Thursday, December 27, 2012

Olympia Food Co-op refuses grocery orders in support of striking Teamsters


Olympia Food Co-op refuses grocery orders in support of striking Teamsters

Olympia, WA. (Olympia Food Co-op) December 28, 2012: After months of labor violations by their main supplier, the Olympia Food Co-op says “no more” to United Natural Foods Inc. The Co-op has refused to place orders with UNFI for one week, in support of striking Teamsters members.  

“The Olympia Food Co-op will cost UNFI more than $100,000 in sales over seven days by refusing to order through them. We hope this sends a strong message to UNFI that the integrity of our supply chain is important to us,” said Harry Levine, a staff member at the Olympia Food Co-op. “UNFI must end labor violations and return to good faith bargaining.”

The Olympia Food Co-op’s week-long refusal to order from UNFI follows on the heels of a similar action by Central Co-op in Seattle.

UNFI’s unfair labor practices have drawn the attention of the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF). The National Labor Relations Board is investigating UNFI’s actions. Most UNFI warehouses are not unionized.

Warehouse workers and drivers at UNFI’s Auburn warehouse have been without a contract since late August, at which time UNFI began an aggressive campaign against their workers. According to the ILRF’s report, UNFI fenced the warehouse and hired armed guards; sent letters home to their employees threatening their job security; flew in UNFI workers from other areas and housed them in local hotels in case they were needed to break a strike; held a hiring fair for replacement workers at the warehouse during working hours; ceased overtime for union workers; and gave choice jobs and overtime assignments to non-union replacement workers.

The union held a two-day strike to protest these conditions earlier this month, followed by an unconditional return to work. Although UNFI agreed to the return, they then rescinded their offer and refused to allow the Teamsters back, permanently replacing 72 union members. The union returned to the picket line on Thursday, December 13th.

UNFI, an important distributor for natural food cooperatives in the northwest, has angered cooperatives by shorting deliveries to co-ops. Some cooperatives went without grocery deliveries for a week or more because of UNFI’s decision to “de-prioritize” their stores.

“Mispicks have increased from about three per order to nearly twenty per order since they began using replacement workers,” Virginia Lange, a buyer at the Olympia Food Co-op said. “We’ve also received orders that were 30% smaller than we ordered. Their refusal to settle with the union is as bad for their business as it is for ours.”

A letter from the Olympia Food Co-op’s Board of Directors to UNFI, sent in October, urged UNFI to quickly and amicably settle with their workers. “It is in UNFI’s own interest to provide a safe, productive work environment with competitive wages and benefits,” the letter noted. “As a business that posts a regular profit in a growing sector, you have every reason to do so.”

According to Supermarket News, in the first three quarters of 2012, UNFI's net income rose 11.2%, to $66.2 million, on a 15.5% increase in sales.

The Teamsters note that UNFI’s Auburn workers receive 25% lower wages than similarly employed workers in the same area, and that UNFI continues to insist on a physically demanding production standard. For instance, warehouse pickers would be required to “pick” 100 products (cases) per hour, with a less than 3% error rate.

About the Olympia Food Co-op: The Olympia Food Co-op is a member-based, not-for-profit, natural foods grocery store with two locations in Olympia, WA. The Olympia Food Co-op has provided healthy, organic and local food to the Olympia area since 1977, with an emphasis on promoting social and environmental responsibility. The stores are collectively managed and largely volunteer-run.

