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“To Be Happy, to Achieve Solidarity” November 12, 2018 - 7:19 am EST

A lot has changed in Cuba since the July 2014 visit by U.S. cooperators, reported in these pages by Stuart Reid (CG#175, Nov.¬Dec. 2014). A few of us couldn’t resist jumping on a recent opportunity to explore the new Cuban cooperative initiative. So, in February 2015, we flew from Cancun to Havana with three other curious, cooperatively inclined Americans for a bucket-list adventure tailored to the social economy and agronomy geek.

“It’s Not Really a Co-op” December 1, 2010 - 10:39 am EST

Co-op employees have high expectations of their employers. And they should. We claim to run our businesses with multiple bottom lines. Co-ops’ vision and values statements frequently include “being a great workplace,” or “modeling ethical employment practices.” In an organization that promotes sustainability, a worker can reasonably ask if her or his wage is sustainable to live on over time.

“Can We Cooperate?” October 21, 2018 - 6:11 am EDT

In the world of food cooperatives, we often assume that the primary threats to our organizations’ success come from external sources. We see this type of challenge manifested in the form of new or increasing local competition, and we rightly focus on how to differentiate our operations and improve production to compete with new business neighbors or our more traditional external competitors.

What about the less obvious operational challenges contained in all our stores that may keep us from reaching our full potential?

‘Being thorough is being sustainable’: January 31, 2019 - 1:44 pm EST

When the brain trust behind South Philly Food Co-op was looking to bring their first retail space to life, they knew that they wanted to partner with like-minded businesses.

​Home Grown: Moving Next to the Farm July 25, 2016 - 1:58 am EDT

All you foodies, take a closer look: this tree-lined, suburban street might lead to heaven on Earth.

"I would say that probably 80% of the food that we eat comes from within a five-mile radius of this house," said Clay Johnson. "These peppers, yeah, come from 50 feet away!"

Johnson and Rosalyn Lemieux moved their family here from Washington, D.C., two years ago. Their five-bedroom, five-bathroom home sits 40 minutes south of downtown Atlanta.

They bought here for the close-knit neighborhood -- and an organic farm right beyond their backyard.

Zafra Whitcomb June 23, 2017 - 6:28 pm EDT
Yu Shibata July 27, 2010 - 11:41 am EDT
Ypsilanti Food Co-op February 17, 2015 - 4:16 pm EST
Ypsilanti Food Co-op February 3, 2015 - 8:55 pm EST
Your New Store: Meeting First Year Challenges December 6, 2010 - 10:35 am EST

You have successfully navigated the stormy waters of a relocation/expansion project. Your co-op has proudly opened the new store amidst celebration, praise, relief, adrenaline and exhaustion.

 

At this common juncture, I have had the privilege of being able to offer a number of co-ops a bit of needed but unwelcome advice: Now the real work begins.

Easy to say -- but how does a co-op manager best proceed to meet the challenges of the first year in a new store?

 

You're Gonna Have to Serve Somebody December 30, 2010 - 11:07 am EST

In coffee shops, break rooms, and breakfast nooks across this country playground scuffles are taking place between inner children. "My upbringing was worse than yours" has replaced "my dad is stronger than yours" as a recurring motto. Like never before we are consumed with how we got to be, and how we can care for who we are. We are listening to ourselves, using self talk to improve ourselves, and trying to spend quality time with ourselves.

You Are Not Alone February 27, 2013 - 2:58 pm EST

Is your co-op too small to have a human resources manager on staff? Is the HR function in your co-op divided up among different people? Have your HR systems been cobbled together from different sources? You are not alone! 

There are many smaller co-ops that are simply not large enough organizations to justify the labor expense of an HR specialist. Administration of HR doesn’t necessarily have to be done by one individual. However, when using a team approach, it’s a good practice to periodically review your systems to ensure that they are keeping up with your organization. 

Yelm Food Co-op February 17, 2015 - 4:16 pm EST
Year One of the National Organic Program, and Thoughts on Conservation December 1, 2010 - 11:00 am EST

October 2003 marks the first anniversary of full implementation of the National Organic Program (NOP). At the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture, the Organic Committee has been hard at work carefully monitoring the NOP, and defending the integrity of the program both in Congress, and with the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). After a year of wrestling with varied problems that have sprung up through loopholes in the process, our Organic Committee is reviewing the NOP's first year. Has it worked? Has it hurt? What is its future?

Year Four: CGIN Progress and Plans July 27, 2010 - 11:39 am EDT

The end of the year always inspires reflection. While the numbers change almost every day, here's where things stand at CGIN as we close in on the end of 2001, a few months short of our fourth year of operations. At this point, CGIN has:

Yancey Stanforth-Migliore July 27, 2010 - 11:39 am EDT
Yahara River Grocery Co-op March 4, 2015 - 5:53 pm EST
WWW Headquaters August 31, 2015 - 3:39 pm EDT

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Would a Park Slope Food Coop Expansion Hurt Other NYC Cooperatives? December 17, 2018 - 1:15 am EST

The pioneering market often lends expertise (and money) to smaller worker-owned facilities.

Park Slope Food Coop won’t be moving into your neighborhood — at least, not yet.

One of the world’s largest worker-owned cooperatives, Park Slope Food Coop (PSFC) currently has 17,000 members — and more are constantly applying, Joe Holtz, general manager and general coordinator, said.

World Vegan Day March 1, 2017 - 9:48 am EST

Co-ops are responding to the rapid increase in the number of people following the vegan lifestyle by expanding their product range, imposing clearer labelling and certifying their items as free from animal testing. This World Vegan Day (1 November), Dominika Piasecka explores how co-ops support their vegan customers.