Everyone Welcome? Personal Narratives about Race and Food Co-ops

By Jade Barker and Patricia Cumbie We believe that now is a critical time to engage our cooperative community in important conversations about racism and [...]

The Cooperative Advantage

Sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious. Just because we have co-op in our name does not mean that people will really understand what that means. [...]

The Cooperative Difference is Your Competitive Advantage

 Ownership is what distinguishes cooperatives from other businesses, and what creates value and benefit to people in local communities. It’s why co-ops operate with their [...]

Pro Formas and the New Competitive Challenges

In the grocery world, we live in challenging times. Costco and Wal-Mart carry organic products. Supermarket chains tout local produce and have a house brand of organics. Home delivery [...]

Telling the Board Story Through the Co-op Marketing Department

By Rebecca Torpie 190 May-June 2017 Co-op boards and marketing teams can be like two ships passing in the night. Chances are they’ve crossed paths during [...]

Meat Managers Share Advice on Competing with the Big Boys

By Pete Hodgson 189 March-April 2017 A decade ago, it was still a challenge for consumers to find high quality, locally raised meats. Nowadays, there [...]

Why Do Marketing and Operations Clash?

Back when I worked in distribution, the warehousers complained that marketing promised too much to the customer, while marketing grumbled that the warehouse always said [...]

Safety Training That Works

An Interview with Paul Feiner As a Loss Prevention Certified (LPC) professional, Paul Feiner works full time as Store Support Manager at Sacramento Natural Foods [...]

Responding to Workplace Conflicts

Whenever people work together, conflicts will naturally arise. Here’s a framework to help leaders resolve conflicts. This article will describe three categories of conflicts and [...]

Safety Training That Works

An Interview with Paul Feiner As a Loss Prevention Certified (LPC) professional, Paul Feiner works full time as Store Support Manager at Sacramento Natural Foods [...]

Distinguishing Characteristics: Utilizing the Power of Produce to Stand Out from the Crowd

By James Morrell 190 May-June 2017 Keeping it fresh: a vibrant and fresh produce department is a key part of most natural food cooperatives, and a [...]

Telling the Board Story Through the Co-op Marketing Department

By Rebecca Torpie 190 May-June 2017 Co-op boards and marketing teams can be like two ships passing in the night. Chances are they’ve crossed paths during [...]

Video Field Guide: Membership Growth

Ben Sandel is a board leadership consultant and capital campaign expert working with startups and established co-ops helping them to reach their fundraising goals using [...]

When and Who to Hire (or Contract) for Startups

As a new co-op project progresses through the 3 stages of the development process and the workload and complexity of the co-op development process increases, [...]

Creating Cooperative Resiliency

By Thane Joyal #187 Nov.-Dec 2016 Conflict happens. Co-ops have always faced conflict, whether in the boardroom, in member meetings, through social media and email, [...]

Making the most of CBLD II

First up will be a short series, on making the most of the CBLD program. This series will both share examples of how to achieve [...]

Making the Most of CBLD I

First up will be a short series, on making the most of the CBLD program. This series will both share examples of how to achieve [...]

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CBL 101

Cooperative Board Leadership 101

More than 3,500 co-op leaders have participated in a CBL 101 since 2005. The day provides a strong foundation for directors by covering these topics: Cooperative principles, values and history, legal roles and responsibilities, cooperative governance, financial understanding using the balance sheet.

With the CBL 101 built into your co-op’s orientation plan, the session provides value both in the short term for those attending each session, and in the long term by maintaining a shared foundation for your board as directors come and go.

Cooperative Cafe

Cooperative Cafe

The Co-op Cafe provides a day of highly interactive and engaging strategic conversations designed to build shared understanding and alignment at your co-op and among co-ops. Cafe conversations focus on participation, and building community and meaningful relationships in our co-ops as essential elements of growing our co-ops.

Cafe presentations and roundup videos are available here.

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Establish Financial Feasibility for Your Co-op Project

November 9th, 2017|0 Comments

When it comes to development projects, the word “feasibility” is often used to describe everything from financial forecasting to market potential. It is all of that and more. Feasibility means exploring whether a project is [...]

