*Originally emailed to membership 3/9/2017
One of the key items of discussion at our recent member listen session was the types and consistency of the products our members are seeing on the shelves. Some items might be stocked one week, and out of stock at another time. There have also been changes in the products stocked on a permanent basis. We are aware of the concerns over the policy guiding the coop's purchasing. Our interim co-managers have been working overtime trying to develop a consistent purchasing system and responding to member concerns. That said, one of the things that the Board has recently become aware of-and something that we all need to be aware of-is that with almost 3,000 members, our membership will not always agree on what the coop should be carrying. This is a challenge that every coop faces. For example, some of our members believe that buying local should be the top priority, while others believe methods of production are the most significant concern. All the while, maintaining access to healthy food with prices that are affordable is important as well. While you can rest assured that you will never find a McDonald's setting up next to the deli, please keep in mind that there is diversity of opinion amongst our members in terms of priorities.
Based on this initial feedback, we have formed a committee tasked with developing a food purchasing policy that will help guide our management in their purchasing decisions to best serve our memberships' needs. One of our active members generously volunteered to help the board develop a survey for members, which you will see in the near future. This is one of the great strengths of our store-it allows us to be democratic in a way that is simply not possible with a different type of grocery store through active member engagement. As we work toward development of a food policy, we welcome all feedback. We also ask our members to bear in the mind that there is not necessarily complete agreement among membership as to what our priorities should be.
In cooperative solidarity,
Your Bisman Community Food Coop Board of Directors
If you're interested in the Food Policy Committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org