Oklahoma Food Co-op Impresses at International Conference in D.C.

February 18, 2010

Hat tips all around to the Oklahoma Food Cooperative!  Two representatives, April Harrington and Kara Joy McKee, attended an international conference in Washington, D.C., in January 2010 to present information about the Oklahoma Food Co-op (OKF).  Harrington owns Earth Elements Market and Bakery in Lexington, OK, and McKee is the new General Operations Manager of OKF.  Here are some highlights from McKee’s article at Voices of Oklahoma, which I encourage you to check out in full (just follow the link in the sentence)…

***The OKF had been chosen to participate in the Wallace Foundation’s 2009 Community Food Enterprise study, which sought to identify the most promising and innovative local food projects going on today. They were impressed enough to invite us to be one of only three presenters out of twelve U.S. enterprises in the study.

***As the Wallace Foundation describes us, “The Oklahoma Food Cooperative is a new concept in food distribution. It brings together regional food producers and consumers through an easy-to-navigate website. With a statewide network of volunteers, the enterprise pumps nearly $1 million into the pockets of local food producers each year. The model is so simple, so inexpensive, and so effective that it has spread to Idaho, Texas, Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, and two locations in Ontario, Canada.”

***The participants were mightily impressed that we managed to distribute nearly $700,000 worth of local food and other products in 2009 without a single full time employee.  They cheered us on for our community involvement, accessible leadership structure, and our 7 percent rate of growth during the hard economic times of 2009.

***Study author Michael Schuman said that local food enterprises are becoming competitive through strategies such as marketing a higher quality product, working  together with local partners, integrating vertically, doing outreach to low income neighbors, and developing new strategies for distribution, “such as the Oklahoma Food Coop who has brought the cost of distribution including transport, packaging and marketing down from 73 to18 cents on the dollar.”

Way to go, Okies!
Beamish

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3 Responses to “Oklahoma Food Co-op Impresses at International Conference in D.C.”

  1. okiefeminist Says:

    This is fabulous news!

  2. Miz H Says:

    Dear PotP,

    You are the Bloggie winner of my heart. The internet is a fool.

    Actual winners:
    Best Political Blog (Liberal:) Progress on the Prairie
    Best Spiritual: To Someone Likeminded
    Best Cultural: Nothing Elegant
    Best Political Blog (Conservative): This Changes Nothing

  3. okiefeminist Says:

    I second that emotion, Miz H!


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