NCG and Climate Collaborative to Recognize Exemplary Leadership on Climate Change

April 12th, 2017|0 Comments

At the first-ever Climate Day event held at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, on March 8, National Co+op Grocers (NCG) joined with the newly formed Climate Collaborative to announce a cutting-edge awards program [...]

What Drives Co-op Employee Engagement

March 9th, 2017|3 Comments

Workplace employee engagement is a hot topic.  Open any human resources publication and you’ll find countless articles on making work fun, motivational and results-oriented.  No matter what the individual strategies are to achieve that, the [...]

Co-op Fair Brings Community Together

November 2nd, 2016|0 Comments

Weaver Street Market in Carrboro, N.C. is continually working to cultivate community connections.  They host multiple events every year, and the Co-op Fair is one special event that brings hundreds of co-op owners together for [...]

Creating Board Holism in Board Communication

October 5th, 2016|1 Comment

Here are a few examples of recurring board processes:  nominations, recruiting and elections; GM evaluation; GM compensation; board self-evaluation; setting board priorities; agenda planning; officers roles and elections; code of conduct review and consideration of [...]

National Organic Coalition Hill Day Advocates for Farmers and Consumers

August 4th, 2016|0 Comments

In June, representatives from National Co+op Grocers visited Capitol Hill as part of the National Organic Coalition’s (NOC) annual “Hill Day.”  NCG is a cofounder and active member of NOC, which is a coalition of [...]

Outlook for Growth and Establishing New Co-ops

July 6th, 2016|0 Comments

The good news about the current environment for food co-op expansions and startups is that there’s continued planning for growth among established stores, and ongoing organizing activity for new co-ops.  If there is a downside [...]

On Board with Participation

July 6th, 2016|0 Comments

No chain grocery store could ever be as woven into the fabric of its community as a co-op. Boards can help their co-ops leverage this advantage by looking at their role as board members through [...]

Power of Staff and Community Participation at Central Co-op

July 6th, 2016|0 Comments

The board-GM team at Central Co-op has a very clear vision of how the Co-op presents as a community anchor and advocate: The Co-op is a point of convergence where participants make good things happen [...]

Putting Expansion Dreams Through the Filter of Feasibility

November 9th, 2017|0 Comments

Daily Groceries Co-op Athens, GA For a long time, Daily Groceries Co-op in Athens, Georgia, was a food co-op that was stuck—its sales were stagnant and not much changed in the way [...]

CoMinnesota

October 12th, 2017|0 Comments

Minneapolis, MN Year founded:  2011 Number of members:  30, mailing list 650 Investment:  $25+ annual due Cooperative Development Services is fiscal sponsor CoMinnesota is a cross-sector cooperative group that got its start [...]

Responding to Employee Concerns

Co-op employees will at least occasionally bring complaints and concerns to the board or individual directors, yet the board itself is ill-suited for the task [...]

Board Communication: Using the Board’s Unique Perspective to Increase Owner Engagement and Participation

There’s commonly a remarkable diversity among how the members of a co-op’s board of directors and how co-op staff see and understand the co-op. And [...]

Key Financial Indicators

The CBLD template Financial Conditions policy and sample report suggest that boards and managers regularly monitor a number of key indicators of financial health. Here [...]

Videography Tips for Recording Live Presentations

As a professional videographer I am often asked for tips on how to capture great video recordings.  Since I know this is a question people [...]

Policy Register Template Users’ Guide

Co-op boards that use Policy Governance® write policies as a way to codify their agreements for how they will work together, how they will delegate [...]

Video Field Guide: Membership Growth

Ben Sandel is a board leadership consultant and capital campaign expert working with startups and established co-ops helping them to reach their fundraising goals using [...]

Committee Charters Field Guide

All board committees should have a charter – a description of the committee’s purpose and authority. One person, generally the board secretary, should have primary [...]

Board Decisions Between Meetings

  By Michael Healy, CBLD Board Consultant As a general practice, boards should avoid making decisions between regular meetings. A large part of the value [...]