Chris Kopka

Christopher Kopka describes himself as a poet by passion, a lawyer by training and a business strategist by accident. Chris has served as a Wall Street lawyer, a senior legal and risk management leader for two Global 100 organizations, and on the executive management team of a U.S. Fortune 500. He has taught as an adjunct professor at a Top 20 law school, with emphasis on cooperative business models. Chris has served on the boards of U.S. and international cooperative technical assistance providers. He has facilitated & taught training programs on governance for agricultural cooperative boards of directors. And he also bakes bread.

Are Co-ops A Strategy to Increase Market Access for Regenerative Farmers?  

"We would all be better off if we thought in the framework of inventive farmers"--Chris Kopka

Welcome back!

We're talking about how to catalyze a farm to food system vision to regenerate community health, wealth, resilience and well-being!

In this interview, I talk with Chris Kopka, who describes himself as a poet by passion, a lawyer by training and a business strategist by accident. His experience working on Wall Street and teaching about and supporting cooperative business models gives us insights into when and how farmers, food processors and consumers can use these models to collectively support the transformation of our farming and food systems. In our conversation we discuss:

  • Some of the history of how co-ops have been used to reduce collective risk, pool economic capacity and create collective advantage

  • How collective business structures like cooperatives can help overcome problems of creating, accessing and opening markets and addressing market imbalances

  • How the crazy stupid genius cycle works to slow the pace of innovation

Chris has a lot of confidence in the inventiveness of farmers and he explains how thinking like a farmer and caring for them as our partners would make us all better off. 

And I love Chris' antidote for our current troubled times!

Please enjoy my conversation with Chris to learn how we can catalyze and support a regenerative farming and food system that works for everyone.

Don't forget, I’ve created a special Our Food Is Our Future Facebook Group where you can join the conversation and share your reflections, questions and ideas about creating a healthier farming and food system.  

Here's to a healthier farming and food system for us all,

Food Farm Health Lab

Food Farm Health Lab builds on the Social Laboratory Movement, bringing together diverse stakeholders to explore, develop, and adapt regenerative farming and food system solutions that can be prototyped, modeled, and scaled in local communities for greater health, wealth, resilience and well-being.

©Basil's Harvest, 2020

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Email: carol.hays@ourfoodisourfuturesummit.org​​​