Early-bird registration has been extended through April 24 for the 2017 Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) Conference, scheduled for June 8 – 10 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Co-hosted by the Twin Cities area food co-ops and the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, the conference will bring together food cooperative leadership and industry experts from across the country to build skills that strengthen food co-ops and their communities.
This year’s CCMA theme, “Our North Star: Cooperate to Differentiate,” is inspired by Minnesota’s state motto L’etoile du Nord, or “Star of the North.” Throughout history, the North Star has been a symbol of guidance, dependability and reassurance. Just as the North Star is the fixed point around which the entire northern sky turns, the principles of cooperation continue to guide food cooperatives in an ever-changing industry. Challenged by increased market competition, shrinking margins and rising costs, food co-ops must demonstrate their commitment to the values that differentiate them from competitors.
This year’s program features keynote presentations by two nationally recognized champions of the natural food industry and sustainable community food systems. Michael Sansolo—the long-time Senior Vice President of the Food Marketing Institute and past Editor-In-Chief of Progressive Grocer—offers a diverse and unique view of the changing nature of today’s shoppers and their impact on the food retail industry.
Dr. Monica White is an activist, a food cooperative supporter and the author of the forthcoming book, Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement. Dr. White’s research engages communities of color and grassroots organizations that are involved in developing sustainable community food systems as a strategy to respond to issues of hunger and food inaccessibility.
CCMA 2017 will also feature 36 breakout sessions addressing a diverse array of topics—from crisis communications to pricing strategies, food security to succession planning and everything in between. Attendees will enjoy co-op tours that highlight the area’s rich and vibrant co-op community and commitment to sustainable food systems.
Take advantage of early-bird registration now, and plan to join your fellow food cooperative peers at Cooperate to Differentiate!