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Co-op Newsletter 04/17/24

Dear Members,


Did you know that Newark Natural Foods is a member of a cooperative? National Co+op Grocers is a cooperative dedicated to offering purchasing and management support to consumer food cooperatives across the country. Just like us, NCG is owned by its members, governed by a Board made up of members, and pursues Ends related to its Mission. Through NCG, cooperatives across the country are afforded the ability to work together and gain advantages that would normally not be afforded to small, independent businesses.


Last week, I attended NCG’s Spring Meeting as our co-op’s designated representative. We voted on new board members and heard a report from NCG’s CEO about the state of our industry. I was also given the opportunity to peer network with other GM’s from across the country.


The consistent through-line at these meetings is how we as cooperatives can better serve our members, employees, and communities. We discussed how we can set ourselves apart from other stores with great customer service and an emphasis on education. We also focused on our commitments to our communities and the responsibilities that organizations like Newark Natural Foods have when it comes to setting social standards. Rightfully rising wage cost was on everyone’s mind, and in our peer groups, we worked through ways that we can continue to maintain competitive pricing while fairly compensating staff.


It is always helpful to interact with groups and individuals in similar situations to ours. Feedback and advice from peers can help guide the directions we take as we continue to work towards our Ends. With that in mind, I want to encourage you all to visit other co-ops during your travels. There is at least one NCG co-op in almost every state. Check them out. Support them. Talk to their members. See what you can learn and what you can bring back to us. Cooperation among co-ops is one of the seven cooperative principles. In my next letter, I’ll be going over the other six. Stay tuned!


All the Best,

Catherine Hallman

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