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.
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
Friday, 30 November 2012 15:02
By Alexis Alexander,
A primary goal of the Customer Service and Membership Departments is to provide excellent customer service to our member-owners. This includes contacting members for any number of reasons — to let them know about a credit card or groceries left behind, or perhaps to follow up on an inquiry regarding a renewal or equity balance. Additionally, according to GreenStar's bylaws, we're required to send every member-owner notices on member meetings, elections, bylaws changes, and member referendums.
As times and technology have changed, two things have come to light. First, an increasing number of GreenStar member-owners are requesting to receive notifications via e-mail as opposed to postal mail. I'm excited to announce that we are now in the position to begin to use e-mail for this purpose. This will help the Co-op enhance our waste-stream reduction and cost-saving efforts, while providing a more desirable form of communication to our member-owners who prefer e-mail.
Second, because of the increased use of cell phones and a high occurrence of member-owner moves to new households, much of the current contact information in our accounts is now out of date. Despite our best efforts to communicate with member-owners on a timely basis and send them the required mailings, we often find ourselves lacking the correct contact information.
Thursday, 01 November 2012 14:57
By Alexis Alexander,
What a November! Not only do many of us have the opportunity to vote in an all-important national election, but as GreenStar member-owners we also have the opportunity to vote on two very important measures here at the Co-op: the first measure replaces our two-percent discount with a Patronage Dividend system; the second is a proposal for a Collegetown satellite store.
My purpose today is not to talk about the merits of the proposals. Rather, I want to focus on why strong membership participation in GreenStar's voting process is so important to the Co-op's current well-being and future growth.
Voting is both an essential benefit and a responsibility of membership. According to the second Cooperative Principle, cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. As member-owners, one way we can actively participate in decision-making is through the democratic voting process. Every GreenStar member-owner is eligible to vote in Council elections, on member-sponsored referendums, and on policy matters that require a membership vote, as outlined in our bylaws.
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 22:42
By Alexis Alexander,
In November, GreenStar member-owners will be asked to vote on two very important measures that will influence the Co-op and its potential for fulfilling member-owners' needs and desires for years to come. Today, I'm focusing on the first measure, which proposes to replace the current two-percent discount at the register with a Patronage Dividend system. A member mailing outlining the proposal is being sent to member-owners. We'll be holding informational sessions this month, in addition to the Fall Member meeting on Thursday, Nov. 8, for member-owners to learn more about the proposed system.
The vote on Patronage Dividend specifically relates to how we, as member-owners, participate in the fiscal well-being of our co-op. Member-owner fiscal responsibility is outlined in the third Cooperative Principle: Member Economic Participation. But what does "Member Economic Participation" really mean? Why should we, as member-owners, be concerned about the impact that member benefits, such as Patronage Dividend or discounts at the register, have on the Co-op?
In 1996, Elizabeth Archerd, the Membership and Marketing Manager of the Wedge Community Co-op in Minneapolis, wrote a series on the Cooperative Principles for Co-op Consumer News. The Member Economic Participation segment is still highly relevant today. I would like to share it with you, as I believe it highlights the meaning of this principle in a very comprehensive and succinct manner.
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