bird registration is now open for NCBA CLUSA’s inaugural Co-op IMPACT Conference, scheduled for October 4 – 6, 2017, at the Hilton-Old Town Alexandria in Alexandria, Virginia. This pivotal cooperative event will, for the first time, bring together a broad spectrum of cooperative sectors to build on and amplify the economic impact co-ops have in the U.S. and around the world.

    Register now and lock in the early-bird rate of $550 for NCBA CLUSA members and $750 for non-members. The Early-Bird Full Registration package includes access to all plenary and break-out sessions, two receptions, our October 5 advocacy

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  • On International Women’s Day, why co-ops matter for women around the world

    Abelina dos Santos stands in her cassava field in East Timor.

    Abelina dos Santos stands in her cassava field in East Timor.Abelina dos Santos stands in her cassava field in East Timor.This year’s International Women’s Day theme, "Women in the Changing World of Work," speaks directly to the challenge women have in participating fully in the economy. From issues of equal pay to ownership, women are making strides but still have far to go. Women’s participation in co-op businesses—as farmers, leaders of financial institutions, innovators and community organizers—are the exact reasons why co-ops provide a better business platform for women. With equal voice in democratic governance and opportunities to own the businesses they work in, co-ops are the business model women should look at in a changing world of work.

    Through the four stories that follow, women demonstrate why cooperatives are a tool for their economic participation and opportunity, and the preferred business model for building resilient communities.

    Women like Abelina dos Santos who is growing some of the first ever cassava in East

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  • NCBA CLUSA to host Latin American coffee producers at Coffee Origins event in DC

    coffee origins event coming to Washington, D.C.coffee origins event coming to Washington, D.C.On Thursday, March 2, NCBA CLUSA will host over 50 coffee roasters and buyers to connect with coffee cooperatives and producer organizations from five Latin American countries. There a still a few spots left if you are in the Washington, D.C. area this week. Register today to claim your spot!

    Part of NCBA CLUSA’s USAID Cooperative Development Program, this event will help to facilitate relationships across the value chain from farmers to retailers to consumers and discuss best practices in cooperative development for the coffee industry.

    The morning will feature a producer fair, with coffee tastings from organizations in Brazil, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. In the afternoon, two quality cupping sessions will be led by local specialty coffee roasters and merchants, 32Cup.

    Presentations from our El Salvador and Indonesia teams

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  • Save the Date: Co-op Festival coming September 30 – October 1, 2017!

    Co-op Festival will be held September 30 – October 1, 2017 on the grounds of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

    Co-op Festival will be held September 30 – October 1, 2017 on the grounds of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.Co-op Festival will be held September 30 – October 1, 2017 on the grounds of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.NCBA CLUSA is excited to announce that its inaugural Co-op Festival will be held September 30 – October 1, 2017 on the grounds of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.—an unprecedented opportunity to amplify the economic impact, diversity and sustainability of a business model 70 percent of consumers say they already trust.

    Designed to kick off Co-op Month, this two-day public awareness event will feature live music, high-profile speakers, games, giveaways and interactive booths to engage a potential audience of 65,000+ people on the National Mall. The event will also serve as a visual reminder of the success and diversity of the co-op business model to elected officials in the nation’s capital.

    “This festival

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  • Video: Panel identifies cooperatives as social justice tools

    Ellis Car, left, moderates a panel discussion with Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Cornelius Blanding, LaKeisha Wolf and Alex Serrano at the National Press Club on February 13.

    Ellis Car, left, moderates a panel discussion with Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Cornelius Blanding, LaKeisha Wolf and Alex Serrano at the National Press Club on February 13.Ellis Car, left, moderates a panel discussion with Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Cornelius Blanding, LaKeisha Wolf and Alex Serrano at the National Press Club on February 13. At a panel discussion at the National Press Club yesterday, NCBA CLUSA hosted academics, co-op leaders, activists and entrepreneurs to offer a unique perspective on the Black experience in the U.S.—that co-ops not only should be, but have historically been a social justice tool.

