What is Membership?

Since the beginning, GreenStar's mission focused on making nutritious, whole food available to its members. But membership means more than just access to good, healthy food...

When you join the Co-op you become a Member-Owner of a locally-owned and cooperatively operated values-based business. We focus on the social and environmental impact GreenStar makes on our local and global community, as well as economic performance. We put our values first, and return all profits back to the Co-op or donate them to the community.

The co-operative business model has proven to be a strong alternative to traditional profit-driven businesses. And, for every dollar you spend in a locally-owned business or cooperative, 45 cents is return to the community, compared to only 13 cents when you spend a dollar at a chain store.

One Member – One Vote means your voice truly counts!

Like all consumer co-ops, GreenStar is owned and democratically run by the people who use the store. Unlike traditional corporations where the amount of a stockholder's investment determines his or her voting power, every member at GreenStar has equal voting rights. As a Member-Owner, you have an equal say in the future direction of GreenStar.

By investing and participating in your co-op, you're putting your values into action.

Through your Equity Share investment and patronage, GreenStar supports the health and well-being of our member-owners, our community and the planet by:

  • Purchasing from local farmers and businesses
  • Paying a livable wage
  • Using clean energy and recycled office supplies
  • Supporting organic agriculture and fair trade producers
  • Offering health insurance to employees
  • Donating to local charities and events
  • Providing education on nutrition, health and sustainability
  • Improving access to healthy food to those on limited budgets through the FLOWER program



 

 

Let's Celebrate Member-Owner and Staff Labor!

Sunday, 04 August 2013 22:16

 

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

2013-icecream-socialCome join us on Monday, Sept. 2 for the 5th annual Labor Day Worker Appreciation Ice Cream Social. Celebrate the dedication and important contributions of our super-workers, member-workers, and staff over a bowl of delicious dairy or vegan ice cream, topped with luscious strawberry sauce, chocolate syrup, or granola. The ice cream social is held in the parking lot of the West-End store and begins at 2 pm, continuing until the ice cream runs out. Come early as we seem to finish up earlier each year!

And speaking of member labor...

In times past, member labor programs were the backbone of the natural food cooperative movement. Co-ops depended on their member-owners to complete most, if not all, tasks in the co-op. Although today many co-ops have moved away from the member labor model, at GreenStar our program is thriving. In 2012, over 430 member-owners volunteered in some capacity. We are lucky to have so many member-owners who want to get involved in the daily operations and governance of GreenStar. And their contributions are noteworthy — from on-the-sales-floor help stocking, fronting and facing, bagging groceries, and cleaning our stores to behind-the-scenes work in administrative departments, on committees, and on Council — the dedication of our volunteers is vital to our success as a co-op.

Read more: Let's Celebrate Member-Owner and Staff Labor!

 

Sharing GreenStar's Healthy Food 
Access, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Monday, 01 July 2013 21:42

 

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

Students-Eating-Lunch-smMany co-ops, including GreenStar, have struggled in their attempts to expand their membership to more accurately reflect the socioeconomic and racial demographics of their communities at large. Over the past few years, GreenStar has undertaken significant food access and community partnership initiatives, which are effecting real change in our community.

We recently presented our efforts in those areas to fellow co-op representatives from around the country at the annual Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) conference. This yearly conference offers informative workshops and networking opportunities for board members, management, and staff of food cooperatives. We hope that sharing the multifaceted approach we've successfully undertaken over the past few years might help other co-ops initiate successful diversity and inclusion programs.

GreenStar's presentation was entitled "A Working Model of Diversity & Inclusion for Food Cooperatives." We presented to a room packed with highly interested cooperators, eager to hear our message.

Read more: Sharing GreenStar's Healthy Food 
Access, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Co-op Membership: More Than Just a Discount!

Friday, 31 May 2013 17:36

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

coop-rocks-300pxThe cooperative movement is strong and growing, here in Ithaca and around the world. According to Worldwatch Institute, there are currently one billion cooperative members worldwide. With the world facing much economic hardship and uncertainty, diminishing natural resources, and a global-warming crisis, many have turned to cooperatives as trusted organizations that support local, sustainable development and long-term security.

We experience this surge in interest every day at GreenStar. By the end of April, our growth in new memberships was 10 percent higher than at the same time last year, a significant figure given our status as a mature co-op. Even with this growth, I wonder about those still not being reached, people who could really benefit from being a part of our co-op but aren't aware of what it offers. As a cooperative, we have the responsibility to educate others about this model and the values-based principles that guide it. One way member-owners can support the Co-op is by participating in this education process through conversations with people in our community. For many non-members, it's easy to think that GreenStar is just another grocery store. But as GreenStar members-owners, we know our two stores offer much more than a place to shop.

So what can we say to those who aren't aware of what GreenStar is really about? First and foremost, as a cooperative, GreenStar is a member-owned, self-governing organization that exists for the benefit of its member-owners. This means that every person who becomes a member of GreenStar is actually a part-owner of the Co-op. Simply stated, the central benefit that GreenStar provides its member-owners is access to wholesome, natural food and other high-quality products at the lowest practical prices. We do this in a way that exercises ecological responsibility, fair treatment of employees, promotion of local farmers and products, and good community stewardship.

Read more: Co-op Membership: More Than Just a Discount!

 

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