The International Cooperative Alliance defines a cooperative as “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.” It is, essentially, an enterprise formed by a group of people who work together to solve a problem or reach a shared goal. In a cooperative, only members are permitted to own common shares of equity. Cooperatives are owned and governed democratically, applying the principle of “one member, one vote.”
A COOPERATIVE BUSINESS FOLLOWS THESE SEVEN PRINCIPLES:
Birthing of a Producers Coop
FPS’ full scope of support to a future COF:
- Certified Organic Clones that will not break .3% THC at no upfront cost (see below)
- I.P., business plan and business model contents, and support with market and related research*
- Education, training and information about growing organic hemp for CBD
- Various helpful connections with ethical/organic hemp industry resources
- Outside technical assistance co-op development services (until USDA allows the Cooperative Development Center at Rocky Mountain Farmers Union to use Federally Funded Staff to be the third party neutral overseer of COF formation)
“The fat pig”: On less than two acres of farmland near downtown Fort Collins, FPS is generating well over a million dollars of CBD products through our value-added, farmer-owned production model. For over a decade, FPS has leveraged the expert knowledge of Bill, our head farmer, to design this model as a “fat pig” that demonstrates to other farmers the potential of value added capture. All this Intellectual Property will become available to COF.
We offer a promise of total transparency: any farmer-member who might like to “peer under the hood” of our demo/”fat pig” model is more than welcome to do so at any point in this process. We have a guest room for visitors and serve a fantastic lunch every day for our volunteers.
Birthing of a Producers Coop
While focusing on Owner needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their Owners. You can do something for the community even as you keep succeeding.
Our model of distribution from us to you, farm to table, allows us to offer our CBD for the lowest price and rewards the farmer with 80 cents of every dollar instead of the norm, which is only 5 cents of every dollar. This model eliminates the broker, the middle man, stockholders, middle and upper management.
Our mission is to find crops that make more revenue for organic farmers and to lower the price of CBD so that more people can use it. The average farmer is over 62 years old, and in many cases, sons and daughters of those farmers are unwilling to carry on the family tradition given current conditions. We want to mentor a new generation of organic farmers, excited to take over. Our model enables small organic farms to survive and adopt ways that will regenerate soil, restore habitat, save water, produce food and medicine and sequester carbon. See our Save a Farm page for more information.
Regenerative agriculture builds soil and is centered on growing techniques that increase the fertility of the soil with the least amount of inputs. Regenerative farmers recognize the importance of the soil food web for optimal growth of any and all crops. This can only happen if non-toxic methods are used for fertility, pest control and creating greater yield. By using only organic inputs and reducing the harmful tilling techniques that make conventional farming rely on fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides, we can grow better plants. The goal is healthier plants, plants with more nutrition, and definitely fewer toxic chemicals. It is important to study natural patterns, mimic them when appropriate, and create sustainable practices that sequester carbon, mitigating carbon from the atmosphere. For example, the restoration of grasslands in all arable land could have the impact of halting climate change by restoring the rich subsoil, teeming with biological life.
The legendary regenerative agriculture work of Allan Savory of the Savory Institute has restored grassland habitat, healed riparian areas, increased soil fertility, and reduced erosion, while sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. Here is a Ted talk showcasing his work.
Another important aspect of this way to grow is that there has to be diversity of crops and crop rotation. This is an alternative to mono crops which tend to be weak requiring pesticides that kill the soil food web which makes added inputs a necessity. The micro organisms are no longer chomping down on rock to create chelated minerals and food for the nematodes and such to build the very important humus (organic matter in soil derived from microbial decomposition).