Keeping it Cooperative with Rochdale Farms

You may have seen the label in the cheese section on a sharp but affordable cheddar, or in the yogurt section, or on the parchment-wrapped logs of butter: Rochdale Farms. You know it signals quality, a creamy flavor that enhances whatever you eat. But what is Rochdale Farms? I spoke with Co-ops Accounts Manager Gina Palandri to find out.


You may be surprised to learn that there’s no Rochdale in Minnesota or Wisconsin. The name for this co-operative producer comes from the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, designers of the original consumer cooperative model launched in 1844 in Rochdale, England. Facing poverty and personal hardship in the tumult of the industrial revolution, the Rochdale Pioneers opened the first cooperatively organized store offering only five items on the shelves: flour, oatmeal, sugar, butter and candles. The cooperative principles that are still in use today are derived from the Rochdale Society’s rules of conduct. (more…)