The Local Organic Food Co-ops Network acts as an umbrella organization for food and farm co-ops throughout Ontario. Food co-ops have already shown promise as a model for future food systems by bridging the gap between consumers and local producers and by making it easier for small-scale producers to get their product to market. The advantage is a more environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable food system that cuts down on the distance food travels from farm to plate as well as one that provides local jobs and enables eaters to contribute directly to the local economy and community through their purchases and democratic engagement.
In order for co-ops to thrive and grow, they must have access to the knowledge and resources that enable best business practices. The Local Organic Food Co-ops Network has been filling precisely that role, acting as a central hub for communication between small-scale food operations and co-ops for purposes of strategic development and exchange of knowledge. In addition, the LOFC Network supports the emergence and growth of new co-operatives (of which there has been a recent explosion, meriting this era the moniker of “3rd wave”), and carries out education and advocacy work on behalf of co-ops across Ontario, allowing these diverse bodies to speak and act with one voice.