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
Monday, 01 September 2014 15:39
By Alexis Alexander,
The 2014 annual member-owner survey revealed that many member-owners don't vote because they aren't familiar with the voting process — what it is, how it works, when and where votes take place — or they don't feel well enough informed about the issues or candidates to vote. The results suggest that GreenStar needs to better inform member-owners in order to support them in participating in this very important responsibility and benefit of Co-op membership.
Why does GreenStar Have a Voting Process?
As a cooperative, we exist to meet the needs of our member-owners who, through a democratic voting process, actively participate in decision making and in setting GreenStar policies. Counter to the world of corporations, where the number of votes is based on how much money people have invested, every member-owner at GreenStar has one vote, so all member-owners have an equal say.
What do Member-Owners Vote on?
According to GreenStar's bylaws, member-owners vote on the following issues: the creation and changes to the bylaws and mission statement; Council elections; the purchase, sale, or rental of property, such as a new store site, that commits the cooperative for five years or more; establishing or changing the cooperative's debt ceiling; a substantial reduction or elimination of the member labor program or associated discounts; and member-initiated referendums. Examples of past referendums passed by member-owners include those allowing the sale of chocolate, poultry, fish, local red meat, and beer, provided they meet certain requirements as outlined in the referendums.
Friday, 01 August 2014 17:04
By Alexis Alexander,
June 6 marked a milestone in GreenStar's history when Brenda Wickes became the 10,000th member-owner of the Co-op! Even more impressive, this milestone represents the number of current member-owners, not the total number of people who have been member-owners over the 43 years of the Co-op's existence. In honor of this landmark event, we presented Brenda with a $100 GreenStar gift card (see Brenda's photo in the July Photo Album on page 9).
While a new member-owner, Brenda is not actually new to the Co-op. She has been a loyal GreenStar customer for many years, shopping regularly twice a week. Balancing a busy schedule while raising children, Brenda believed that she couldn't maintain a GreenStar membership based on a very common misconception: she didn't realize that participation in the Member Labor program is not a requirement for GreenStar membership. Although she values volunteering, she knew it wouldn't work with her schedule. Consequently, she was very grateful when a cashier recently informed her that volunteering is optional. She purchased a membership that day!
Welcome Brenda — our 10,000th member-owner — and thank you for your loyal support over the years.
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 18:46
By Alexis Alexander,
If you've been thinking about getting more involved in the Co-op, you couldn't pick a better time! We currently have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available. Of particular note is a large number of weekly in-store super-worker shifts that need to be filled in order to adequately support our retail departments. For those looking for monthly committee work, occasional event work, or volunteer options to help with GreenStar Community Projects, our nonprofit affiliate, we've got opportunities for you, too!
Volunteering is an important co-op tradition that provides member-owners the opportunity to become actively involved in supporting GreenStar's mission. It's a great way for us, as member-owners, to connect with one another while supporting the business that we mutually own and help govern. Volunteering also provides a great member-owner benefit, earning each participant a higher discount at the register.
What is the commitment and what do I get in return?
In-store super-workers are assigned a regular weekly two-hour shift in a specific department. The shift is scheduled for the same day and time each week. For every two-hour shift worked, super-workers receive a 17.5 percent discount, good for one week.
Generally, we ask for a four-month commitment for super-worker shifts out of respect for the time it takes department staff to train super-workers. However, during the summertime, we sometimes accommodate shorter commitments for certain shifts, so it's worth asking us if you can take a shift for just 2 to 3 months.
How to volunteer?
All available super-worker shifts are posted at the Member Center in both the West-End and Dewitt Mall locations. To request a super-worker shift, simply choose one or two shifts on the board that work for you and fill out a Member Labor Request Form. You will then receive a call from the relevant store. We fill super-worker shifts on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, it's a good idea to request more than one shift since other member-owners may be in line before you for a given shift.
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On Wednesday, Jan. 9., four busloads of people from the Ithaca area traveled to Albany to join in a protest against hydrofracking at Governor Andrew Cuomo's annual State of the State speech. GreenStar, which has taken an official anti-fracking position, contributed funding to offset the ticket prices for the buses. We invited some of those who went to tell us about what they saw, heard, and felt while they were there.<...