Women Lead the Way in Minnesota Food Co-ops

What are the different ways you see women as leaders in the food co-op movement?

Fields: I see women successful everywhere in the food co-op sector: in operations, administration, on boards, as vendors, as distributors, as consumers. There's definitely a connection with nourishment on a number of levels.

Where I think we lose the connection is when we look at other areas of our lives. I don't see women-who are so prominent in advocating for a sustainable food system-advocating for sustainable childcare and education or for cooperative finance that would enrich their local communities. I don't see women demanding cooperative healthcare. I'm not sure why we are so successful in this endeavor of sustainable food, but we aren't building bridges to other cooperative sectors.

Graham: Women fill a variety of roles in co-ops, from educated shopper, to front-line staff, to top leadership. We create and communicate a vision of how our work can create positive change in the lives of our families and in our communities, and work to build the commitment and the relationships that will help make that change happen.

McGaughey: Women may bring a more collaborative than authoritative approach, empowering management teams to make decisions that create unique results. For example, [Our co-op] has recently added a floral warehouse, a gluten-free bakery, and a community garden through team collaborations. There is passion to bring healthy food to families and community, there's the opportunity to collaborate to make an impact on your community.

Read the full article at Minnesota Women's Press


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