Food Democracy

The Central Brooklyn Food Democracy Project advances a culture of healthy food, resilience and cooperative self-determination among long-term residents who are at risk of residential and commercial displacement in Central Brooklyn. In direct response to a pattern and practice of food redlining in Central Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Movement Center and RiseBoro, two organizations with decades of experience in building self-determining economies, have partnered to imagine a neighborhood-based food system powered by a new generation of consumer- and worker-owned cooperative food enterprises. Our 2020-2021 Worker Coop Academy will get started in late October 2020. Interested in starting a food-based worker-coop? Apply here! By September 14th, 2020.

For more info, contact Ashleigh Eubanks: aeubanks@riseboro.org

The Project is building an integrated food economy in Central Brooklyn while advancing a culture of healthy food, resilience, and cooperative development. The project strategically positions a new generation of entrepreneurs, workers, and consumers in a neighborhood food system powered by cooperative enterprises.

Incubated by the Brooklyn Movement Center, the Central Brooklyn Food Coop (The Food Coop) is a game-changing initiative in one of the most rapidly gentrifying areas in NYC. Set to open in 2021, It has been organizing since 2014 and is the nerve center and engine of the project. As a Black-led retail food cooperative, it will enable thousands of low- and moderate-income residents to nourish themselves with healthy and affordable food. As a consumer-owned coop, each member holds an equity stake in the coop and helps lower operational costs through an investment fee and three hours of monthly labor.

The Food Coop serves as the docking station for the project's interlocking components: the food education curricula/culinary training, and support for existing and new worker-owned food businesses.

RiseBoro will leverage the market base and opportunities generated by the Food Coop to form business relationships and establish at least six micro-enterprises along a food supply/demand value chain that will include food growing, sourcing, production, warehousing, packing, distribution, and catering, creating at least 35 new jobs. RiseBoro staff are already supporting two worker coops-- a Community Chef Coop (still in development, see below) and the Brooklyn Packers (since 2015, a food packing and distribution service)--that are poised to do business with the Food Coop.

A group of Community Chefs have served thousands of Central Brooklyn residents and organizations since 2014 and are developing the Food Coop's human capital and food literacy. Their offerings include culinary courses for adults, families, and seniors; as well as one-time cooking demonstrations in order to promote The Food Coop; and they will cater events among the Food Coop community of families, while training members of the Food Coop to lead healthy sustainable lives. The thousands-strong CBFC membership will serve as a base camp for self-renewing food education, advocacy and mobilization.

A Unified Vision of Community Food Sovereignty

Collectively, these project features will be points along a natively established, farm-to-plate food pipeline. The CBFC and the worker coops are democratically run by low- and moderate-income consumer- and worker- owners, respectively. Together, they will give rise to a wholesale/retail eco-system of local food growers, aggregators, transporters, packagers, sellers and educators.

Updates from the Food Democracy Project

Our 2020-2021 Worker Coop Academy will get started in late October 2020. Interested in starting a food-based worker-coop? Apply here! By September 14th, 2020.

For more info, contact Ashleigh Eubanks: aeubanks@riseboro.org

November 2020

RiseBoro's very first Worker Cooperative Academy launched with a kick-off weekend on October 24th -26th! The Academy is taking participants through an intensive incubation experience to prepare their businesses for launch and sustainability. Once the coops launch, they will be part of a newly formed network of democratically-run, predominantly Black businesses that will support each other and the Central Brooklyn community with good food services and products.

And, with that, we'd like to announce the three groups going through incubation this year!

Beautifully Fed Food

Beautifully Fed Food is a women-of-color led worker-owned cooperative committed to eliminating health disparities and creating healthy communities one delicious bite at a time. We achieve this by celebrating our diaspora cuisines in the form of plant-forward culinary classes and food-sovereignty education. We are currently based in Brooklyn and offer in-person, virtual-live and pre-recorded workshops to build awareness of and honor the traditions of our ancestors, while fortifying the health of our communities.

Medicinal Herb Farm

We are co-launching a Queer, Trans (QT) Black and Brown centered cooperative farm and forest in the North East that grows, shares and teaches about medicinal plants and traditions. Our collective of healers, farmers, and facilitators believes healing and liberation are interconnected, ongoing processes that require cultivating reciprocal relationships with the earth. Our goals are to honor the ancestors; respect the sacred; and cultivate interconnected resilience among our QTBIPOC community and the earth.

Sisters 3 Tea

Sisters 3 Tea is a family owned beverage manufacturing company founded in Brooklyn, New York in 2020. We produce sparkling botanicals from Caribbean herbs and fruits. Our family is dedicated to elevating Caribbean culture and crafting a world where health and pleasure are synonymous.

 
In the Community
for Good