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DFC Board Training 2013

Context & History
by

Bija Young

on 25 July 2013

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Transcript of DFC Board Training 2013

A brief overview of the cooperative history, guiding principles, and how it relates to us.
HISTORY & CONTEXT
By: Bija Young
Cooperatives can be formed for individuals, businesses or communities. There are there five types of cooperative businesses:

Consumer
: owned by the people who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative. Example: The Davis Food Co-op

Producer
: owned by producers of farm commodities or crafts that band together to process and/or market their products. Example: Organic Valley

Worker
: owned and democratically governed by their employees. Example: Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco

Purchasing/Shared Services
: owned by small, independent businesses, municipalities or other like organizations that band together to enhance their purchasing power. Example: Ace Hardware

Hybrid
: multi-stakeholder hybrids, which seek to balance the sometimes conflicting needs of participants. Example: Black Star Co-op Brewery in Austin, TX

WHAT IS A CO-OP?

Cooperatives businesses are about meeting the needs of people—whether consumers, purchasers, workers or producers.
The most common form of co-ops is organized by individuals who seek to purchase goods and services. Consumer co-ops are the largest kind of cooperative, each with thousands or even millions of members. As a result, individual members have relatively little direct influence on the co-op, other than participating in elections for the board and occasionally voting on major policy changes. The board usually appoints a manager, who hires and supervises staff to run operations.

Consumers' cooperatives often take the form of retail outlets owned and operated by their consumers, such as food co-ops. However, there are many types of consumers' cooperatives, operating in areas such as health care, insurance, housing, utilities and personal finance (including credit unions).

Consumer co-ops may sometimes look like other businesses in how they operate, but the difference becomes clear when it comes time to allocate profits. Co-ops often distribute patronage refunds, in which profits are returned to members based on how much they used the co-op.

The first documented consumer cooperative was founded in 1769, in a barely furnished cottage in Fenwick, East Ayrshire, when local weavers manhandled a sack of oatmeal into John Walker's whitewashed front room and began selling the contents at a discount, forming the Fenwick Weavers' Society.
CONSUMER CO-OPS
THE PIONEERS
The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was a group of 10 weavers and 20 others in Rochdale, England, that was formed in 1844. These tradesmen decided to band together to open their own store selling food items they could not otherwise afford. With lessons from prior failed attempts at co-operation in mind, they designed the now famous
Rochdale Principles.

FYI:

The first storefront operated by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was located on Toad Lane. As a nod to this important piece of co-op history DFC has our very own "Toad Lane", identified by the street sign outside the entrance of the store.
Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able to use its services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.
Members' Economic Participation
Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.
Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the cooperative’s autonomy.
Education, Training and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.
COOPERATION AMONG CO-OPS
The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is an independent, non-governmental organization established in 1895 to unite, represent and serve co-operatives worldwide. It provides a global voice and forum for knowledge, expertise and co-ordinated action for and about co-operatives.

ICA’s members are international and national co-operative organizations from all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, banking, consumer, fisheries, health, housing, insurance, and workers. ICA has members from one hundred countries, representing one billion individuals worldwide. One hundred million people work for a co-operative locally.

The ICA is the guardian of the co-operative identity, values and principles.
We are a part of National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA). NCGA is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. They represent 134 food co-ops operating more than 170 stores in 36 states with combined annual sales of over $1.5 billion and over 1.3 million consumer-owners. NCGA helps unify natural food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power, and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere.
Davis Food Co-op Chronology
=

+

What Guides The DFC
There are seven Articles of Incorporation that basically state we are consumer cooperative in the business of selling "food and other household products to members".

There are 13 Bylaws that the DFC has adopted in order to regulate its own affairs and the behavior of its members.
Article I. Identity
Article II. Purposes
Article III. Definitions
Article IV. Membership
Article V. Business Principles and Practices
Article VI. Government and Management
Article VII. Membership Meetings
Article VIII. Directors and Officers
Article IX. Nominations and Elections
Article X. Initiative and Referendum
Article XI. Management and Employees
Article XII. Amendments
Article XIII. Dissolution

The full articles & bylaws can be found at http://davisfood.coop/about/membership/bylaws
Cooperatives around the world generally operate according to the same core principles and values, adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995.
7 Cooperative Principles
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
http://www.dfcboard.com/resourcelinks.php
Contains links to and information about The CA Center for Cooperative Development, Consumer Cooperative Management Assoc., Cooperative Board Leadership Development Library, Cooperative Grocers Information Network and the National Grocers Cooperative Association.
http://usa2012.coop/home
All around the world, in the year 2012, people celebrated a business model that puts people first, innovates to meet member need and provides local service while being part of a global network.
http://davisfood.coop

