Do you know an outstanding food cooperator who deserves to be recognized? Or have you been admiring the progress, growth, innovation, or resilience of a particular co-op? This is your opportunity to recognize them!

The Cooperative Education Fund manages four awards for cooperative excellence that are presented at CCMA. The awards for excellence and outstanding achievement include:

  • Cooperative Excellence
  • Cooperative Service
  • Cooperative Innovation and Achievement
  • Cooperative Board Service

The cooperative excellence awards presented at CCMA are the food co-op's opportunity to honor colleagues and cooperatives for their achievements and accomplishments. Nominations are made by the food co-op community and reviewed by a panel of peers selected by CDF. If you know of a food co-op or someone in the food co-op community who deserves commendation, please nominate them!

Create a Submittable account and complete the online application. 

Applications are due on March 22, 2024.


Cooperative Excellence

The Cooperative Excellence Award foes to a co-op that demonstrates high achievement in the following areas:

  • Leadership - This co-op's board and management set realistic priorities and follow through on them. This co-op addresses its responsibilities to the public and practices good citizenship. It also practices business ethics and works to protect public health, safety and the environment.
  • Strategic Planning - The co-op's board and management set strategic directions to focus on future sustainable growth and market leadership.
  • Organizational Effectiveness - This co-op values learning at all levels and looks for opportunities to effect meaningful change. The co-op has the capacity for rapid change and flexibility and innovation is part of the co-op's culture. The co-op strives for success in design, management, and improvement of key production/delivery and support processes.
  • Human Resources - This co-op establishes a climate of customer/member-driven excellence, enables its workforce to develop its full potential and makes member education a priority.
  • Business Results - This co-op shows success in its key business areas while staying true to its mission.

Cooperative Service

The Cooperative Service Award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions above and beyond the normal course of work. This person's accomplishments are consistently viewed as models by other cooperators and have made a profound difference in store operations and member services. This cooperator is not afraid to take risks to achieve positive change and is a champion of the cooperative principles. Recipients of this award motivate employees and colleagues and are regarded as mentors, innovators, and leaders. Their accomplishments have not only enhanced the stature, reputation, and overall strength of the cooperative community, but the significant changes they have instituted have helped the cooperative to better achieve its goals. 

Cooperative Innovation & Achievement

The Cooperative Innovation and Achievement Award is given to the cooperative innovators who have changed the way that cooperatives approach problems. The nominee can be an individual, a group, or a co-op. Recipients of this award understand the urgency, relevancy, and complexity of the problem or opportunity addressed by the innovation, which results in measurable improvements or achievements that resonate with the cooperative principles and the cooperative's mission.

Cooperative Board Service

The Cooperative Board Service Award is given to an individual on the board of a food co-op who has gone above and beyond the scope of work expected of a board member. This person has fostered democratic organization and champions the cooperative principles. This board member exhibits highest standards of excellence, dedication and accomplishment, and in doing so has pushed the co-op to meets its goals. This leader has made an extraordinary commitment of time, talent or resources to the benefit of the co-op and the community.

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We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.