    Moderated by Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners, the panel included Cornelius Blanding, executive director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund; Jessica Gordon Nembhard, professor of Community

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  • ‘Let’s get the co-op narrative in as many bills as we can,’ Rep. Royce says at reception welcoming 115th Congress

    At a reception on Capitol Hill last week, Reps. Ed Royce, left, and Mark Pocan pledged the Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus' continued advocacy on issues affecting co-ops, from potential tax reform to international development.

    At a reception on Capitol Hill last week, Reps. Ed Royce, left, and Mark Pocan pledged the Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus' continued advocacy on issues affecting co-ops, from potential tax reform to international development.At a reception on Capitol Hill last week, Reps. Ed Royce, left, and Mark Pocan pledged the Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus' continued advocacy on issues affecting co-ops, from potential tax reform to international development.At a reception on Capitol Hill last week, NCBA CLUSA and Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) welcomed incoming freshmen to the 115th Congress and invited them to join the recently reestablished caucus.

    In her introduction of the co-chairs, NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Judy Ziewacz noted that while co-ops inject $3 trillion into

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  • Bipartisan Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus relaunches in 115th Congress

    First established in 2016, the caucus provides greater visibility, education and awareness of the cooperative business model's economic impact nationwide.

    First established in 2016, the caucus provides greater visibility, education and awareness of the cooperative business model's economic impact nationwide.First established in 2016, the caucus provides greater visibility, education and awareness of the cooperative business model's economic impact nationwide.The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International is pleased to announce that the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration on Friday formally recognized the bipartisan Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus—co-chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)—for the 115th Congress. 

    “We are thrilled that this historic caucus dedicated to advancing the role of cooperatives in the nation’s economy has been continued in the new Congress,” NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Judy Ziewacz said. “We encourage lawmakers to recognize the critical role co-ops play in their districts by joining this bipartisan caucus.”

    First ...

  • Panel to explore how African Americans have used cooperatives to empower Black community

    Cooperative ownership continues to play a significant role in social and economic development in the Black community.

    Cooperative ownership continues to play a significant role in social and economic development in the Black community.Cooperative ownership continues to play a significant role in social and economic development in the Black community.From financial independence and desegregated housing, to small farmer empowerment and food security, cooperatives are an integral part of the Black experience that has often been silenced. Cooperative ownership continues to play a significant role in social and economic development in the Black community. 

    Register now and join NCBA CLUSA and a panel of academics, co-op leaders, activists and entrepreneurs at the National Press Club on Monday, February 13, from 3:30 – 5 p.m. for a discussion exploring “The Power of Cooperative Ownership in the Black Community.”

    Our panelists will discuss the historic role cooperatives have played in generating economic opportunities for Black Americans and explore the potential of

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  • NCBA CLUSA joins Cuba Study Group urging President-elect Trump to continue engaging Cuba

    Leaders of the co-op sector in the U.S. visit Cuba in July 2016 as part of the U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group.

    Leaders of the co-op sector in the U.S. visit Cuba in July 2016 as part of the U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group.Leaders of the co-op sector in the U.S. visit Cuba in July 2016 as part of the U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group.NCBA CLUSA joined the Cuba Study Group and 16 other organizations today, co-signing a letter addressed to the incoming Trump administration on Cuba. Titled U.S. Policy Towards Cuba: The Case for Engagement, the memo urges the president-elect to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of progress made in U.S. – Cuba relations.

    The memo outlines the positive gains from U.S – Cuba engagement, including potential U.S. job creation and notes that the risks of disengagement could affect national security and human rights.

    One gain is the growth of the Cuban private sector, which now accounts for 30 percent of the country’s workforce. The preferred business model in the Cuban private sector is cooperative businesses, which continue to need

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  • This woman is changing the way farmers package millet, to save the environment in Senegal

    Examples of millet packaging

    Examples of millet packagingExamples of millet packagingKadhy Ciss used to sell processed millet in the market, taking the raw grains and grinding them into flour or cooking ready pieces, but sales weren’t great. Without professional packaging, no one in the larger towns was buying the millet from her processing center in Toubakouta, her community in Fatick region, Senegal. But professional packing was hard to find for her small processing center.

