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How colleges lead the slow-food movement

Organic Connections, the magazine for Natural Vitality, reveals how universities across the United States are evolving to offer cooperative food markets with the help of The Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive. 

What do you get when you mix college-student passion, a desire for local food, and the vehicle to create a sustainable business plan? The Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFed), a training program and research institute that facilitates students to create ethically sourced cafés and markets on college campuses. 

In an interview with Organic Connections, co-founder and director of CoFed Yoni Landau, explains, “I had the experience of being able to prevent a fast-food chain from coming to the UC Berkeley campus. Instead, we put in an alternative model that is a student run, democratically controlled, local food organic café and market. We helped stop the fast-food chain and raised about $140,000 for this alternative; so after that success I figured I would create a boot camp where student teams could congeal around this vision.” CoFed group

With millions of dollars being spent on agribusinesses, CoFed fosters the importance of powerful leadership regarding community-focused foods. It enables students to not only obtain the experience of managing a store, but provides colleges access to both organic produce and environmentally-friendly bulk foods.

The program also directs a weeklong training retreat for student groups interested in starting a food cooperative, offering consultation on fundraising, campaign building and logistic guidance to ensure the cafés have lasting power.

To see how CoFed is a driving force behind the new food revolution in colleges across the United States, read more in Organic Connections

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