Jayne Rossman, Outreach
Olympia Food Co-op


Saturday, December 15, 2012

At 9:00 p.m. on Dec 13th, Teamsters Local 117 voted to resume their strike against United Natural Foods, Inc (UNFI). After a two-day strike on December 10th and 11th, UNFI accepted the worker's good-faith, unconditional offer to return to work. However, on Dec 13th, UNFI told 72 returning warehouse workers that they will be permanently replaced, prompting the union's return to the picket line. The union has also filed new unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).   Read the Teamsters’ full press release at:

How does the strike affect the Olympia Food Co-op?
  • UNFI is the Co-op’s largest supplier.  They provide 60-70% of the food we stock in the store including packaged foods, dairy, frozen, cleaning products, and body care. Most of the Co-op’s sales are tied to UNFI deliveries as well.  
  • Produce, deli, body care, and meat will be less affected by the strike as they have many other sources and order less from UNFI.
  • The Co-op has supported the Teamsters’ struggle since August.  We have sent letters, informed our members, and helped with publicity. We also advocated for other Washington, Idaho and Montana Co-ops to support the union.
  • The Co-op will order with UNFI for one week while awaiting the outcome of federal mediation between UNFI and the Union on Thursday, December 20th.. During this time staff will create accounts with alternate distributors. Here’s why: when the Union went on strike on Dec 10th, the Co-op cancelled our orders for Dec 13th in support of striking workers.  When the strike ended, we placed our Dec 15th orders. The Co-op Board of Directors met on Dec. 13th.  Supplies and inventory were dwindling.  They reviewed the Co-op Mission Statement which directs them to make good food accessible to more people, support efforts to increase democratic process, see to the long term health of the business, and support efforts to foster a socially and economically egalitarian society. In the short term (one week), the Board chose a path to provide for members’ immediate needs while staff develop alternative suppliers in order to support the Teamsters in the longer term.  This balances our support of the strike with our contractual obligations.
  • The union supports our immediate position.  They have appreciated our support all along and supported us in seeing to the long term health of the business. They have encouraged us to seek alternative distributors that are Union shops.
What can members and shoppers expect during the strike?
  • There may be many out of stock items. The strike and the replacement workers are impacting operations and supply at the Auburn warehouse. Affected departments will continue working hard to source UNFI items from other distributors, to minimize the impact as much as possible upon shopping.
  • Some of the items on the shelves will have been processed and delivered by non-union replacement workers.  We will have signs on the store doors that inform members how to determine which items were delivered by UNFI.  This can be determined by looking at the shelf tag below the stocked item.  For most items, if there is a long bar code on the shelf tag, it was delivered from UNFI.
What else can we do to support striking workers?
  • Join the picket line! Adding to the Teamsters presence on the line is always good. The warehouse is only 40 minutes away by car. Bring cameras to document and take musical instruments to get folks singing, chanting, and laughing.
  • Bring food and hot coffee to picketing workers!
  • If the strike/lock-out continues, you can donate to a strike fund! Go the website for info on how to make donations.

Please contact the Board if you have questions or comments at

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Co-op supports Teamsters Local #117!

Union members at the Co-op’s main distributor, United Natural Foods Inc., went on strike at 7PM, Monday evening through Wednesday afternoon. They’ve been without a contract since UNFI walked away from negotiations in August, and in the interim UNFI has hired replacement workers, sent threatening letters home to workers, ended overtime for union members, and hired armed guards. Striking workers asked UNFI to return to the bargaining table in good faith, and yesterday evening they set a date to continue negotiations. Yay!

In support of striking workers, the Co-op refused to place our UNFI orders on Wednesday for Thursday delivery. These orders would have been fulfilled by replacement workers, and placing orders would have broken the picket line. Supporting our distributor’s workers is part of our mission to “support efforts to foster a socially and economically egalitarian society” and to “encourage economic and social justice”.

Some products may be temporarily out of stock due to our support of the strike. If you are looking for an out of stock item, staff members will be happy to call our other location to see if they have the product in stock or to help you find a similar item. We will receive our next order on Saturday morning, so you can expect all of your regular items to be back in stock at that time! And don't worry - the stores are still full of delicious food and other goods.

Let UNFI know that you support striking Teamsters, and that they should cease labor violations and negotiate a fair contract with their workers. Contact:

Hank Heatherly - General Manager

Steven Spinner - President and CEO
United Natural Foods Incorporated
313 Iron Horse Way
Providence, RI. 02908-5637
Fax: 302.655.5049

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Board Meeting RESCHEDULED for Dec. 13 + Agenda!

