Iowa Valley Food Co-op is closing its virtual doors.
The Cedar Rapids-based co-op, which uses an online ordering system to connect local producers and customers, will end after the Nov. 2, 2016, distribution day. Grass-fed beef, locally grown vegetables and farm-fresh eggs were among the many items sold through the co-op, which offered distribution sites in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.
The Co-op’s Board of Directors sent the following email to its members on Friday:
Iowa Valley Food Co-op (IVFC) began business 5 years ago with this mission:
The purpose of the Iowa Valley Food Co-op is to increase the resiliency of the local food system in Eastern Iowa by developing the market, increasing the sale, and building the infrastructure for fresh, fairly-priced, sustainably produced food in our local region.
The model that the IVFC used in order to increase the market in Eastern Iowa for local products was to offer fresh, fairly priced, sustainably produced goods directly to consumers via a web-based marketplace.
In the past few years the IVFC has seen a steady decrease in participation by both producers and consumers in our regular distributions (To note – direct to consumer sales have trended down nationally.). These decreases have caused sales to drop to the point where they are no longer sustainable.
The IVFC Board of Directors decided at the October 13, 2016 board meeting to suspend current operations following the November 2, 2016 distribution. For now, our last distribution will be November 2nd – so stock up on all of your favorite goodies!
This decision did not come easily. Your support has contributed greatly to build the local food system in Eastern Iowa, and we give a heartfelt thank you for your support.
The IVFC is continuing to look for opportunities to fulfill our mission.
We will be in touch with more information about our equity, options and what the future holds for the IVFC. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Jessica Burtt Fogarty, President
Marcus Johnson, Vice-President
Rebecca Way Bergus, Treasurer
Lea Olson, Secretary