New wave food co-ops are (after four decades) mature businesses enjoying the benefits of their retail expertise and professionalism. They can put resources toward community endeavors AND invest in operations. Co-ops are gaining positive PR in many pockets around the country.
So what’s next?
The question cooperators are asking themselves now is how to make cooperation a predominate business form. It’s time to grow out of the pockets to the wide open plain. It’s an audacious goal, and one will take focus on helping people make a big leap toward seeing co-ops as a solution. Instead of community leaders automatically believing they need a Toyota plant (or some such company) to be economically vibrant, they will look to cooperation to fill their needs.
Co-ops talk a lot about working together, but sometimes people are not working together as well as they could be, and virtually any relationship, no matter how good, can be improved. In this issue of Solutions we are focused on the board-general manager relationship because their ability to work together well can literally change the world. We are excited to be a part of helping co-ops make the shift to meaningful growth through better leadership.