By Patricia Cumbie 179 July-August 2015 Food cooperatives have a special relationship with their owners and customers, but even the best relationships need to be continually nurtured and cultivated. In a rapidly changing marketplace, one in which skillful competitors can outstrip other grocers on price, convenience, and amenities, customer [...]
By Patricia Cumbie 175 November-December 2014 When cooperatives work together to set aside funds to benefit groups in their local communities, the impact is multiplied. That’s what food cooperatives have discovered when they have established their own cooperative community fund through the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation’s “Give Where You Live” [...]
Open Harvest Lincoln, Neb. www.openharvest.coop Open Harvest is a medium-sized food co-op in an older mixed neighborhood in Lincoln, Neb. They have strong support for the co-op in their area, and have 2,800 members. Yet one of the things holding them back is that the discounts they currently offer members [...]
By Thane Joyal 158 January - February - 2012 When many retail food cooperatives were formed in the 1970s, the distinctions among worker cooperatives, consumer cooperatives and not-for-profit corporations were not considered to be barriers to doing business in a culture of cooperation. Regardless of the legal form used to [...]
By Marilyn Scholl 136 may - june - 2008 Interest in food cooperatives is growing, due both to increased interest in local, natural, and organic foods and to increased awareness of our economic vulnerability. More and more communities want the stability and accountability that a cooperative can offer. Cooperative ownership [...]
Learn what cooperative ownership is all about. We will discuss how to set up ownership programs, member/owner benefits, and other best practices that have proven their strength in established co-ops.
By Peg Nolan, Patricia Cumbie 103 November - December - 2002 Membership is at the heart of cooperation. Cooperative membership is the driving force for an alternative economic system predicated upon user ownership and benefit. It's part and parcel of the big picture of cooperation. But what's also true is [...]
By Karen Zimbelman, Marilyn Scholl 080 January - February - 1999 Members are the lifeblood of a co-op: a truism of cooperatives. Without members, a co-ops wouldn't be a co-op; it would be just another local grocery store. A co-op exists to serve the needs of its members. But members [...]