The People’s Food Co-op Board has been working with cooperative consulting firm, CDS Consulting Co-Op. This firm specializes in food cooperatives, such as ours. Their expertise has helped us to clarify our policies, to work better as a team and to envision our future. Our assigned consultant, Jade Barker, returned to Ann Arbor to design our mid-October retreat. Barker led us through a very productive agenda, which included presentations on how to formulate a vision and how the Board can incorporate that vision into policy. After discussing the obstacles that PFC is facing, we are motivated to tackle and resolve the issues that we have identified.
In the past few months, the store has transitioned to using compostable containers for PFC packaged food and café items. These containers are acceptable to be composted in the city’s compost bins but they are not ideal for composting in your own home composting system, as you may not generate enough heat in a small bin to decompose them in the short run. As a bonus, every case of containers purchased from the supplier, 20 Liters (www.20Liters.org), one month of clean water is donated to a village in Rwanda.
PFC spends a good deal of resources on credit card transaction fees. We’d like to cut the cost of these fees but need the assistance of our members. Consider this: “If you owned a business, and had two ways of conducting a financial transaction, one way which cost 2% of every transaction and the other way without any fees, wouldn’t you prefer to make those financial transactions in a way without a fee? “ Well, you are the owner of a business- the People’s Food Co-op. Your purchase with a credit card costs the co-op approximately 2% of the purchase, whereas paying cash doesn’t cost the co-op anything. Of course, cash payment is optional, but as an owner you might like to save your business 2% and cash is easier than ever before– Cafe Verde now has an ATM!
Another one of our goals has been to welcome members and connect Farmers Market shoppers to PFC. To accomplish this, our General Manager, Lesley Perkins, initiated the “Saturday Tent.” On Saturdays between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., you’ll see a friendly PFC team member or board member selling coffee and several pastries for only $1. We’d love for you to stop by, say hello, and give us your thoughts about PFC.
While you are shopping at PFC, notice the changes happening in the Produce Department: new lighting and the re-organization of vegetable and fruit displays are making the produce look pretty terrific (and tempting!).
The Board is searching for a new administrative assistant to assist with Board related activities, such as documenting meetings, keeping track of to-do items, and managing our document archives. This position will begin sometime after January. If you are interested in working with the Board in this way, please contact the Board President at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though PFC Elections are not until spring 2017, we are actively starting our search for Board candidates. Candidates will need to apply by the end of January 2017. We will have three open seats to fill. Please consider becoming a member of our Board. If you are not able or willing to serve this time around, please forward names of members we could contact about being a candidate. We are all in this together and your support is critical to keeping our co-op strong.