We are rescheduling our December Board meeting on Dec. 13, as the third Thursday was going to conflict with multiple Board Members' vacation plans.

The Board meets from 6:30-9:30 at the Co-op's downtown office (610 Columbia St. SW). Co-op members are welcome to attend.

Our proposed agenda is:

Proposed Board Agenda for December 13, 2012 6:30-9:30 pm

Agenda Item

2 min
Mission Statement & Commitments Review

3 min
Member Comment

10 min
Staff report

5 min
Committee Reports

20 min
Overtime Report
How are the Co-op’s overtime rules affecting the labor budget?
15 min
Hiring Proposal
Should the Co-op hire five more staff members?
10 min
Board Appointments
Per Co-op bylaws, the Board can appoint up to two people to fill currently vacant Board spots for 2013
Discuss & consent
30 min
Bylaws Review
Should we create a committee to plan for a possible 2013 ballot on changing some of the bylaws?

20 min
Committees Review Cont’d
Which Board committees should be changed, and how?

30 min
Board Self-Evaluation for 2012
What went well? What should be done differently in 2013?
20 min

                                                               Total Meeting Time:        2 hours 45 min

Friday, November 16, 2012

Election count is IN! Your new Board is...

After a lengthy count (and re-count) last night, we are pleased to announce our new 2013 Board members!

John Regan (182 votes)
Erin Genia (168 votes)
Dani Madrone (159 votes)
Teresa Young (150 votes)
Niki Bilodeau (125 votes)

Congratulations to our new Board members!

The next runner-up to Niki was Isabella Rogol at 124 votes! Yikes! Don't let anyone ever tell you that your single vote doesn't count in the Co-op elections. (To be sure of our count, every ballot was counted by at least two people, and if a discrepancy was found, a third person recounted. We feel confident in the accuracy the overall count.)

We had an excellent group of candidates this year and sincerely hope that some of the folks who didn't make it on to the Board this time around will consider running again next year.

Thank you to everyone who participated, and many thanks to our late-night ballot-verification and vote-counting crew: volunteers Laura Kaszynski, Jaime Rossman, and Rochelle Gause, and staff members Fern, Jason, Jayne and Jackie.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action

From the organizers of the "Creating Cooperatives Conference" (including the Olympia Food Co-op!) we now present...

After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action

What:  A presentation and conversation with Dada Maheshvarananda, monk, activist and author living in Venezuela

When: Tuesday, November 27, 7PM

Meeting Room B at the Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. Olympia

Alternate Date/Place:  Wednesday, November 28th, Noon, The Evergreen State College, Seminar 2, D1107

Details:  Dada will introduce ideas in his recent book, After Capitalism, posing the question: "If global capitalism doesn’t work for everyone, what’s the alternative?"

Today a powerful few control most of the world’s wealth, while most people work harder than
ever, earn less, are forced from job to job, and fall into debt. In contrast, emerging, independent
local economies of small businesses, cooperatives and public utilities are building careers and
meaningful futures for individuals and communities.

This is the message of Dada Maheshvarananda, a monk, activist, and author of the new book,
After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action. He explains how social crises are interlinked
with personal struggles for peace and justice. His practical ideas are grounded in a new socioeconomic
model based on local, sustainable economies, social justice and environmental
protection. Dada directs the Prout Research Institute of Venezuela.
We hope to see you there as we discuss new possibilities for community economics, at home and across borders.

Thank you,
The Olympia 2012 Year of the Cooperative Committee

EVENT SPONSORED BY: Olympia 2012 Year of the Cooperative Committee
The Evergreen State College, Political Economy and Social Movements

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Board Meeting Agenda for 11/15

Please note that this week's Board meeting will end early in order for staff to begin counting election ballots as soon as the stores close at 9pm. 

