Values-Based Food Supply Chain Case Study: Co-op Partners Warehouse
Posted April 2013
Co-op Partners Warehouse was established in 1999 by the Wedge Natural Foods Co-op in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This certified organic wholesale distribution warehouse serves retail stores, food service businesses and buying clubs throughout the Upper Midwest. It is an important link between customers and suppliers of local produce, dairy products and other perishable foods. Because it is wholly owned by the Wedge, Co-op Partners Warehouse carries out the goals and vision of Wedge co-op members. In addition to seeking out efficiencies in sourcing, warehousing and distribution, Co-op Partners Warehouse takes a special interest in fostering markets for smaller scale growers.
These publications are part of a series of case studies and Research Briefs examining values-based food supply chains—strategic business alliances formed between primarily midsize farms/ranches and their supply chain partners. Values-based food supply chains distribute significant volumes of high-quality, differentiated food products and share the rewards equitably. Farmers and ranchers function as strategic partners rather than easily replaced input suppliers. All participants in these business alliances recognize that creating maximum value for the product depends on significant interdependence, collaboration and mutual support. These supply chains attach importance to both the values embedded in the production of the food products AND the values that characterize the business relationships.