For more information about the Rochdale Pioneers & the History of the Consumer Cooperative Movement:
http://usaskstudies.coop/pdf-files/Rochdale.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochdale_Society_of_Equitable_Pioneers
http://www.cooperativegrocer.coop/articles/2004-01-09/co-op-principles-then-and-now-part-2
BOARD ROLES
MEETINGS
The Board of Directors meets regularly on the first Monday of (almost) every month in the Co-op Teaching Kitchen at 537 G Street. The Co-op's Bylaws specify that the Board must have regular meetings at least eight times yearly and these meetings (except for closed sessions on specific matters) shall be open to any member in good standing.

These exceptions, specified in our Board Policies, are sessions dealing with hiring decisions, firing decisions, personnel evaluations, lease negotiations, grievances and litigation, and matters which would convey competitive advantage if they were disclosed.

The suggested order of business at regular meetings of the directors is:
(A) Minutes of the preceding meeting.
(B) Unfinished business.
(C) Communications and bills.
(D) Reports from officers, managers, and committees.
(E) New business.
ARTICLE VIII. of the DFC BYLAWS: DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS.

At the first Board meeting after new Board members take office, a
President
,
Vice-President
,
Secretary
and
Treasurer
shall be elected. Only a director who is not an interim director is eligible for election as President or Vice-President. Any shareholder in good standing is eligible for election as Treasurer or Secretary, and one person may hold both these offices.

In addition to signing or attesting to formal documents on behalf of the Cooperative as authorized by the Board, officers shall have such additional duties as are determined by the Board.

Policy GP4: Board Officer Roles

The President has only those rights, responsibilities and duties as set forth in the Bylaws, this policy, as required by law, or as delegated to that office by resolution of the Board.

The President
will plan the agenda for meetings of the Board of Directors pursuant to policy GP3.
The Vice-President
will discharge the duties and responsibilities of the President in his/her absence or unexpected departure from office. When so acting, the Vice-President has all the powers of, and is subject to all the restrictions upon, the President. The Vice-President may also be called upon to assist the President in the discharge of his/her duties as assigned by the President or the Board.

The Secretary
will ensure that: all Board and committee meeting minutes are complete, accurate, and approved by the Board and maintained in a permanent archive; the articles of incorporation, bylaws, and all Board policies are kept current, are provided to all Board members and senior staff, and are maintained at a central location; all Board notices required by statute, regulation and Board resolution are issued to the appropriate parties; the Board policies are updated as required by the Board; and new Directors receive the Board policies.
The Treasurer
will ensure the integrity of the Board’s budget and financial condition and ensure that the Board develops, approves, and abides by a budget for Board-authorized expenses incurred in the course of doing the Board’s work.
The Corresponding Secretary
will acknowledge receipt of all emails, letters or other communications delivered to the Board within 3 days of receipt and indicate to the correspondent the general procedure that will be followed; provide copies of communications to all Directors; will log or otherwise follow the correspondence through to a conclusion; and will report correspondence in the Consent Agenda each month.
Policy GP3: Agenda Planning
To accomplish its role of governance in a manner consistent with board policies, the board will follow an annual calendar that completes a re-exploration of Ends policies, and takes into consideration all matters that need to be debated and decided by the board.

Throughout the year, the board will attend to consent agenda items as expeditiously as possible.

At the beginning of each board meeting, a time will be allotted for agenda review. Any director may bring forward a non-debatable motion to add, remove or alter items on the agenda.


WHO'S IN ATTENDANCE?
Often times at the board meetings you can find folks other than the B.O.D. in attendance.

Doug Walter: Membership Director
Julie Cross: Board Administrator/Marketing & Education Director
Nathan Milos or Laura Doyle: Administrative Assistant
Beth Tausczik: Store Manager

OFFICER ROLES & THE MEETING PROCESS
Putting it all together to get things done.
CONSUMER CO-OP GROWTH IN THE U.S.
Rochdale Plan (1900s)

Buying groups purchased a cooperatively owned wholesaler. Wholesaler helped convert buying clubs to retail stores. In 1920, there were 2,600 consumer co-ops in the United States -all but 11 were general stores - and 80% were in towns with populations of less than 2,500. Combined sales volume for these stores was about $260 million.
New Deal and Great Depression (1930s)

In California, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Upton Sinclair’s "End Poverty in California" (EPIC) campaign established and promoted ”self-help" cooperatives although he eventually lost to Republican Frank Merriam.

