CoFED's Regional Organizers are spread out across the country doing amazing work to support and connect student-run food coops in and across regions. A few times a year, they get to come together for the joyous occasion of face-to-face contact -- no more Skype fuzz or Google Hangout hats keeping them a part! The mid-year retreat provides them with further team-building and training that builds upon the work that they have accomplished thus far in the Fellowship, and of course, gets them stoked to continue their organizing efforts in the second half of the school year. Here are some of the highlights...
John Curl, author of "For All the People", visited us and talked about the history of coops in the United States, and how farmer, union, consumer, and communalist efforts were intertwined. John Curl himself has been a member of Heartwood Cooperative Woodshop in Berkeley for over thirty years, and has belonged to numerous other cooperatives and collectives.
Worker-owners at Mandela Foods Coop and Cheese Board Collective graciously lent some of their time to hang out with us on a few sunny afternoons to discuss what it's like living the dream--the good and difficult stuff that comes along with operating a worker-run shop.
Here we are with Adrionna in the Mandela warehouse:
And a great vid about the Cheese Board with footage from the 70s and today:
These amazing videos featured here were made by the prolific JJ Noire who also visited us during the retreat and showed clips from "This Way Out", a video guide on how to start a worker coop. JJ is the filmmaker of Mighty Small Films, who offers over 100 videos about coops on their YouTube channel.
Some other highlights include an amazing team-building workshop from Hai Vo, a member of CoFED's California Mentors Network, and an interview with the student-run food coop, The Flaming Eggplant, where we asked them about their operations as well as what they are looking forward to receiving from their membership to CoFED. Some very exciting ideas came out of that call, so look forward to some new CoFED services very soon!
Until next time,