A recent study by the National Cooperative Grocers Association demonstrates the ways cooperative businesses like the Good Earth Market do well while doing good. "Healthy Foods, Healthy Communities: The Social and Economic Impacts of Food Co-ops," compares food co-ops to conventional groceries. Because of their principles and practices, food co-ops inherently serve and benefit the communities where they are located.

For example, the study finds that for every dollar spent at a food co-op, 38 percent is reinvested in the local economy, compared to 24 percent by conventional grocers. In 2011, Good Earth's $3 million in sales generated $4.8 million in our local economy.

Conventional grocers work with an average of 65 local farmers and other local producers, compared to an average of 157 by food co-ops. Local products average 20 percent of co-op sales, compared to 6 percent at conventional stores. In the fiscal year of 2011-2012, Good Earth purchased $605,000 of product from 132 local producers, totaling 29 percent of all purchases.

This study (online at http://goodearthmarket.coop/2012/08Ihealthy-foods-healthy-communities) confirms the work we do daily at Good Earth Market is part of a larger movement to feed and support communities across the country. We're proud to be a business that has a proven, positive impact in our community.

Perry McNeese

general manager

Billings

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