    “I had serious needs to access packaging. Even worse, the existing packaging on the market is made of plastic and not biodegradable,” Kadhy said.

    Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded Millet Business Services Project (MBSP)—which NCBA CLUSA is implementing in four regions in Senegal—Kadhy learned to make her own, local packaging out of paper and other bio-degradable materials.

    Soon, she got a reputation for training and was teaching employees at small millet processing centers around Senegal how to make their own bags. Though time consuming, for the smaller, mostly women-owned centers, the added income was worthwhile. 

    Now

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  • Welcome to the first issue of Co-op Weekly!

    Welcome to the first issue of Co-op Weekly

    Welcome to the first issue of Co-op WeeklyWelcome to the first issue of Co-op WeeklyWelcome to the first issue of Co-op Weekly—news, events and features published by the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International and delivered to your inbox every Tuesday.

    You’re receiving this email because you previously subscribed to CBJ Online. In 2017, that publication is returning to its roots—a quarterly Cooperative Business Journal with an emphasis on thought leadership, scholarly research and opinion pieces. You’ll continue to receive the cooperative news, events and features you’ve come to expect from CBJ Online in Co-op Weekly.
                                                               
    Readers interested in in-depth analysis and cutting-edge research within the cooperative space will

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  • A message from the president

    [Judy Ziewacz, president & CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International.]

    [Judy Ziewacz, president & CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International.][Judy Ziewacz, president & CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International.]As the year draws to a close, we here at NCBA CLUSA extend warm holiday wishes to our members and cooperators around the world. We appreciate your continued support and engagement as we continue to cooperatively build sustainable communities, promote economic opportunities and strengthen cooperatives here in the U.S. and around the world.

    This past year marked our 100th anniversary of supporting cooperative businesses that build a better world. We celebrated this year by spotlighting our members in weekly co-op profiles, highlighting all of the good things co-ops do for communities across the nation and around the world. If you haven’t already, take a moment to explore our 100th anniversary website, ncbaclusa100.coop, where you’ll find an infographic co-op timeline, podcasts featuring leading

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  • 50 years of IFFCO demonstrates power of co-op business model to build—and sustain—a better world

    [Dr. Udai Shanker Awasthi, Managing Director and CEO of IFFCO, addresses member farmers at a recent event celebrating the cooperative’s 50th anniversary in 2017.]

    [Dr. Udai Shanker Awasthi, Managing Director and CEO of IFFCO, addresses member farmers at a recent event celebrating the cooperative’s 50th anniversary in 2017.][Dr. Udai Shanker Awasthi, Managing Director and CEO of IFFCO, addresses member farmers at a recent event celebrating the cooperative’s 50th anniversary in 2017.]In the 1960s, India was facing a food crisis. Traditional methods of farming weren’t keeping pace with population growth. While a national campaign called “Miss a Meal” ran full-page ads in the country’s major newspapers asking people to skip dinner, Indian farmers scrambled to find a sustainable, long-term solution to hunger.

    The result was an agricultural, or “green” revolution largely fueled by the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative (IFFCO), now the world’s largest fertilizer and marketing co-op. Gearing up for its 50th anniversary in 2017, IFFCO and NCBA CLUSA—which is celebrating its own milestone this year—share a unique history that demonstrates the power of the cooperative

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  • NCBA CLUSA makes economic case for co-ops in transition paper to Trump-Pence Administration

    transition paper 400transition paper 400In a presidential transition paper sent to President-Elect Donald Trump today, NCBA CLUSA outlines the many ways the cooperative business model can help answer some of the nation’s most critical challenges.

    Called “Cooperating for a Better Tomorrow: Creating Economic Opportunity for Americans and People Around the World,” the transition paper unpacks the scope of influence of the cooperatives in the U.S. and asks the incoming Administration to consider the cooperative business model as a bipartisan approach to federal policy making.

    Encouraging close collaboration with the Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus and the Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development, the paper outlines key areas where the Administration could support cooperatives: tax reform, worker ownership, the USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program, small business lending, inclusion of co-ops in the 2017 Economic Census,

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