Several national "consumers' unions" were formed to promote consumer education and protection. The most famous of these was the Consumers’ Union. Today, its most famous “offspring” is Consumer Reports magazine.

Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, supported urban co-ops with government assistance. Some leading consumer co-ops were launched in this period - in Berkeley, Hanover (New Hampshire), Palo Alto, Hyde Park (a Chicago neighborhood), and Greenbelt, Maryland. In the 1980s and 1990s the co-ops in Palo Alto and Berkeley closed, and those in Eau Claire, Hyde Park and Greenbelt greatly scaled back their activities. Today, the co-ops in Hanover and Greenbelt are thriving .
New Wave (1960s and 1970s)
Based on equality, counterculture and access to natural foods Their operating practices were diverse and experimental. Some stores had limited operating hours; others were open seven days a week. Some were run by volunteers and others by fully paid staff. Some had various forms of worker self-management; others had more traditional management structures. Some paid year-end patronage refunds; others gave members a discount at the cash register.

Today there are over 300 consumer food co-ops in the US.
Current
There is a major resurgence in the popularity of food co-ops, and there is a movement nationally to increase the number of food co-ops to 500 within the next few years. The economic downturn has created many opportunities for the cooperative business model.
by Stacie Frerichs
MEETING PROCESS Q & A
With respect to how board meetings are conducted, the following authorities apply, in the order listed:

1. Federal, State or Local Law

2. Certificate of Incorporation

3. Bylaws

4. “Special Rules” in Administrative Policies)

5. Robert’s Rules

6. Standing Rules in Administrative Policies)

7. The Customs of your Board

Note: Our bylaws require us to use Robert’s Rules of Order. Robert’s Rules of Order permit a Board to write policies that supersede the Rules themselves. Those written policies may not, however, contradict the Bylaws

A. The Main Motion: How to Get Things Done
A main motion requires a second. A main motion should be made, seconded and then debated. The DFC practice of debating our options before making the motion is acceptable in a small board setting. It is a best practice at DFC to prepare motions in writing in advance of the meeting. However, this is not an absolute requirement,
particularly for “minor” motions.
A.1 Amendments
To quote Robert: “Amendments should say exactly where in the main motion the change is to be made, and precisely what words to use.” Amendments require a second. Once an amendment is proposed and seconded, the group debates the amendment not the main motion). Following debate, the amendment is voted upon. At this point, all you’re voting on is whether to amend the main motion, not whether to pass the main motion as amended. Following the vote on the amendment, debate on the main motion as amended, if the motion passed) resumes. In DFC practice this process is often collapsed.
PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE
B. Move to Extend or Limit Debate: How long should we spend on this?
The RONR standard is that you may speak twice for 10 minutes each time on any given motion on a particular day. One may move to extend or limit debate in almost any fashion – by limiting speaking time, or by being allowed to speak three times instead of two. A motion to extend or limit debate is not debatable. The only debate standard at DFC is that the Facilitator will call upon the person who has not yet spoken first.

C. Move the Previous Question: Calling for the Vote
By “calling the vote,” you stop debate and lead the Board to vote on whatever motion is currently on the floor. This motion is not debatable, and it requires a second and a two-thirds majority to pass per RONR. The DFC custom is to not permit calling the question the first time it is raised if any Director objects.



D. Motion to postpone indefinitely/Motion to postpone definitely (or to a particular time/Motion to lay on the Table
A motion to postpone indefinitely is a way to get rid of something without voting on it; the motion can’t be taken up again during the session. A motion to postpone definitely is a way to put off voting on something, usually until something else happens more information can be obtained, another person can be there). In the latter case, the motion to postpone specifies when the main motion will be taken up again. A motion to lay on the table is a method of moving something else to the front to deal with first; the motion to lay on the table does not specify when the main motion will be taken up again, but any member can bring it up again during the session. The indefinite postponement is rarely used at DFC. The definite postponement is often used at DFC and usually by fiat rather than vote – the Chair will note that we haven’t received something to be discussed and announce that it is tabled until the next meeting.

