Today’s question comes to us from J.P., who writes: “Dear Nor Cal Coop: The membership option that includes the Coop stock and the Fibershed nonprofit membership costs $140, and says ‘one-time fee.’ Fibershed producer members pay $40/year for our memberships. Does that stop if we join the Nor Cal Fibershed Coop at this this level?”
First, thank you for reading and illustrating a point we need to clarify, here and in our membership materials. In a word, no. The Coop membership ($100) is one time, forever, and the Fibershed producer membership will renew (through Fibershed) at $40/year.
Why? Mostly to cover the best benefits of the Fibershed producer membership, including rich online marketing offerings (i.e. the Fibershed producer directory and featured blog posts, which subsequently drive search engine discovery and more); soil carbon testing; product tags; and a photography session with a natural light photographer will be scheduled during the first 12 to 18 months of membership. No matter how you cut it, $40/year is a tremendous value for all of this, and more.
Indeed, given the forthcoming Fibershed Marketplace, the photography session is perhaps even more valuable: High quality product and farm photos can be used even more widely, and help drive sales.
If you decide to join the Coop as a Fibershed dual member, then, we will pass the $40 on to Fibershed right away, and they will renew that producer membership afterward. If you have already paid/are current with your Fibershed producer membership, then $100 will make you a dual member to the Coop, and your $40 will renew through Fibershed per usual.