The Food Conspiracy Looks Back, Leaps Forward
Michael DeSantis – President of FC Board of Directors
Your co-op has experienced a lot of change in the last year, and it has been invigorating! We have new members and leadership on both the management team and our board of directors, and we are working together in new, exciting ways. We are solving vexing problems and answering burning questions such as: “Is the Co-op relocating?” – No, and “Can we make healthy and organic food more convenient?” – Absolutely. To understand and be part of the renewal that is happening at the Food Conspiracy right now, we invite you to take another good look at your co-op, where it came from and where it is going. The Food Conspiracy is a great food store, and it is truly exceptional, too.
What makes our coop different from our competitors is our mission. It does not include maximizing profits. What it does include is a deep commitment to our members, community and to the values we share. Unlike our more conventional corporate counterparts in the natural foods community, we exist as a member-owned Co-operative Corporation. Our members not only own the co-op, but they also have the power to control its direction. This allows us tremendous freedoms and the ability to affect real change in our community. Along with providing whole, organic foods in an environment that is humane and fulfilling to both work and shop in, our core values include:
• Social justice – throughout our community and all the way down to the farmer in the field
• Diversity and human rights – openness and integrity in all of our relationships
• Healthy, sustainable ecology – through a peaceful, cooperative effort
Don’t forget we started as a political group. The Food Conspiracy name is not a marketing angle. To quote Paul Rubin, a FCC founder, we moved into a store occupied by a group “that fought for decent housing, accessible and affordable health care, empowering of youth, access to healthy food, and counseling for draft resisters to the Vietnam War” and The Food Conspiracy was founded “so people did not have to rely on profit driven supermarkets and their less than healthy food options”. That was 46 years ago. We don’t print pamphlets in the back anymore, but we are still in that store on 4th Avenue, and we are still passionate about our mission.
The Food Conspiracy leadership is re-committing to all that we stand for, we are fully staffed and energized, and we are developing our long-term vision of what the Food Conspiracy will be in the years to come. You own this co-op and we plan to provide convenient, meaningful opportunities to make your voice heard.
Here are a few ways you, as a member, can help guide the co-op in the right direction:
• Participate in a member engagement workshop – work with other members to let us know what you envision for the Food Conspiracy going forward.
• Attend Board of Directors meetings – see how it works, run for a seat, help develop the vision and make it reality.
• Attend the Annual Meeting – meet the new candidates and current Board of Directors, vote, participate and let us hear your voice, and most importantly, come celebrate with us!
This spring’s Annual Meeting promises to be a powerful opportunity to get engaged, and it will be a great party, too. Everything you need to know will be on our website and in our newsletter. Come be part of your community. Join us, and help the Food Conspiracy thrive, now and into the future.