You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients
~ Julia Child, US cook & cookbook author
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can be a part of the cooperative?
Farmer/producers and consumers may join the cooperative and be buyers, sellers or both. Co-op members work together to operate the co-op although there is no obligation to volunteer. Consumers and producers who are located outside the state of Nebraska but who wish to participate in the co-op will have the opportunity to do so but are not eligible to become voting members.
As a consumer, why should I join and buy my food through the Nebraska Food Cooperative?
- You will gain access to a reasonably priced, wide variety of safe, fresh, frozen, and processed food and non-food products grown and/or produced in Nebraska.
- You will be able to shop product offerings, such as meat, from multiple producers to compare prices, types, and the production practices used by each producer to find a product that meets your needs.
- You will gain access to foods free from growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified organisms.
- You will have access to this wonderful line-up of products without ever having to leave your home or community if you choose. Order online and have a bountiful harvest of food delivered to a drop point in your community every month.
- The secret to great cooking lies in the ingredients. You will have access to fresher, higher quality food through the cooperative than almost anywhere else.
- You will learn new ways to prepare food including many new, delicious recipes.
- You will get to know the people who produce your food. There is a story behind every product the cooperative offers.
- You will play an important role alongside farmer producers and other consumers from across the state to increase the awareness, availability, and quality of local food.
- You will be contributing to the economic and social well-being of your state, community, and neighbors by buying products grown and produced in Nebraska.
- You will have a say in the operation of the cooperative and be a voting member.
As a producer, why should I join the Nebraska Food Cooperative?
- Your farm will retain its identity. Your products, tomatoes for example, will be marketed as coming from your farm. The cooperative may offer for sale tomatoes from 12 different farmers. The consumer chooses from whom they are going to purchase their tomatoes based upon quality, price and/or customer-farmer relationship.
- You may set your own prices for all of your products.
- You will benefit from the marketing activities of the Nebraska Food Cooperative.
- The cooperative will be operating in a market area with over 1,000,000 consumers.
- You will reduce the time and cost of marketing and distributing your products to consumers.
- You will be working alongside consumers and other producers from across the state to increase the awareness, availability and quality of local food.
- You will have the opportunity to network with other producers and source other Nebraska ingredients that may be used to make additional value-added products that could be sold through the cooperative.
- A page on the cooperative website will be available for you to tell your story and detail your production practices. You can enter information and products into the website yourself. The software provides a very user-friendly way to do this; however, if you would like assistance with this, help will be available.
- You may specify inventory amounts in your product descriptions. As product is ordered, the inventory declines. When all of the product is sold the customer cannot order it.
- When you join the cooperative, you will receive a user name and password which will allow access to the administrative parts of the website you will need.
- Producers should be aware of the Producer Standards of the Nebraska Food Cooperative.
What area does the co-op serve?
The co-op’s current service area is the eastern one-third of Nebraska. NFC strives to expand westward while serving producers and consumers wherever there is sufficient demand within the existing service area.
What kind of food is sold through the Nebraska Food Cooperative?
A wide variety of food and some non-food items are offered through the cooperative. The food is often higher in quality and freshness and free of growth hormones, antibiotics, genetically modified organisms, herbicides and pesticides. While many products will be offered on every order cycle, the variety will be determined by availability and seasonality. Examples include organic vegetables, grass finished and grain-fed beef and pork, pastured poultry, eggs, jams/jellies, natural personal care products, artisan cheeses, artisan breads, and many others.
How will ordering and delivery take place through the cooperative?
The cooperative uses a web-based ordering system and delivers food to established pick-up sites. Not every site is open for each ordering cycle. Volunteer members and employees work hard to ensure your food is handled safely, arrives efficiently, and is in good condition.
Are delivery day volunteers compensated for their work?
Delivery day volunteers who are needed to drive a route are paid for their mileage. Volunteer site coordinators do not, at this time, receive any monetary compensation or food credits.
What is the membership fee for the cooperative?
There are four types of membership:
Voting Member: $100 (one share of common stock), plus a $20 annual membership dues thereafter, waived the first year
Non-voting Member: $40 annual non-member dues
Visitor Member: $6 per-order, no annual fee
Free Trial: Order once for free, then choose a regular membership option with your second order.
The annual fee is calculated from the date of a member’s initial sign-up.
Are there any other fees for participating in the cooperative?
To cover operating costs, a sales and handling charge applies to each order. Product prices are marked up from the producers to cover operating costs for the cooperative. The goal of NFC is to provide a sustainable food marketing and distribution service for consumers and producers; thus it strives to minimize profits beyond what is needed for operation and expansion.
How can I learn more about the Nebraska Food Cooperative?
See our Contact Us page to ask additional questions.