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.

The co-operative business model has proven to be a strong alternative to traditional profit-driven businesses. And, for every dollar you spend in a locally-owned business or cooperative, 45 cents is return to the community, compared to only 13 cents when you spend a dollar at a chain store.

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



 

 

A March Bouquet: FLOWER, Global Service Learning Project, GMO Activist Opportunity and More!

Friday, 01 March 2013 16:34

By Alexis Alexander

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is Blooming

On Thursday, Feb. 7, the Membership Department made a presentation on our FLOWER program to approximately 20 supervisors at the Department of Social Services (DSS). The supervisors were very enthusiastic about the program's mission to improve healthy food access for individuals and families with limited financial resources. The FLOWER program offers a 15 percent discount to member-owners who currently qualify for and receive Food Stamps, Cash Assistance, Medicaid, WIC, or Free School Lunch benefits.

The DSS supervisors plan to share the information with their staff members who work directly with individuals receiving government assistance. They also offered excellent suggestions to help us improve the program, especially for prospective participants not yet familiar with GreenStar. On Thursday, March 7, we're making a similar presentation to staff at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC).

Since FLOWER's inception in October 2010, 585 member-owners have participated in the program, with current enrollment of 385. Our intention for these and future outreach efforts is to connect with more people facing financial hardship who are currently unaware of the program.

Cornell's GSL Project & GMO One-Minute Activist Opportunity

Cornell University's Global Service Learning Program offers students the ability to extend their education beyond the classroom through service-related activities in the community. As part of this program, GreenStar will host four students, each contributing 10 hours of service to the co-op.

Read more: A March Bouquet: FLOWER, Global Service Learning Project, GMO Activist Opportunity and More!

 

It's Time for the Annual Member-Owner Survey

Friday, 08 February 2013 16:50

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

Consumer-Survey-smHot off the presses, the Second annual Member-Owner Survey should be appearing in member-owners' mailboxes during the second week of February. The survey will be similar to last year's survey, allowing us to establish a trend in member-owner satisfaction on various topics over time. Brandon, our General Manager, will use this data on an ongoing basis in his reports to Council and to assess ways we can improve the Co-op.

The surveys are due back to the store by February 28. Just like last year, the completed surveys themselves serve as a $5 coupon. When you turn in the survey, you will receive $5 off any purchases you make at that time. It is important that each member-owner turn in just one survey to maintain data integrity.

If you're wondering about the results of last year's survey, below are some of the highlights:

1. Overall satisfaction with the Co-op is very high: 56 percent of respondents are very satisfied and 40 percent are satisfied with GreenStar.

2. The two most common reasons that member-owners join GreenStar are to support a community business (97 percent) and to support local products (93 percent). Supporting the conservation of our environment is the next most frequently stated reason for joining (75 percent), followed by "the Co-op economic model matches my values" (70 percent). Member discounts were indicated by 67 percent of respondents as a reason for joining.

Read more: It's Time for the Annual Member-Owner Survey

A New Meat Referendum Is Up for Spring Member Vote

Tuesday, 01 January 2013 22:33

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

rk farmsThroughout GreenStar's history, member-owners have voted on a number of member referendums that stipulate various requirements regarding the products GreenStar can sell. The very first member referendum, in 1991, allowed certain chocolate products to be sold, while another in 1992 allowed the sale of certain poultry and fish.

 In 2003, member-owners voted on two referendums allowing red meat to be sold in the store. Meat Referendum #1, "Permission to Sell Meat with Conditions," specified that GreenStar can sell red meat provided it's organic, or as close as possible to organic, and otherwise complies with our existing Product Line Guidelines. Meat Referendum #2 placed two more restrictions on the red meat sold at the Co-op. Specifically, 1) the Co-op could only sell red meat from farms located within 40 miles of Ithaca, and 2) GreenStar had to perform two unannounced inspections of the farms each year, reporting on the living conditions of the animals on the farm, the animals' water sources, and the methods of slaughter; if the supplier was not certified as organic, the inspection also involved verifying that the animals' food, including forage, was organic.

Read more: A New Meat Referendum Is Up for Spring Member Vote

 

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