BELFAST — The Cooperative Maine Business Alliance will hold its annual Principle Six Conference April 2, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center.

The keynote speaker will be Christine Hallquist, longtime CEO of Vermont Electric Co-op and now the leader of Vermont’s statewide broadband development, speaking about successful, consumer-owned electric and broadband utilities.

The title of the conference, an annual celebration of the cooperative economic model, is a reference to the sixth of seven cooperative principles agreed upon by the International Cooperative Alliance, Cooperation among Cooperatives. Representatives from all types of cooperatives will be in Belfast for a day of networking and education.

According to a press release from the Belfast Co-op, in Maine, cooperatives across many sectors create economic, social and cultural impact in communities. “From housing co-ops to food co-ops, resident-owned communities to worker-owned businesses, lobster co-ops to credit unions, co-op owners all over the state are finding ways to turn cooperative values and principles into action, changing the way that our neighbors interact with the local economy and building equity here at home,” the press release said.

“At the Belfast Co-op, we work hard to meet the current and future needs and aspirations of our community,” the release said. “Our revenues this past year exceeded $10.8 million, 35% of which came from locally grown products from over 220 local farmers and producers. We paid out over $2.5 million in wages and benefits to over 70 full and part-time workers. Our shoppers donated over $55,500 to local nonprofits chosen by our owners through our Common Cents round-up at the register program. When you shop at a co-op, you are buying into a better world and our co-op is here for you so that everyone will always have reliable, safe access to good local food.”

For more information and to register for this year’s Principle Six conference, go to maine.coop.

 

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