CoFED inspiregizes future food co-op leaders across North America. We support students with training and tools, and connect them with peers, mentors, and allies in a solidarity network.

Equity Toolkit for Food Co-ops

A free download of CoFED's Equity Toolkit is available here. 

CoFED’s Equity Toolkit provides a list of questions that presents an opportunity to infuse equity into every aspect of your business. These questions are meant to spark discussion and help expand the thinking around how equity can be applied to a food co-op. Simply put, they all aim to ask who benefits? Asking this question requires research to understand who has not been benefiting, or in other words, who has been left out. By asking ourselves questions we can come closer to create pathways for equity.

While you might not be able to create equitable options within every aspect of your business development, when there is a choice and you can choose the more equitable path, you will create deeper impact in your community.

What is equity? Equity is the condition that would be achieved if one’s identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. When CoFED uses the term, we consider racial equity as a core aspect of the issue, and work to address root causes of inequities, not just their manifestations. This includes elimination of policies, practices, attitudes and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race or fail to eliminate them.[1]

  • Example: 98% of black farmers have lost their land, the basis of their wealth. Compared to 66% of white farmers. Given those statistics what policies and practices can be created to counteract the inequities faced by black farmers?

What are equitable outcomes? Equitable outcomes result from fulfilling clear goals to increase inclusivity, access, and opportunity for groups facing the greatest barriers to social and economic participation. The strength of these outcomes results from being able to meet qualitative and quantitative goals that demonstrate successful progress towards equity.

  • Example: If we know that the majority of hungry students on campus are working students and students of color, how would the work of food co-ops create opportunities for these groups to directly benefit from the coop?

Download the toolkit here. 

Turning Guiding Questions into Action

This toolkit serves to support an introductory conversation and analysis towards creating more equitable food co-ops. It is a draft tool and we welcome feedback. CoFED can also offer additional support and facilitation for your organization or team to create inclusive, equitable, thriving food co-ops. For further information contact

[1] Center for Assessment and Policy Development:



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