Visit to an Annual Member Meeting
In September we had the opportunity to visit the annual member meeting of a larger co-op 19,000 member-owners strong. This was an edifying experience for us Glenconians to get the view from 35,000 ft: short and long term projects, issues of departmental/ interdepartmental/ storewide scale, relevant metrics for measuring progress, financials, and fashioning approaches to community food access. The particular co-op we visited was surviving; however, margins were being sacrificed to meet the intense competition from the usual chains. Fortunately, co-ops operate to serve their owners and do not require higher profits to reward speculative investors. Also fortunately, the trend seems to be increasing requests for fresh and healthy food choice in underserved rural communities like Glencoe. Both producers and consumers are coming to realize that the most crucial investment needed is the investment in learning.