E. Questions of Privilege: Enabling the Work
Questions of privilege are used for items that are somehow obstructing the work at hand. For example a question of “personal” privilege might be: “I can’t hear unless these windows are closed.” For example a question of privilege of the Assembly might be: “Rhis should be discussed in closed session.” These questions may be raised without recognition of the Board Chair and take precedence over all other business. They may simply be ruled on by the chair, they may be phrased as a motion, or they may be ruled by the chair to be out of order as questions of privilege; in that case, the ruling may be appealed, and a majority vote may overturn the chair and consider the question. Our ground rules require you to take care of your own needs. If you can do so without interrupting the meeting, do it. If you need the meeting to stop while something is adjusted, speak up.



F. Point of Order, and Appeals Thereto
A point of order is what you say when you believe the Chair has made an error. “Point of order, Madam chair? A nomination does not require a second.” You are allowed to interrupt to make a point of order, provided it is a point that will actually do harm – a correction of spoken grammar, for example, would not qualify. At the DFC, raise your hands in the “T” sign like a time out in football) and make your case, per our ground rules.
G. Motion to Reconsider: Fixing Mistakes Right Away
This motion must be made at the same meeting and may be made only by someone on the “winning” side. It must be seconded. The debate and vote relate to whether you should take another vote on that motion. If the motion to reconsider passes, then you debate the original motion and vote again.

OTHER MOTIONS

not in common use at DFC, but legal and useful .
H. Motion to Rescind or Amend: Fixing Mistakes at the Next Meeting
This motion must be made at a different meeting from that in which the original motion was made. It may be made by anyone and must be seconded. If you’ve given notice of the motion, it requires a majority vote; if you have not given notice, it requires a two-thirds vote.

I. Motion to Suspend the Rules: Flexibility at Meetings
This motion is used to temporarily break the rules. For example, “I move to suspend the rules and allow our guest to speak on this subject.” In DFC practice, the Chair generally announces a reordering of the agenda.
J. Call for the Orders of the Day: Getting Things Back on Track
This motion is used to require the Chair to take up items in the order on the agenda. It is a privileged motion; it takes precedence over non-privileged motions, does not require a second, and can’t be amended or debated. It can only be overridden by a two-thirds majority. It may not be used to get around suspending the rules.
K. Object to the Consideration of a Question
This motion may be raised without recognition by the chair. It applies only to main motions, petitions and communications that are not from a superior body so you can’t object to the consideration of the question (if it’s a letter from the Secretary of State). It takes precedence, does not require a second, cannot be debated or amended, and can only be overridden by a two-thirds majority. This motion is designed to protect the Board or membership from disclosure or public embarrassment.


L. Point of Parliamentary Inquiry
This is how you ask for help from the Chair on procedure. For example, “Point of Parliamentary Inquiry! Ms. President, does this motion require a majority vote to pass?”


M. Point of Information
This is what you call for if you have a pertinent question. You are allowed to interrupt if necessary. Typically, you use this method to get essential data – “Point of information! What is the interest rate on the proposed loan?”
In small boards, usually less than 12, the chair is treated just like other directors in matters of debate and voting. In larger or more formal boards, the chair votes only when his or her vote would make a difference in the outcome.
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
DFC PRACTICES
THE AGENDA
The agenda is handled by the President, with assistance as needed from the Vice President or Secretary. Any Director may ask that something be placed on the agenda. The President will determine if it should be on the regular meeting agenda (rather than being discussed over e-mail or in a task force) and who should present it. The person who has their name next to the agenda item is responsible for preparing information about that item for the board packet and leading the discussion of that item during the meeting. The President sends out a draft agenda at least two weeks before the meeting. Changes are due within a week, and informational items for the board packet are due one week before the Board meeting.
CONSENT CALENDAR
The consent calendar appears on our agenda each month. It is a device to prevent routine business from taking up too much of the meeting. If anyone has a minor question or correction, it is addressed before a motion is made to accept the consent calendar. If anyone has a major question, they may request that the item be removed from the consent calendar and placed at the end of the agenda. Approval of the consent calendar must be unanimous. If you vote to approve the consent calendar, you are voting “yes” on every item that is on the calendar at that moment.
EDUCATION SESSION
The Education session is a chunk of time near the beginning of every regular meeting that we devote to educating ourselves as a Board about issues that may be importance to the Co-op or our Board. This session is often led by an outside speaker. The Education Task Force recommends a calendar of education sessions
for the Board year and coordinates each session.

