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Tuesday
Mar192019

Cooperative Principle #2: Democratic Member Control

Happy sunny days, Kalamazoo!

As things warm up around here, we have some great stuff going on.

First, on the store front, this week you'll find: 

  • $.99/lb SALE on local fuji and gala apples from Crisp Country Acres, in Holland, MI
  • this week's PFC Deli $5 Dinner Deal on Wednesday is Falafel

Our Kalamazoo Farmers Market team is busy as bees preparing for the season. They've received more than 190 vendor applications so far and are starting to schedule music, food demos, night markets, and so much more. Can't wait!

This week, I wanted to focus some time on the second of the ICA Cooperative PrinciplesDemocratic Member Control. 

You know how in a stock corporation, whoever owns the most shares has the most say? Well at PFC that's never going to happen. Fundamental to cooperatives is the concept of One Member, One Vote. Some PFC owners have invested more than $250 in equity (yep, you can do that!), and some have loaned money to PFC. However, each owner, whether they've just started paying in at $10 per month or have lent PFC $10,000 to build our new home, has one vote when it comes time to elect the board of directors, or weigh in on changes to our bylaws. 

We are organized as a representative democracy, with each owner voting for members to serve on the board, which serves as the visionary governing body of PFC. The board's role is to create direction and accountability through policy, then hold the General Manager accountable to that direction. Our board is very competent, visionary, and driven. 

Have you thought of running for the board? We'd love to have you on our ballot this spring! Please email myself and/or Hether Frayer, PFC Board Chair, if you have interest or inquiries about serving PFC in this way.

Community control is what sets PFC apart. And democratically is how we do it. Thanks for being part of something special!

Until next week,

Chris

Wednesday
Mar132019

You're Fueling Great Work in Our Community!

Tuesday
Mar122019

Cooperative Principle #1: Voluntary and Open Membership

Hello PFC Peeps!
 
Did you know that, as a consumer cooperative, PFC is inherently designed to give our whole community access to ownership of a business, AND a say in the direction of that business? It's true! Let me tell you more....
 
As a consumer cooperative, one of several co-op models, PFC adheres to the International Cooperative Alliance's Seven Cooperative Principles developed to align and inspire the cooperative movement to live up to our promise for changing the world.
 
The first cooperative principle is: Voluntary and Open Membership 
 
Imagine a world in which communities had a say in what stores, banks, entertainment and amenities were on the corner of neighborhood blocks. Well at PFC, that future is now. Our community built this business from our start in 1970 in a basement on Davis Street, to our beautiful new home on Harrison today, to our operation of some of the best farmers markets our area has to offer: our community built that, together. 
 
And we built it by sharing the financial load in small increments across lots of folks.
 
At PFC, you don't have to be an owner to shop (voluntary), and anyone who wants to become an owner is welcome (open). Furthermore, we balance the capital needs of PFC with our goal to limit barriers by making the investment high enough to matter, so $250, and with options to invest a little bit at a time, $10 per month, or $50 per year. That investment is always yours, kept in your name, and used to make a difference in the ways that only PFC can.
 
If you're an owner, thank you! It matters, and is fundamental to cooperation. If you're not yet an owner, become one today!
 
We've been making a difference in Kalamazoo for 48 years, and can for 48 more with your commitment. Thank you for being part of PFC!
 
Until next week!
Chris