WV Co-op Collaborative Toolkit

February 3, 2016  


Working with partners at Mountain State Justice,  The West Virginia College of Law and the Ohio Cooperative Development Center, we are developing a toolkit that will be designed for people who are exploring the co-op model, empowering them with the knowledge they need to create a new cooperative venture successfully. The toolkit is being designed around this overview:

So What’s So Great About a Co-op?

There’s a New Law in Town

What Incorporation and Co-op Model is Right for Me?

What are the Most Important Decisions I Must Make Before I Incorporate as a Co-op?

Articles of Incorporation & Bylaws

To be notified when the West Virginia co-op toolkit is released, email info@wvfoodandfarm.orgwith the subject “co-op.”

“The community-driven formation of the New Leaf Co-op is an example of how the Co-op Collaborative works with local citizens from the get-go. The Collaborative links people up with the organizational and legal resources to create the kind of innovative enterprise that will transform our economy for the better.” Sam Petsonk, Mountain State Justice


We believe that cooperatively-owned food & farm businesses are not only great options for West Virginia, but the entire world. According to the Sustainable Economies Law Center, “cooperatives put wealth and decisions into the hands of workers and consumers, building community well-being and transforming local economies.”

Strong cooperatively-owned local food businesses are thriving just beyond our borders: Casa Nueva and Local Roots Market in Ohio, Mariposa Food Co-op and East End Food Co-op in Pennsylvania, Sandhill Farm to Table Cooperative and Hendersonville Community Co-op in North Carolina. On a larger scale, food co-ops like Organic Valley and Southern States have a strong positive impact for farmers.

Co-ops contribute to a better global economy, and now West Virginia can join the movement. According to the World Co-operative Monitor the 300 largest co-operatives in the world have a combined turnover of 2.2 trillion dollars, and according to a recent study 250 million people are employed or earn their living thanks to a co-operative.


Cooperatively-owned food & farm businesses don’t just contribute economically, but by virtue of their democratic ownership can help address food needs in underserved communities.

According to the New Economy Coalition, while some food co-ops that were founded in the 70s focused on organic & natural foods, newer co-ops are choosing different missions, resulting in “food co-ops whose fundamental mission is to provide a full service grocery store in a low-income area that has no grocery stores, AKA a food desert. Besides addressing the food desert issue, this approach is trying to anchor the ownership of the co-op in the low-income community that needs the store as a community-owned asset, rather than it being owned primarily by a more amorphous “organic-and-natural” community.”

“The West Virginia Co-op Collaborative has provided a wonderful support system and a wealth of knowledge in the development of New Leaf.  It’s a pleasure working with them.”  – Ursulette Huntley, New Leaf

To be notified when the West Virginia co-op toolkit is released, email info@wvfoodandfarm.orgwith the subject “co-op.”

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