Olympia Food Co-op meetings are open to the membership. They take place at our downtown office at 610 Columbia St., on the third Thursday of each month. If you are interested in presenting an agenda item, contact ofcboard at 
 Proposed Board Agenda for November 15, 2012 6:30-9pm

Agenda Item

2 min
Mission Statement & Commitments Review

3 min
Member Comment

10 min
Staff report

5 min
Wild Rivers Letter
Should the Co-op sign on to a letter to Rep. Herrera re: protecting wild rivers in SW WA?

10 min
2013 Budget – final draft

30 min
Committee Reports

20 min
Drug & Alcohol Policy

10 min
Annual Meeting Debrief & Feedback

15 min
Bylaws Review
Should we plan for a 2013 member process & ballot re: changing some portions of our bylaws?

20 min
Committees Review Cont’d
Ongoing work on reviewing, updating, and changing Board Committees

35 min
Executive Session

10 min

                                                               Total Meeting Time:        2 hours 30 min

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Annual Meeting THIS Saturday!

Delicious, catered food by Ninevah, hoppin' music by Erev Rav... oh yeah, and a chance to hear from the Board candidates, mingle with other Co-op members, and ask staff all those burning questions you've been saving up! It'll be way better than a rainy day at home... 

(And if you want to bring your little ones with you, we'll have free childcare, too!)

It's the Annual Meeting!

So grab your calendar and write this down:

Saturday, Nov. 11th from 1-4pm at the Olympia Center. 

Parking is available on the street and in the Olympia Center's parking lot. 
It's free!

Here's our schedule:

1-1:15: Settle in. Grab some coffee and a chair. Kid's area opens at 1pm.

1:15-2:15 Presentations. There will be a 10-15 minute overview of the Co-op's activities and finances, followed by 3 minute speeches from each of our Board candidates. We'll have ballots and pens ready for you to vote.

2:15-3 Food, mingling, and talking with staff. Visit the booths of each of our main committees (Expansion, Local Farms & Products, Volunteers, Outreach & the Newsletter, Member Relations Committee and the Developing Cooperatives Committee) to chat with friendly staff and volunteers ready to give you the scoop on our plans and hear your suggestions. Plus, Tulip Credit Union will be there. If you finish up visiting staff at the booths,  have some more food and get to know your fellow Co-op members by playing Co-op Bingo!

3-3:45 Erev Rav Klezmorphic Orchestra takes the stage with high energy, family friendly, toe-tapping music! The Kid's area will close down at around this time, so your whole family can dance together. 

3:45-4 Closing. How did it go? Did you like our new format for the Annual Meeting? We want to hear from you!
If you have questions or suggestions, shoot us an email at ofcboard at

Friday, October 12, 2012

Board Meeting Agenda for next week!

The Board of the Olympia Food Co-op meets the third Thursday of every month at 610 Columbia Ave NE. Members are welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting!

Proposed Board Agenda for October 18, 2012 6:30-9:30 pm

Announcements                                                                                  2 min
Mission Statement/ Commitments Review                                           3 min
Member Comment                                                                             5 min
BPC Report                                                                                       5 min
PTNC Update                                                                                   15 min
Committee Reports                                                                            15 min
Annual Meeting & Elections Update                                                   20 min
Bylaws Review                                                                                  45 min
Committees Review Pt. I                                                                    45 min
Executive Session (UNFI & Teamsters update)                                  20 min

                                                        Total Meeting Time:               2 hours 55 min       

PS: For questions, suggestions, to to suggest an agenda item, contact us at ofcboard at 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Awesome word cloud from the Co-op Conversation!

Thanks to Member Relations Committee volunteer Lois for thinking of doing this. It's a simple image, but it highlights what the conversation - and the Co-op - is all about.

And don't forget to read the full report!

Co-op Conversation Report Available to Members!

