Tuesday, 01 January 2013 22:15
By Brandon Kane, General Manager, and
12th Moon, Council President
2012 is nearly at a close, and it was just a few months ago that the two of us co-authored an article that looked back on 2011 and forward to 2013. Now that we are a tiny bit older and wiser, we're going to update you on both fronts.
Fifty weeks into 2012, our co-op has nearly wrapped up a remarkably productive year. The recent financial report submitted to Council covering the first three-quarters of the year showed that we have excelled on many levels. Oasis and the West-End store have averaged 10.65 percent growth over 2011. We presently have grossed $12.6 million in sales, which is $600,000 over our targeted expectation! Once our expenses and taxes are taken into account, we have achieved approximately $165,000 in net income, or a little over twice our target. It could not have come at a better time, as we plan to invest a significant portion of our capital back into the Co-op's infrastructure to pursue a variety of expansion-related projects designed to ensure the stability of our community cooperative for many more years to come.
And while we diligently pursue the brick-and- mortar expansion projects mentioned later in this article, the Co-op has continued to play a prominent role in support of our greater community through direct involvement and financial contributions. GreenStar's tax-exempt affiliate, GreenStar Community Projects, took on a significant and collaborative role in holding the Second Annual Food Justice Summit, as well as two subsequent Networking Sessions designed to help bring those involved in our local food system together to collaborate under the banner of Food Justice and Sustainability. Our FLOWER (Fresh, Local, Organic Within Everyone's Reach) program, which offers a discount to members in need of support, continues to be a strong component of our Diversity and Inclusion initiative. FLOWER has been in effect for just over two years and now accounts for over 400 members. As of the end of September 2012, our FLOWER members had received $58,766 in discounts at the register! This is a tangible indicator that our efforts to increase the Co-op's accessibility are working. To honor our commitment to strong community involvement, we have contributed over $9,000 to dozens of causes and programs big and small. Recently, we donated $1,550 to Shaleshock to sponsor a bus trip to Albany in support of a ban on hydrofracking. We also held a fundraising drive at our registers (yielding over $1,000) to support relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Sandy through the Red Cross, and also donated $1,000 in wholesale goods that were driven down directly by Co-op members supporting the relief effort. Additionally, we remain committed to serve as a donation space for such commendable initiatives as the Share the Warmth Campaign and our long-standing partners the Friendship Donations Network.
Friday, 30 November 2012 13:44
By Kristie Snyder,
2012 brought some big changes to the Co-op, and no doubt 2013 will see more. Before we look ahead, though, let's look back at some of our accomplishments over the past year.
In 2012, Co-op members spoke out against fracking with 1,170 letters on the topic delivered to Governor Cuomo. We started an Ombuds Program to help those with GreenStar-related concerns get help.
We celebrated 12 Days of Earth Day, and we honored Earth Day throughout the year by increasing the amount of our electricity supplied by renewables and by coming up with additional ways to reduce our waste.
We worked even harder to support diversity and inclusion in our staff and customer base, and we reached out to support Food Justice in the community as a whole. We donated thousands of dollars to local and nationwide organizations, and we sent representatives from GreenStar (sometimes dressed as giant bananas!) to dozens of community events and gatherings. We invited the community to join us for member meetings, special concerts, ice-cream socials, and our annual Kids' Halloween Party.
Thursday, 01 November 2012 14:29
Voting has ended. The Patronage Dividend measure failed to pass. The Collegetown Crossing store measure passed.
It would be a very strange thing if Six Nations ... should be capable of forming a Scheme for such an Union and be able to execute it in such a manner, as that it has subsisted Ages, and appears indissoluble, and yet a like Union should be impracticable for ten or a dozen English colonies.
— Benjamin Franklin, 1751
By Joe Romano,
This month, GreenStar members are being asked to vote on important issues: whether or not we expand our mission to a Collegetown location, and whether or not to adopt a Patronage Dividend system as the method through which we financially participate in our co-op.
At the same time, there are national and local elections, the most obvious being the race for the presidency, but also local elections to choose representatives and officials and to decide on local referendums and propositions.
This is a great privilege and a great responsibility, because as active participants in these decisions, we hold in our hands our fate, the fate of our co-op, and even the fate of our nation. This has not been the case in most places and at most times in history. It isn't true in many nations today. And it isn't true at any other stores you shop at, except of course for other co-ops. But how did everything get so participatory? Where did Americans come up with the idea of democracy? The answer is beneath your feet. The first participatory democracy in America sprung up in the very place we inhabit today.
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