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
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 13:31
By Alexis Alexander, Membership Manager
It was a pleasure to submit our annual member-owner survey results to Council at their September meeting. First and foremost, I'd like to thank the 802 member-owners who completed the survey. Your input is vital to the success of our co-op, helping us assess how well we're meeting the needs of our member-owners. Council and our management staff are reviewing the results to determine those improvements that will best serve our membership in the future.
This was also the first year that we issued the survey online to member-owners who have signed up to receive member mailings and announcements via email. This change greatly improved our ability to analyze the results in a timely, cost-effective, and accurate fashion.
So, what are our member-owners saying about the Co-op?
Monday, 01 September 2014 15:39
By Alexis Alexander,
The 2014 annual member-owner survey revealed that many member-owners don't vote because they aren't familiar with the voting process — what it is, how it works, when and where votes take place — or they don't feel well enough informed about the issues or candidates to vote. The results suggest that GreenStar needs to better inform member-owners in order to support them in participating in this very important responsibility and benefit of Co-op membership.
Why does GreenStar Have a Voting Process?
As a cooperative, we exist to meet the needs of our member-owners who, through a democratic voting process, actively participate in decision making and in setting GreenStar policies. Counter to the world of corporations, where the number of votes is based on how much money people have invested, every member-owner at GreenStar has one vote, so all member-owners have an equal say.
What do Member-Owners Vote on?
According to GreenStar's bylaws, member-owners vote on the following issues: the creation and changes to the bylaws and mission statement; Council elections; the purchase, sale, or rental of property, such as a new store site, that commits the cooperative for five years or more; establishing or changing the cooperative's debt ceiling; a substantial reduction or elimination of the member labor program or associated discounts; and member-initiated referendums. Examples of past referendums passed by member-owners include those allowing the sale of chocolate, poultry, fish, local red meat, and beer, provided they meet certain requirements as outlined in the referendums.
Friday, 01 August 2014 17:04
By Alexis Alexander,
June 6 marked a milestone in GreenStar's history when Brenda Wickes became the 10,000th member-owner of the Co-op! Even more impressive, this milestone represents the number of current member-owners, not the total number of people who have been member-owners over the 43 years of the Co-op's existence. In honor of this landmark event, we presented Brenda with a $100 GreenStar gift card (see Brenda's photo in the July Photo Album on page 9).
While a new member-owner, Brenda is not actually new to the Co-op. She has been a loyal GreenStar customer for many years, shopping regularly twice a week. Balancing a busy schedule while raising children, Brenda believed that she couldn't maintain a GreenStar membership based on a very common misconception: she didn't realize that participation in the Member Labor program is not a requirement for GreenStar membership. Although she values volunteering, she knew it wouldn't work with her schedule. Consequently, she was very grateful when a cashier recently informed her that volunteering is optional. She purchased a membership that day!
Welcome Brenda — our 10,000th member-owner — and thank you for your loyal support over the years.
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By Kristie Snyder,
For GreenStar shoppers, having access to fresh fruits and vegetables may seem like a given. But for a lot of kids in our community, that’s not the case. Organizers of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program at Beverly J. Martin Elementary School in Ithaca heard from plenty...