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Co-Op Group Gets B Corp Status

IOWA CITY, Iowa — National Cooperative Grocers Association here said it has been certified as a “B Corporation” — a new class of company that seeks to voluntarily adhere to high standards of transparency, accountability and social and environmental performance.

"Co-ops like ours are rooted in values of self-responsibility, democracy, community and social responsibility, and are a powerful economic force through which we can shape and ensure a sustainable food system, fair treatment of people, and a healthy environment,” said Robynn Shrader, chief executive officer, NCGA, in a statement. “Joining the B Corp family was a natural step.”

NCGA joins more than 650 companies in 19 countries and across 60 industries that have achieved B Corp status. The B Corp certification — it stands for “benefit corporation” — is managed by the nonprofit group B Lab. It likens the label to the Fair Trade product certification standard, and is seeking to expand the number of states that recognize B Corp status beyond the current roster of 12 states that do so.

Other companies that have achieved B Corp status include such food-industry brands as the Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Big City Farms and the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream division of Unilever.

NCGA is a trade group that provides services for food co-ops — locally owned by consumers — operating 165 stores across the country.

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