BLOG / Interviews with Change-Makers: Meet CoFED 

Interviews with Change-Makers: Meet CoFED 

Author: Apeel Team

As part of our mission to fight global food waste, Apeel is proud to support organizations out here doing the good work to drive systems of change within the food industry. These are the heroes of the broader Food Gone Good movement. One such organization is CoFED (Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive) who is on a mission to build a cooperative food economy, powered by the truly visionary leadership of young people of color as well as queer and nonbinary individuals. 

Apeel has donated to the cause of supporting twelve food cooperatives through CoFED’s regranting program, CoFUND. In addition to grant funding, these grantees will also have access to 12 months of technical assistance in business management, financial and operational skills, and communications support. 

To share more about CoFED’s vision and goals, we have Dallas Robinson, CoFED’s Director of Communications, here to answer a few questions: 

For those who don’t know, can you share more about what CoFED is working towards?

Dallas: Yes! CoFED is a QBPOC-led organization that partners with young folks of color from poor and working-class backgrounds to meet our communities' needs through food and land co-ops. We are building the leadership of young BIPOC cooperators to practice cooperative values, economics, and strategies for collective liberation.

When and why was CoFED started?

Dallas: CoFED was founded in 2011 after 2 years of college students organizing for better food access on their campuses through cooperation. In 2016, we expanded our work beyond campus food cooperatives. CoFED had a goal to address the need for nourishing economies, food sovereignty, and land access beyond institutions.

Since 2011, we have developed 12 new cooperative projects, trained over 600 emerging cooperative leaders, and cultivated a community of nearly 4,000 supporters across the U.S. and Canada. We have learned that our work must be rooted in relationships, values guided, and that if it is not nourishing, then we can let it go.

How are you working with Apeel to further CoFED’s goals?

Dallas: We are so thrilled to have Carlos Hernandez on our Board! He has brought sweetness and creativity to our team. Apeel was a huge support for the CoFUND, our first-ever regranting program. We are also collaborating with Monica Bi to talk about food justice, cooperatives, and culturally relevant foodways with interns at Apeel this summer.

Amazing. And where can people learn more about what you’re doing?

Dallas: You can learn more about CoFED at our website here. Follow us on social media as well: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn