Dear friends, supporters, and member-owners of the Amherst Food Co-op: Hi. I’m Ross, the Amherst Food Co-op’s Blog Editor. I’m…
Hello, my fellow Co-op people. If you're reading this, you probably are thinking about becoming a member or already are. If you already are, great. If you're not, here's why I support it. Firstly, the Co-op will have lots of organic local food. This is important because fresh produce has more vitamins and tastes better too.
As the Amherst Food Co-op (AFC) gains traction, I have been nudging people that I meet around town, trying to get a sense for how the idea of a co-op will sit with people. Though the member numbers are strong, the co-op is still in its infancy, even in the realm of awareness around town. I decided to ask some of my coworkers what they knew, if anything, and what they would like to see in the co-op as it takes shape.
My work as a member of the Amherst Food Co-op board of directors has made me more keenly aware than ever of the need to make dismantling racism a cornerstone of the Co-op. By their nature and long history, cooperative enterprises are necessarily political in nature. Cooperatives came into existence in response to injustice, inequity, and unfairness. Scholars like Jessica Gordon-Nembhard and her magisterial study of African-American cooperatives Collective Courage: A History of African-American Cooperative Economic Bottom Practice, speak to the indispensable role that collective enterprise has played in communities of color.