As the leaves begin to blush red and yellow, kids return to school, and crisp, local apples appear at the Co-op, the Co-op Conversation meetings of this winter and spring might seem like they were eons away. But behind the scenes, staff and volunteers on our Member Relations Committee have been hard at work putting the final touches on the report back from the event. With an overview of common themes and ideas, and some suggestions for moving the forward, the document is an easy and interesting read.

Please take a look and then let us know what you think! Staff and Board decisions are already being made based on the information gathered at these events (pick up an October newsletter to read the Board's Strategic Priorities, for instance). Email us your thoughts at memberrelations at

Thursday, September 27, 2012

UNFI, the Teamsters, a Strike and the Co-op

It's 5AM at the Co-op when a big semi maneuvers through our tiny parking lot and backs slowly up to our warehouse. The warehouse door rolls up with a loud clack and clattering as the earliest of the co-op's workers - our delivery crew - set down their coffee cups (or tea) and get ready to begin their day. They'll spend the next several hours unwrapping pallets of groceries and wheeling them out in big stacks to the retail floor. Before the store opens, volunteers arrive to begin breaking down the piles and putting the products on the shelves. At 8AM, the first shoppers will wend their way through the last of the delivery as they pick up their own morning coffee, and the box corral will be overflowing with fresh boxes.

If you drove by the Co-op in the early morning (long before dawn in the winter) this is a scene you'd see repeated three times a week at our Eastside store, and twice at the Westside. The orders are from United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), one of our main distributors. Earlier this month, Teamsters Local 117 workers at our local UNFI warehouse voted to strike after contract negotiations stalled. We began working on our response right away.

If you haven't worked in a retail environment, you may not know what exactly a distributor does. Basically, UNFI gets products from many different natural food companies and stores them in a big warehouse. That way, we can place one order to UNFI and get items from a hundred companies, rather than placing 100 individual orders and receiving 100 shipments.

UNFI is only one of many, many distributors and direct suppliers that the Co-op works with. We buy produce, meat and cheese, and bulk items from other distributors and, most importantly, we work directly with local farmers and producers. But UNFI is the biggest single distributor that we work with.

So when we heard about the Teamsters' vote to authorize a strike, we knew we needed to get to work fast. The authorizing vote is just the first step in a strike. When the strike actually begins is known only to the workers planning the action. (If bargaining goes well, the strike may never happen.) Knowing that the strike was a possibility, we formed a committee and got to work.

Our mission at the Olympia Food Co-op is broad. In addition to making "good food accessible to more people" we "support efforts to foster a socially and economically egalitarian society." It's a tall order for a little co-op, but it guides the choices we make all the way from which products to stock on our shelves to how we organize our workforce.

When it comes to this strike, we knew we were going to support the Teamsters. Besides being the right thing to do, we've known some of the workers at UNFI for years. Some of them have worked at the Auburn warehouse since before UNFI was formed by the co-op's earlier supplier, Mountain People's Warehouse.

News from the Teamsters has been disheartening. Although the strike hasn't begun and UNFI and the Teamsters have been in mediation together, UNFI has erected fences around the warehouse and sent threatening letters home to the workers' families. They immediately lowered workers' pay by ceasing overtime. More recently, they published an ad on for 170 replacement workers and then held a job fair for the new workers in the warehouse as an intimidation tactic.

UNFI wants to force workers to adopt demanding production standards that create a dangerous work environment. They insist that workers receive wages and benefits that are 25% lower than local industry standards, while removing retirement protections. They want to replace sick days with seven "personal days", half of which must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance - essentially forcing workers to take unpaid sick days. 

Meanwhile, UNFI's most recent financial statements state that their income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 increased by $4.2 million, or 20.1%. 

Our first step is to let our members know that the strike is a possibility and ask for your help! If you feel strongly about fair pay and safe working environments, we urge you to contact UNFI directly to tell them to deal fairly with their workforce! (Contact info is copied below, and we'll also have this in the stores tomorrow.)

