|Co-op values submitted by the Education Committee|
any cooperatives share certain core values. According to Go.coop (National Cooperative Grocers Association). those values include self-responsibility, democracy, equality, honesty and social responsibility.
In recent years, food co-ops have become generally instituted because of a recognized to give a group of individuals better access to wholesome, healthy food. Choosing to be responsible for your own healthy development and participation in the food system is empowering. Food Co-opers also commit to buying foods from local farmers who practice sustainable farming and organic growing methods and offer livestock that are raised sustainably and compassionately. Owner responsibility extends to staying informed about and participation in co-op governance.
Member-owners have the power and the capacity to exercise control over how to continue to meet the needs of the store, the shopping needs of the member-owners, and the surrounding community. Member-owners have power over co-responsibility for the leadership of the co-op.
Member-owners play an important role in the community. All members have equal influence and responsibility in the running the co-operative.
Co-operatives need transparency in order to maintain the strong relationships between membership, staff, and board. . Staff inform member-owners of the day-to-day operations, the problems, the finances, and the trends. Member-owners and the board make decisions about the mission and long term planning to fulfill that mission.
Co-operatives principles of sustainably grown produce, and raised livestock, preparing food, and natural and medicinal herbs have long been the lure for people joining food cooperatives. Sustainability is not important in other grocery markets. Shoppers may sometimes pay more for sustainable products but they do so to make an investment for the future of the earth and its inhabitants.
hy should your fellow shopper make a decision to join the cooperative and participate in its future plans, its welfare and its growth patterns? What makes a co-op shopper decide to take the extra step and join as a member? Co-ops offer a sense of belonging to a community of shared values that shoppers don’t get in their weekly or monthly visits to other grocery stores. Members can drop into the co-op, interact with other members, and discover new products.
Food co-ops also offer products that other grocers do not, such as fresh produce, dairy and meats from local farmers; certain herbs and vitamins; and specialty food products for shoppers who suffer from allergies and other health concerns Co-op shoppers also take advantage of education workshops, including cooking classes for ethnic foods, information about herbs and teas; workshops benefitting the surrounding community at large, and other resources for healthy eating.
Maybe other markets offer some of the same items as the food co-op. However for-profit grocers may offer products when they see a demand; but, are not accountable to their particular shoppers’ values. The food co-op, on the other hand, is responsive to member-owners’ values. Food co-op member-owners contribute an affordable fair share investment to become members. In a 2008 member survey, our co-op members indicated their highest priority in a is "to honor the earth and cultivate the Co-op's relationships with the communities we serve and with the broader network of farmers, suppliers, manufacturers and cooperatives.” If You can support these values by taking the extra step and becoming a member-owner today.