BOARD PACKET
The board packet is a document containing all the materials to be read before the meeting. Packet items are due via e-mail to the Board Administrative Assistant (Nathan) at Noon on Monday one week prior to the meeting. If items are late, it is the responsibility of the Director to distribute the item via e-mail and places copies in each Director’s board folder. Directors are expected to read the full packet prior to each Board meeting.
STAFF
The board is assisted by Nathan Milos (the Board Administrative Assistant) and Julie Cross (the Board Assistant and the Co-op’s Marketing Director). Nathan attends regular meeting, takes minutes, and prepares the Board packets. Julie attends regular meetings and is the go-to staff person for Board business, assisting the officers of the Board.
BOARD RESOURCES
The main locations of Board resources are Board folders, the Board website, and the Board section of the Co-op website. Board folders are located in the standing file box on the shelf to the right of the door as you come in to the Admin. Office. Hard copies of board packets and financial statements, as well as other board-related documents are placed in this folder for you to pick up at your convenience. The board website contains many helpful resources including board policies, past meeting packets, a calendar of upcoming board events and links to other resources. The website is located at: http://www.dfcboard.com/index.php. Your user name is your e-mail address,a nd your password is “coop ” Finally, the Board section of the Co-op website contains some of the same information as the Board website, as well as the final minutes of regular meetings for the last several years. The website is public and is located at:
http://davisfood.coop/about/boardofdirectors.
USE OF E-MAIL
Please use e-mail as much as possible to discuss things in advance and at length. Please do not use e-mail to share funny anecdotes or other e-mail not directly related to Board business. Also, please refrain from discussing confidential agenda items over e-mail when possible.


GROUND RULES
The ground rules are a list of “rules” that are a subset of the administrative policies. The “rules” guide us in our behavior in our meetings. Please be familiar with the ground rules and make an effort to adhere to them in order to help our Board operate effectively and efficiently.

RESOLUTION BY UNANIMOUS WRITTEN CONSENT
Along with the voting that happens in meetings, we sometimes use resolution by unanimous written consent to vote on a non-contentious item outside the regular meeting time. This is commonly done via e-mail. If someone objects to the resolution, or does not respond to the e-mail, a special meeting must be called to pass the resolution.
ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES
Rules of Order: A Brief Overview

1. Special Rules of Order

Majority vote to adopt/revise, 1 reading required

A. Alternate directors are treated as regular Directors
The facilitator will ensure that the following guidelines are followed:
• Listen as an ally.
• Begin and end on time.
• Come prepared to participate.
• Be polite and respectful.
• Raise your hand to speak.
• Turn cell phones off or set to vibrate.
• “T” for process issue.
• Raise hands for agreement.
• No one speaks twice unless everyone has had a chance to speak once.
• Speak to the point
C. A direct response will be used only to provide a short answer to a query or statement that was made by a board member who currently has the floor, after this person is done speaking.
D. Three Readings procedure used for all policy
E. Guests are welcome and should abide by the guidelines

2. Standing Rules of Order

Administrative details not relating to conduct of business at meeting; majority vote to adopt/revise; one reading required

A. Whenever possible, motions should be written up in advance.
B. Policy revision: adopted final copy of new policy directly to secretary.
C. All agenda items ready for the next meeting in directors folders, include a copy for note taker and GM
D. Adhere to the Email Expectations
E. There is a Procedure for Director Reimbursement for Petty Expenditures on Educational Printed Materials.

3. Attendance by Directors

A. A director shall be counted as in attendance at a meeting if s/he is present within 15 minutes of the time the meeting has been called and remains until the time scheduled for adjournment on the published agenda.
B. The Board Administrative Assistant shall keep a record of attendance.




ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES
The administrative policies outline important aspects of Board process. Please be familiar with the administrative policies and make an effort to adhere to them in order to help our Board operate effectively and efficiently. The administrative policies are posted in the “Governing Documents” section of the Board website.


PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE
We use Robert’s Rules of Order in running our meetings.

Note: Adapted from a 2012 presentation by Julie Cross
Robert’s Rules of Order (“RONR”) describe a standard way of running meetings, with which you are probably somewhat familiar. John Carver’s Policy Governance is a method of running organizations in which the governing body writes policies describing what they want and boundaries describing what they don’t want. Both sets of instructions are pretty authoritarian, leading us first to:
ORDER OF OPERATIONS

Robert’s Rules (RONR) at the DFC: Commonly Used Motions
Some motions don’t require a second, either as a form of empowerment nominating yourself for an office when you’re an outsider) or because they’re so crucial objecting to the consideration of a motion).

