Do you know an outstanding food cooperator who deserves to be recognized?  Or have you been admiring the progress, growth, innovation, or resilience of a particular co-op.

Here is your opportunity to recognize them! The awards for excellence and outstanding achievement include:

  • Cooperative Excellence
  • Cooperative Service
  • Cooperative Innovation and Achievement
  • Cooperative Board Service

The CCMA awards are the food co-op’s opportunity to honor colleagues and cooperatives for their achievements and accomplishments. Nominations are made by the food co-op community and reviewed by a panel of peers selected by CDF.  If you know of a food co-op or someone in the food co-op community who deserves commendation, please nominate them!


Deadline to nominate is Friday, March 22, 2024.

See who has been honored with past awards.


Cooperative Excellence

The Cooperative Excellence Award goes to a co-op that demonstrates high achievement in the following areas:

  • Leadership – This co-op’s board and management set realistic priorities and follow through on them. This co-op addresses its responsibilities to the public and practices good citizenship. It also practices business ethics and works to protect public health, safety and the environment.
  • Strategic Planning – The co-op’s board and management set strategic directions to focus on future sustainable growth and market leadership
  • Organizational Effectiveness – This co-op values learning at all levels and looks for opportunities to effect meaningful change. The co-op has the capacity for rapid change and flexibility and innovation is part of the co-op’s culture. The co-op strives for success in design, management, and improvement of key production/delivery and support processes
  • Human Resources – This co-op establishes a climate of customer/member-driven excellence, enables its workforce to develop its full potential and makes member education a priority
  • Business Results – This co-op shows success in its key business areas while staying true to its mission.

Cooperative Service

The Cooperative Service Award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions above and beyond the normal course of work. This person’s accomplishments are consistently viewed as models by other cooperators and have made a profound difference in store operations and member services. This cooperator is not afraid to take risks to achieve positive change and is a champion of the cooperative principles. Recipients of this award motivate employees and colleagues and are regarded as a mentors, innovators, and leaders. Their accomplishments have not only enhanced the stature, reputation, and overall strength of the cooperative community, but the significant changes they have instituted have helped the cooperative to better achieve its goals.

Cooperative Innovation & Achievement

The Cooperative Innovation and Achievement Award is given to cooperative innovators who have changed the way that cooperatives approach problems. The nominee can be an individual, a group, or a co-op. Recipients of this award understand the urgency, relevancy, and complexity of the problem or opportunity addressed by the innovation, which results in measurable improvements or achievements that resonate with the cooperative principles and the cooperative’s mission.

Cooperative Board Service

The Cooperative Board Service Award is given to an individual on the board of a food co-op who has gone above and beyond the scope of work expected of a board member. This person has fostered democratic organization and champions the cooperative principles. This board member exhibits highest standards of excellence, dedication and accomplishment, and in doing so has pushed the co-op to meet its goals. This leader has made an extraordinary commitment of time, talent or resources to the benefit of the co-op and the community.


Bill Gessner GM Coaching Award

NCG is proud to sponsor the Bill Gessner General Manager Coaching Award! Bill Gessner worked with more than 300 co-ops over the last 25 years of his life, consulting, advising, challenging and mentoring. In these relationships, Bill created a trustful environment, provided encouragement and support, offered guidance and inspiration in a spirit of generosity, and never lost his sense of wonderment of the world and of human capability. This award is to honor and remember Bill’s commitment to and support of professional development of food co-op general managers through coaching.

How to Apply

Please download the application and submit your completed response via the application survey (preferred) or by email to Amy Fields by March 31, 2024. Questions may also be directed to Amy Fields.

Startup of the Year

Presented by Food Co-op Initiative

This award is granted to a startup food co-op that displays notable excellence in one or more of the following areas:

  • community organizing, community education about the cooperative model, and growing ownership in their cooperative
  • strong, viable business planning leading to successful funding and opening of their co-op
  • bold and effective innovation in food co-op development, creating and sharing new organizing practices
  • implementing new approaches to meet the needs of communities traditionally under-served by food co-ops