Friday, 31 October 2008 11:09
By Bini Reilly,
Upon arriving at GreenStar, I learned that a patronage refund system was soon to be voted on by the membership. I believe member-owners should vote in support of this bylaws change. Membership in GreenStar means you are a member-owner in this community-based enterprise. As such, you should want to ensure the continued and future viability of the Co-op. It is the right thing, as a member-owner, not to take monies out of the Co-op until you know that the Co-op is financially stable.
Every month, GreenLeaf prints the seven Cooperative Principles, to which GreenStar subscribes (see page 4). The principle that describes how a cooperative compensates member-owners is Principle 3: Member Economic Participation, as defined by the International Co-operative Alliance:
Tuesday, 21 October 2008 13:53
More than 800 million people around the world belong to cooperatives, and at least 100 million of them are employed by co-ops. And more often than you probably realize, co-ops play a vital part of your everyday life.
Consider the cup of coffee and cranberry muffin you recently enjoyed. That premium Sumatra Siborong-Borog coffee was likely purchased from a grower co-op in Indonesia. The flour in the muffin started as wheat from a farmer-owned, grain elevator co-op in the Midwest, and those cranberries might be from Ocean Spray, a producer-owned co-op.
Knowing the source of the foods you eat, the services you employ and the products you purchase are just a few of the benefits of joining a cooperative. As a member, co-ops invite you to take part in the way your favorite grocery store or financial institution is run, and share in any profits. This community approach to business is at the heart of the cooperative philosophy.
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