Our second step is to plan for a disruption in our UNFI deliveries. Don't worry - there will still be plenty of groceries to buy. We're creating an account with an alternate distributor so we can keep you stocked with spaghetti sauce and quinoa while we support the Teamsters in their struggle for fair wages and a safe work environment.

Stay tuned to the blog for  updates! We'll post more information as we receive it. And if you have ideas, comments, questions or concerns, email us at outreach -at-

Tell UNFI their workers deserve a fair contract!

Hank Heatherly , General Manager
United Natural Foods Incorporated
Phone: 253-333-6769

Steven Spinner, President and CEO
United Natural Foods Incorporated
313 Iron Horse Way
Providence, RI.,
Fax: 302-655-5049

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Proposed Board Agenda for Sept. 20th!

As always, meetings are open to members! We meet at 610 Columbia Ave SE, across the street from Olympia Supply, from 6:30-9:30 pm.

Proposed Board Agenda for September 20, 2012 6:30-9:30 pm

Announcements                                                                                  2 min
Mission Statement/ Commitments Review                                     3 min
Member Comment                                                                              5 min
BPC Report                                                                                         5 min
Ref. 74 Endorsement                                                                                    10 min
Appoint a VP                                                                                        5 min
Committee Reports                                                                           15 min
Annual Meeting & Elections Update                                                15 min
Bylaws Review                                                                                  45 min
Committees Review Pt. I                                                                   45 min
Executive Session (Teamsters’ strike/NCGA Contract)                    15 min

                                                        Total Meeting Time:               2 hours 45 min       

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

We want YOU for the Co-op’s Board of Directors!

Admit it: you just imagined yourself – just for a moment – on the Co-op’s Board. Indulge yourself for a moment and learn what being on the Board is actually about. We’re opening up a record seven positions this year and are searching for applicants that can help lead the Co-op through the challenges and opportunities we face in expanding, improving food security in our region, supporting local farmers and producers, running an extensive volunteer program, and all of the ins and outs of collectivism and consensus.

As a Board member, you will be joined by nine other Board members, 84 staff members, roughly 300 volunteers, and thousands of members and shoppers. You’ll be overseeing the overall trajectory and vision of the entire organization, and doing more in-depth work with the committees that you join. Each Board member attends a monthly Board meeting (currently 6:30-9:30 on the third Thursday of each month) and joins two to three committees in areas of your interest. Committees are made up of Board, staff, and volunteer members and include: Outreach and Education; Member Relations; Finance; Hiring; Local Farms, Products and Producers; Ecological Planning; Personnel; and the Newsletter. We also have temporary committees that form to deal with specific opportunities, for instance: Expansion, or the International Year of the Co-op committee. Committees are where you get your hands dirty, helping to create on-the-ground policies and plans in partnership with staff members.

Board members are most successful when they arrive with a passion for the Co-op, a willingness to learn, good interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to dedicate 10-20 hours per month on Co-op activities. Special skills and experience are always welcome, especially in areas of financial and business expertise, farming and food, or co-operatives. However, anyone with passion, time, and willingness to learn can be a great Board member, and we welcome and encourage applications from all people, ages, and backgrounds.

Applications are due September 10th, and elections run from October 15 through November 15. For more information, please see the full information sheet at . You can contact Fern at with any additional questions, to request an accommodation, or just to turn your application in.

From all of us on the Board and at the Co-op, we look forward to working with you!

Note: This was also published in the August newsletter. 

Apply to Join the Co-op's Board Today!

Join the Board of Directors!





 The Olympia Food Co-op Board of Directors is the elected body that represents the membership by establishing policies, overseeing the operating and capital budgets, approving plans and recommendations, and setting general guidelines for staff and working members. The Board holds ultimate legal responsibility for the operations and actions of the Co-op.

