Local food lovers hope to open new farmers co-op

An article posted in the Herald highlights a new co-operative food market — one that would connect farmers with consumers — which may be developed due to the failing Kent Co-op grocery store in New Minas. The 41-year-old grocery store couldn’t survive in a highly competitive grocery market dominated by large players like Sobeys, Loblaws and Walmart.

There was much support for the co-op in general, but most felt that whatever model the Kent co-op was using just didn’t work, and there was much interest expressed in becoming involved in a similar opportunity in the future. A small group of individuals who are enthusiastic about local food are proposing a different framework than the co-op format – “a new co-operative food market that will put local products first and emphasize the connection between good food and healthy living.”

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Instead of trying to be all things for all people, the new market would focus on consumers who want to know where their food comes from and how it’s grown.

“There’s a core group of people who care a lot about where their food comes from and knowing who produced it and how it’s produced,” Cudmore said.

“They would have part ownership of the enterprise and be able to influence what products are sold in the store.”

Farmers would also be members of the co-op, giving them not only a direct connection to consumers but more control over their products and how they’re priced, displayed and sampled.

The emphasis would be on Annapolis Valley products first, followed by products from elsewhere in Nova Scotia, then Canada and lastly imported products that aren’t grown locally, like bananas and oranges.

The community is excited by the possibility of a market that focuses on the connection between farmers and consumers through education on where the food comes from and how it’s grown.

Click here for the full article.

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page, Committed to Local in the Annapolis Valley.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel that larger, more urban cities such as HRM could benefit from a larger co-op type store that would focus on local foods? Feel free to leave your comments below.