The WNC Purchasing Alliance (WNC-PA) is a cooperative bulk purchasing enterprise specializing in large purchase lots of sustainable and regenerative items. The WNC-PA grows out of Co-operate WNC’s regional mutual aid network, currently a group of 1,400 individuals and 80 organizational partners which spans 22 counties of western North Carolina with a total population of approximately 1.4 million.
Informed by a diverse historical and current legacy of cooperative purchasing initiatives in the U.S., the WNC-PA is a natural next step for serving and connecting our network of innovative community organizations and regenerative living advocates.
We are already seeing WNC-PA integrate powerfully with our other cooperative economic activities, and add steam and glue to our vision for a long-term inter-racial alliance which puts economic power back in the hands of local communities in service to a regenerative culture and climate resilient future.
After completing a successful first purchase and order fulfillment of 240 commercial-grade outdoor heaters for restaurants and other community gathering spaces in November 2020, we are now preparing bulk purchases around solar equipment, select food items, eco-cleaning supplies, and farming supplies, with more offerings to come based on needs of WNC-PA members.
We are launching WNC-PA membership enrollment on March 3, inviting businesses, non-profits, retreat centers, and grassroots community organizations to join as decision-making members of the alliance, thereby steering its direction and receiving its benefits as described below.
If your organization, community group, farm or business is a potential purchasing member, we encourage you to apply here.
If you or your business are a potential bulk supplier, and/or community-oriented investor, we encourage you to contact us here.
Benefits and functions of the WNC Purchasing Alliance
1. Saves significant money (estimated 10-30% depending on purchase type) for participating organizations and households through the power of bulk purchasing.
2. Creates access to certain goods that cannot be accessed otherwise, including high quality, regeneratively and cooperatively produced, and innovative products based on long-term relationships with producers
3. Allows our network to exert social/economic leverage on our region’s future by directing large purchases towards value-aligned producers, such as local, cooperative, Black and Brown-owned, and/or women-owned businesses. Our organizational mentor, the Community Purchasing Alliance in Washington D.C., completed 60% of its $20 million of purchases last year with Black, Brown and women-owned suppliers.
4. Revenue from WNC-PA profit margin (5-12% depending on each purchase) designed to perpetually fund a large percentage of operating and programmatic costs of Co-operate WNC, making Co-operate WNC’s other programs accessible via low-cost and free offerings.
5. Catalyzes a larger collaborative ecosystem among WNC-PA members who can then work together in other ways beyond purchasing, based on the trust developed here
6. Provides a concrete aggregation/distribution need to help organize participation in multiple function mutual aid community centers in diverse WNC community locations (a key part of Co-operate WNC’s vision for a regional mutual aid network)
7. Pricing/details for the membership plans you want available.