About Us

Our Mission

The Niagara Local Food Cooperative is governed by core values of land stewardship, social empowerment, and economic sustainability.

What Are We?

The Niagara Local Food Co-operative is an innovative marketing and distribution system for local farmers, agricultural producers, and consumers.
Essentially we are a virtual farmer’s market. Instead of driving to the market on specific days, or driving from farm to farm, you can order online at your convenience.

Why Join?

By definition, a co-op is owned by its members.

As a member of our food co-op, you will participate in the creation of a local food system produced within a 100 mile radius. As a consumer, you will know exactly who produces the food, where it is grown or raised, and what production practices the farmer uses.

You will also have the ability to order from a specific producer. As a farmer, grower or producer, you will be connected with consumers who value quality products, healthy local economies, and acknowledge a fair income for your work.

Join here: JOIN NOW

 

Benefits of Buying Local

Good for Consumers

Local food is fresher, better tasting, and more nutritious than imported food. Purchasing locally grown and produced food creates more prosperity, food security, and a higher quality of life.

Good for Our Farmers and Producers

The co-operative is an economic development mechanism to include employment, income creation, and fiscal improvement. In addition, the co-operative has the capacity to increase social and psychological empowerment of farmers and agricultural producers by facilitating and encouraging value-added agriculture.

Good for Our Community

Money remains in the community to support the local economy, create new employment and business opportunities. The co-op builds direct relationships among consumers, producers and neighbours.

Good for Our Planet

Purchasing local foods and products supports sustainable and humane farming. Buying local reduces transportation, packaging, and storage needs, nullifying the transportation networks of imported foods to lessen fossil fuel consumption, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

How is the Food Distributed?

The co-op brings the agricultural producers and consumers together in a virtual farmers’ market. Simply, each month is divided into two “shop & pick-up” periods. Each period consists of a week to place your order on line and the produce is ready for pick-up the following week.

More specifically, at the beginning of each period the producer members post all the products they will have available. Members then have one week to fill their virtual shopping cart with fresh produce. Once the member submits their online order each producer will be notified and the items will be reserved. To expedite and simplify the payment procedure orders are paid using Paypal.

Distribution day starts with the farmers and producers bringing the reserved orders to Thorold Community Activity Centre 131 Richmond St. Thorold. We are pleased to partner with them for our distribution and pickup site. It is located just off the 406 in Thorold.

Where and When?

We operate on a two-week cycle. Shopping begins on the Wednesday that follows distribution day, and ends 10 days later on a Saturday at midnight. Distribution Day is the following Tuesday at Thorold Community Activity Centre 131 Richmond St. Thorold.

For other distribution pick up points, please check our “Locations”

Home delivery is also available for a small fee.

On distribution day Producers drop off and assemble their orders between 2:30-4 pm. Consumer members pick up their order between 4 – 6:00 pm.

Thorold Community Activity Centre is located at 131 Richmond St. Thorold.

 

What Does it Cost to Join?

The co-operative sells shares to both consumer members and producer members. This buys the applicant one share in the co-op which, just like a credit union, makes you part owner of the coop. Consumer members pay $50 and Producer members pay $100 to buy a lifetime membership share in the co-op. “Producer” members include farmers who grow the produce as well as creative members who prepare food products using locally grown produce (in certified approved facilities). Essentially producer members can buy and sell through the co-op, while the “consumer” member is limited to making purchases. Each household can own one share.

Additionally, the co-op charges producers 10% for selling through the co-op, and customers will pay 5% for buying through the co-op. This money will be used to pay for operating expenses. The membership fee revenue will pay for capital expenditures.

Interested in getting local food now? JOIN NOW :)