Once a motion has been made, seconded and stated by the chair, it becomes the property of the assembly as a whole. If someone offers a “friendly amendment,” the maker can’t just accept it and move on; it must be treated as a regular amendment. The Chair may treat it as a request for unanimous consent if it’s a noncontroversial item: “Unless there’s an objection, the motion will be amended to read broccoli instead of cauliflower.” DFC practice has been to view every amendment as friendly, even if they’re not.

Once a motion has been made, seconded and stated by the chair, it becomes the property of the assembly as a whole. If you want to withdraw your motion, you must ask permission. The Chair should treat it as a request for unanimous consent; that is, s/he should say “Unless there’s an objection, Director A is withdrawing her motion.” If anyone objects, then someone who is NOT you must make a motion to permit the withdrawal. DFC Practice has been for the Chair to permit the withdrawal of motions.

Year founded ........................................... 1972
Annual Sales ...............................$19+ million
Square feet (total) .................................25,000
Square feet (retail) ................................18,000
Number of staff ......................................... 141
Shoppers/day ......................................... 1,800
Auto parking spaces ................................... 88
Bike parking spaces .................................... 37
Avg. wage per hour ................................$14.86
Avg. sales per payroll hour ....................$84.47
Member equity shares ........over $2.53 million
Avg. sale/customer .............................. $26.46
% sales to members ................................ 80%
No. of active members ..........................>9,000
Member benefits:
Annual patronage refund ........ 4 years in ’00s
Ownership/vote ......................................... yes
Newsletter ................................................ yes
Classes/workshops ................................... yes
Food Demonstrations ............................... yes
Kids’ Club: weekly healthy treat, coloring sheets
Member discount levels:
No volunteer hours ........................shelf price
(non-members pay a 5% surcharge)
Volunteer 2 - 6 hrs./mo. ............................ 5%
Volunteer 4 hrs./wk. ................................ 16.5%
Case discount .................................usually 5%
QUICK FACTS
We started as a buying club in 1972, as a part of the New Wave of Co-ops. We opened a store called Davis Food Co-op in 1976, & moved to a larger location in 1978. We were able to buy our building in 1990, with the help of members and the National Cooperative Bank. We remodeled the store in ‘92, in ‘94, and in ‘97 we took over the last quarter of the building from our last tenant. Since 2007 we’ve replaced most of our equipment and shelves. We have invested our profits in our business for years; four times, we felt we could also provide value to members by rebating profits to them in proportion to their patronage.
Today, we describe ourselves as a full line supermarket with an emphasis on bulk, organic, natural and local foods. We are a community institution in Davis, and seek to serve as a center for education, eating, and enjoyment.
A VERY BRIEF HISTORY
1972 — founded by Davis residents and University students
1976 — opened first store on L Street between 4th and 5th
1978 — moved to store on 5th Street, at L
1979 — beginning of effort to incorporate
1981 — finished incorporation as Davis Food Co-op, Inc., a California cooperative
•First frozen food case installed
•First vote on moving into empty Safeway store on G Street; move is defeated
1983 — second vote on moving to G Street; move is victorious
1984 — Co-op moves to 620 G Street in March
1985, 1986 — most other tenants at 620 G Street fail; difficult cash flow problems for Co-op during the summers
1987, 1988 — turnaround in pricing structure, work requirement and marketing begins period of rapid growth
• Consumers Cooperative of Berkeley (“Berkeley Co-op”) closes remaining stores and files for bankruptcy
1990 — Co-op buys building at 620 G Street from Safeway
1992 — extensive interior remodeling
1993 — members vote against proposal to open a second store in Davis at “Farmtown Shopping Center”
1997 — extensive interior and exterior remodeling, as last tenant leaves
2000 — Co-op buys building at 537 G/617 7th for office or service expansion
2002 — Share equity from members tops $1 Million
2004 — first payment of patronage dividend to shareholders
2005 — first contact with Sutti & Associates; their opinion is that physical expansion is not necessary to increase sales, goods offered
2007 — members vote for loan proposal to renovate store
2010 — installation of cash register system marks conclusion of renovation as described in 2007
The Davis Food Cooperative exists so that our current and future member-owners and other people in the community have:

• a thriving, cooperatively owned business;
• access to healthful, sustainable, higher quality, and locally grown and produced foods;
• a retail store that satisfies customers;
• an improved environment and a more sustainable food system; and
• education that leads to informed choices about health, food systems, the environment and cooperatives.
Full transcript