assembly

Reflections on our 10th Assembly

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As I’m trying to figure out how to put our 10th Assembly event into words, there are some things that come to mind.

The feeling of solidarity when you are in a room with folks who are experiencing the same challenges and sentiments as you, while working together to brainstorm solutions to problems.

The validation of being frustrated with the state of the local food system and competition from corporate food retail/farm production/distribution coupled with the fatigue of the staff, managers, and board members who have been putting in the work for such a long time. It’s really hard to be in that place, and recognition that it takes strength to persevere is important.

The mutual inspiration that comes from hearing from those who have kept their co-ops going over decades, while hearing from energetic new start-ups that are just gaining ground.

We are all in this together.

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From the difficult conversations that ask us to look inward and put in the work to include equity within our co-operative structures to big-picture brainstorming about how to continue with the work we are doing within the framework we’ve been given. And how to break free from that framework, in small day-to-day tasks all the way up to policy engagement and lobbying. We’re feeling the rejuvenation and inspiration from the conversations and workshops we've been part of.

We have a shared responsibility to continue. To keep going when things get difficult, and to lean on others for support where needed.

LFFC hopes to continue lending our support where it’s needed.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Keep up to date with LFFC, with our e-newsletter, on social media, check out website and event pages.

  • We want to hear from you, so keep in touch! Send us an email, a message over Facebook or Instagram, tag us in your posts so that we can know what’s happening with you and your co-op and if there’s something you want us to share. Are you fundraising or hosting an event? Let us help you get the word out. Have a milestone coming up? Let us know!

  • Are you interested in the support the LFFC offers? Consider signing up for our $300 lifetime membership to access all of the perks. For example, check out our Mentorship Program which connects novice and experienced co-operators or our online Toolbox of co-op policies, trainings, webinars and other documents.

  • We also now offer our Services: Communications Service as well as our Bookkeeping Service to both non-members and members (though members receive a discounted rate). Get in touch for more details.

  • Looking for a loan to get your co-operative business, farm or social enterprise off the ground? Perhaps you’re established but want to expand? Check out our Fair Finance Fund Project.

  • Spread the word about LFFC. We know there are tons of co-ops and co-operators out there struggling who could use our support. Connect us to someone who you think may benefit from LFFC’s help.

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We’re looking towards a great year for 2019, and are excited to share our progress and your stories with everyone.

In solidarity,

LFFC Team

9th Annual Assembly Registration now online!

Our 9th Annual Assembly will be on March 20th-21st in Schomberg, ON.

Check out our Assembly Page for more info and Early Bird Registration!

 

Our 9th Assembly Partners

Learn more about some of our 9th Assembly Sponsors in the following Profiles:

Ontario Co-operative Association

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The Ontario Co-operative Association (formerly On Co-op) is the only organization to bring together ALL of Ontario’s English-speaking co-operatives and credit unions for education, support, development, information-sharing and celebration. By fostering cross-sector networking, On Co-op promotes co-operation amongst co-operatives.

 

The Big Carrot

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One of the oldest natural food grocery stores in Toronto, the Big Carrot was founded on co-operative principles though it officially does not operate as a workers' co-op.  This enormous natural and organic food grocery store on Danforth Avenue in Toronto's Riverdale east end neighbourhood includes a cafe, a dispensary, and also a fresh juice bar.

 

Ag Energy Co-operative

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Ag Energy Co-operative Ltd. was founded over 28 years ago by growers to help pool their natural gas purchasing power.  Since then, Ag Energy has expanded its offerings to include electricity and evolved into an experienced energy management team.