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.”
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 morein Organic Connections.