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
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 17:38
By Alexis Alexander,
Does our current equity share payment of $90 per member serve the Co-op? Council has been discussing this question for some time now. It relates specifically to our expansion goals and the realization that we are no longer able to sufficiently meet our member-owners' needs and desires in our current West-End location. (Ask anyone who has tried to park on a busy "10 on the 10th" sales day!)
At some point this year, a proposal will likely be put to membership to vote for an equity increase and, possibly, a change in the payment schedule. According to our bylaws, the member-owner equity share amount can only be changed by a membership vote. Therefore, each member-owner will have a say in this very important decision.
Every business needs capital to survive and a cooperative is no different. Member-owner equity is a monetary investment by each member-owner that helps provide the Co-op with adequate capital to support the business. Equity is not used for the day-to-day running of the operation — it does not pay for employee's salaries and benefits, or the products we sell in the store, or our office supplies. Those expenses are covered by product sales.
Thursday, 01 December 2011 18:19
By Alexis Alexander,
The International Cooperative Alliance has proclaimed 2012 to be the International Year of Cooperatives. Their goal is twofold: to raise public awareness of cooperatives worldwide, and to educate people on how co-ops do business in a different way. It seems their timing couldn't be more perfect. With income inequality protests occurring across the globe, and Occupy Wall Street resonating with so many people in the US, now is a good time to talk about alternatives to traditional economic structures. Co-ops certainly offer a viable alternative model through collective governing and equitable sharing of profits, and by making decisions based on human need rather than human greed.
As I look toward 2012, I can't help reflecting on the history of the cooperative system. Successful co-ops emerged at a time when many people were dealing with economic and political strife similar to what we're experiencing now. Particularly noteworthy is the story of the Rochdale Pioneers, who are credited with starting the modern-day cooperative movement.
Thursday, 03 November 2011 02:38
By Alexis Alexander,
GreenStar's mission statement outlines a number of ethical guidelines that direct our operational decisions, practices and policies. A central theme is the importance that we place on protecting our environment and natural resources. Exercising ecological responsibility and leadership is at the core of what we do in our co-op and our community on a daily basis. This is why the notion of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or "hydrofracking," has struck such a deep nerve throughout the GreenStar community, and with such force that it compelled GreenStar's Council to send a formal letter in April to our representatives in Albany and Washington, DC requesting a ban on hydrofracking in New York and the entire Marcellus Shale region.
Many member-owners have expressed their concern over the rapid, and seemingly reckless, pace at which Governor Cuomo and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are moving to allow gas companies to begin hydrofracking in New York. When we think of the threat this process is to the safety of our drinking water and air, and the threat it poses to our local farmers' being able to continue to farm organically, the notion is truly frightening. It raises the question of what we can do, together, as a co-op.
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At the August 14 and September 11 Council meetings, the GreenStar community began a lively discussion regarding the possibility that the Co-op will lift or alter its current ban on most goods produced in the Peoples Republic of China in addition to implementing other product line guideline changes. (Please see additional coverage in this and last months Council News columns on page 3.) In order to allow this complex and controversial discourse to continue, short statements were solicited from those at the meet...