Fair Trade banana producers need consumer co-op help

Fair trade bananas enable small producers to survive and thrive -- IF they organize as cooperatives.  Organized demand through consumer cooperatives also is key.  For background on these production and marketing challenges, here is a current report from Equal Exchange, the cooperative that continues to spearhead efforts to link Latin American producers with North American customers:  http://equalexchange.coop/blog/why-do-banana-farmers-organize

Food Co-op Initiative Announces New FCI Guide to Starting a Food Co-op

Food Co-op Initiative is thrilled to announce its all-new Guide to Starting a Food Co-op. Built on ten years of experience supporting and observing Third Wave food co-ops, this new Guide incorporates the best ideas and most successful approaches communities are using to organize startup food co-ops. Every year, food co-ops face stronger competition and higher startup costs, yet they are still able to open vibrant, successful stores.

Striking the Balance for Co-op Success

A truly successful co-op is one that not only runs a stellar store and keeps the books in the black. Such a co-op also makes room for co-op participants—owners, customers, and staff—to play a part in its forward momentum, in a space where they are given the chance to shape the future co-op.  If we think about the co-op as a place that reflects and acts on the values of its owners and works toward ends based on those values, then it’s critical that the co-op provide ways that owners can share in the accomplishment of those goals. 

Multi-stakeholder Cooperatives and Consumer Co-ops

Multi-stakeholder cooperative governance may not be familiar to many in the U.S. consumer co-op movement, but it is widely seen as an appropriate and progressive model of governance for cooperatives of all kinds. More importantly, it is a way to foster the kind of member engagement that many see as crucial if cooperatives are to survive and thrive in the modern world.

Updating Trends in General Manager Compensation

Data from 104 co-ops with annual sales ranging from $1M to $74M

In 2006 and 2011, this magazine published studies on general manager (GM) compensation. Continuing that tradition, here’s a look at the state of management compensation in food co-ops today.

The 104 general managers in this study serve co-ops ranging in size from $1 million to $74 million in annual sales.