The Mission Statement for the Co-op (from Section I.2. of The Bylaws) is:
The purpose of the Cooperative is to contribute to the health and well-being of people by providing wholesome foods and other goods and services, accessible to all, through a locally-oriented, collectively managed, not-for-profit cooperative organization that relies on consensus decision making.  We strive to make human effects on the earth and its inhabitants positive and renewing and to encourage economic and social justice.  Our goals are to:
          A.       Provide information about food;
          B.       Make good food accessible to more people;
          C.       Support efforts to increase democratic process;
          D.       Support efforts to foster a socially and economically egalitarian society;
          E.       Provide information about collective process and consensus decision making;
          F.       Support local production;
          G.       See to the long term health of the business;
          H.       Assist in the development of local community resources.

Board Responsibilities (as outlined in Section III.12. of The Bylaws) are:
13.   BOARD DUTIES   Except as to matters reserved to membership by law or by these bylaws, the business and affairs of the Cooperative shall be directed by the Board of Directors.  The major duties of the Board are to:
        A.   employ Staff, approve the make-up of the hiring committee, approve job descriptions, and approve a hiring policy;
        B.   select officers, and fill Board vacancies as needed;
        C.   approve an operating budget annually;
        D.   monitor the financial health of the Cooperative;       
        E.   appoint standing and special committees as needed;
        F.   authorize appropriate agents to sign contracts, leases, or other obligations on behalf of the Cooperative;
        G.   adopt, review, and revise Cooperative plans;
        H.   approve major capital projects;
        I.    adopt major policy changes;
        J.    adopt policies to foster member involvement;
        K.   authorize major debt obligations of the Cooperative;
        L.   ensure compliance with all corporate obligations, including the keeping of corporate records and filing all necessary documents;
        M.  ensure adequate audits of Cooperative finances;
        N.   maintain free-flowing communication between the Board, Staff, committees, and the membership;
        O.   adopt policies which promote achievement of the mission statement and goals of the Cooperative;
        P.   resolve organizational conflicts after all other avenues of resolution have been exhausted;
Q.     establish and review the Cooperative's goals and objectives.
          R. Provide an annual report to the members to include a financial report, committee reports, and a summary of other significant events held and actions taken by the Cooperative during the year.

Board members receive volunteer working member credit for their time spent in Board and committee meetings.  The monthly hour commitment ranges between 10 to 20 hours. 

The Board meets once a month. Each Board member is required to join 2-3 committees which also meet 1-2 times per month (though this will vary from committee to committee.)  These committees establish plans and policies that are then passed on to the Board or membership for approval.  The standing committees include Finance, Personnel, Outreach and Education, Newsletter, Ecological Planning, Hiring, Local Farm, Products and Producers, and Member Relations. Temporary committees may be formed to deal with specific short-term projects (Expansion, International Year of the Co-op, etc.)

To be eligible to run for the Board you must be a member of the Co-op with a current address on file, and you must be willing to make a 2-year commitment.  Board members are elected for two-year terms and may serve for a maximum of two consecutive terms. This year the Board has five positions to fill.  The newly elected Board members will receive an in-depth training on consensus decision-making, anti-oppression, the Co-op’s finances, policies and general procedures, and a history of the organization.

The election will be held from October 15 to November 15.  New Board members will be asked to attend the November and December Board meetings to begin their training and meet the current Board members, and they will officially begin their term in January. 

If you are interested in running for the Board, you must fill out the application and submit it and a current digital photo of yourself to by 9pm on September 10th.

Take this opportunity to be an active participant in your Co-op’s future and the future of our community!

For more information contact Fern at

Board of Directors Application

Please answer the following questions and email them, along with a current digital photograph of yourself, to

There is a strict, combined 500 word limit to your responses below.

1.    NAME:

2.    Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors?

3.    What general abilities would you bring to the Board?  What specific abilities and experiences would you offer to help provide direction in dealing with the Co-op’s challenges?

4.    What do you see as current strengths of the Co-op that you would like to see maintained?  What would you like to see changed?

5.    What vision do you have for the Co-op for the next five years?

6.       Other comments

*Applications will only be accepted by email at, unless a reasonable accommodation is needed and requested.