What is Membership?
Since the beginning, GreenStar's mission focused on making nutritious, whole food available to its members. But membership means more than just access to good, healthy food...
When you join the Co-op you become a Member-Owner of a locally-owned and cooperatively operated values-based business. We focus on the social and environmental impact GreenStar makes on our local and global community, as well as economic performance. We put our values first, and return all profits back to the Co-op or donate them to the community.
One Member – One Vote means your voice truly counts!
Like all consumer co-ops, GreenStar is owned and democratically run by the people who use the store. Unlike traditional corporations where the amount of a stockholder's investment determines his or her voting power, every member at GreenStar has equal voting rights. As a Member-Owner, you have an equal say in the future direction of GreenStar.
By investing and participating in your co-op, you're putting your values into action.
Through your Equity Share investment and patronage, GreenStar supports the health and well-being of our member-owners, our community and the planet by:
- Purchasing from local farmers and businesses
- Paying a livable wage
- Using clean energy and recycled office supplies
- Supporting organic agriculture and fair trade producers
- Offering health insurance to employees
- Donating to local charities and events
- Providing education on nutrition, health and sustainability
- Improving access to healthy food to those on limited budgets through the FLOWER program
Friday, 04 April 2014 02:38
Enjoy Music, Dinner, and Dessert while Hearing from Council Candidates and Co-op Management on the State of the Stores
By Alexis Alexander,
Ah, Spring! A time of new beginnings. What better way to celebrate than to gather in our new, beautiful Community Room at The Space @ GreenStar. On Friday, April 25, Council is hosting our Annual Spring Member Meeting beginning at 5:30 pm. We're all excited about offering our member-owners an amazing setting for the meeting. Our Deli and Bakery will provide a scrumptious array of food and desserts, all prepared in our new central kitchen.
The Membership Committee is currently making plans to bring our member-owners an informative and enjoyable meeting, with time to socialize in our new digs. During the social hour, Gabe Banford will entertain us with a mix of classical, jazz, and improv keyboard instrumentals. The meeting will commence with a performance by NY Youth Against Fracking. Following the social hour, any kids in attendance will be able to enjoy various activities and dessert in our new Classrooms @ GreenStar, a space that provides ample place for children to play, do artwork, or simply hang out with room to spare! A Quiet Room is also available for parents with infants who need to leave the meeting temporarily to take care of their child's needs. For the adults, dessert will be served following the meeting, providing everyone with more time to socialize and speak with Council Members.
As always, two of the primary purposes of the Annual Spring Meeting are to share with our member-owners the business results of the prior year as they relate to our triple-bottom-line mission, and to introduce the candidates running for Council in April. Council elections bring to mind the fact that our cooperative business is run differently than traditional businesses, based on the Seven Cooperative Principles.
The Cooperative Principle particularly relevant to our Council elections is Principle #2: Democratic Member Control. Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, the people who not only buy the goods and use the services of the co-op, but literally own it.
As member-owners, we actively participate in decision making through a democratic voting process. As outlined in our bylaws, every GreenStar member-owner is eligible to vote in Council elections on member-sponsored referenda and any policy matters that require a membership vote. Unlike in the corporate world, where the number of votes is based on how much money people invest, cooperatives afford every member-owner an equal voting share, so no one's vote counts more than anyone else's.
Council members are elected to act on behalf of the member-owners by providing the leadership, vision, and guidance for the Co-op to ensure that the needs of the owners are being met and that the financial and legal obligations that come with owning a business are fulfilled. Through our Policy Governance structure, Council establishes policies that define the roles and responsibilities of the General Manager, and the purpose, mission, and strategies of the organization. Council is essentially the "boss" of the General Manager, reviewing on an ongoing basis the progress of the cooperative to ensure that the General Manager, through the management of Operational staff, is meeting the triple-bottom-line goals and mission of the organization.
The Spring Meeting provides ample time for member-owners to ask questions of the Council candidates so that member-owners can make informed decisions on those they feel will best serve the needs of the member-owners and, in turn, the mission and values of the cooperative. So please join us in our new Community Room on Friday, April 25, as we share time together in learning about those who wish to help govern GreenStar in the coming years.
And for member-owners who wish to have more time to speak more directly to Council and other member-owners about issues of interest, don't forget the Member-Owner Forum from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Thursday, April 10 in the Meeting Room at the West-End Store.
We have lost one of the world's passionate defenders of the right to food. ... Mandela understood that a hungry man, woman or child could not be truly free.
— General José Graziano da Silva, Director, Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.
By Joe Romano, Marketing Manager