By Food Front's Board of Directors
December 9th, 2014
As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday this week, we hope you are able to spend some quality time with family or friends enjoying all that for which we can be grateful. For us, that includes the opportunity to serve as your representatives to Food Front, and to help our cooperative continue to thrive.
Many of you may have recently read the November issue of the Northwest Examiner, and its article on Food Front. We would like to take this opportunity to connect with you - our owners - about some of the items included in that article. First, the Board was disappointed with the biased sources and the editorial tone of the article. We do not believe that those few voices accurately depicted the views of the hundreds of current and former employees, and we do not believe the article provided both sides of the story. That being said, the Board recognizes that for the co-op to be a thriving cooperative business with abundant local, sustainable products and valued services, its employees need to feel empowered and valued. The Board has held this view for years and has implemented it into its policies, most notably its Staff Treatment Policy (Policy L2). Although the Board is constrained by our bylaws from engaging in the operational aspects of the co-op - all of which are delegated to the General Manager - we are committed to our monitoring duties (Policy M4.2.2). As part of that monitoring, the Board receives a Staff Treatment Monitoring report from the General Manager every year, which has been backed by an external survey every two years since 2012. The most recent report will be reviewed by the Board at its December meeting. If the Board determines that further action is necessary to ensure compliance with our policies, then we will take appropriate steps to do so. The Board supports the entire Food Front organization, management and staff alike, and we look forward to working with our owners and the General Manager to address any concerns they may have.
In August, the Board began a series of linkage events designed to strengthen the connection with our owners. We convened a Co-op Café in Hillsdale that month, and one in Northwest in October. We recently had another session in Hillsdale where we were able to discuss the article, and we will be following up with our owners in Northwest in January. These face-to-face meetings allow us to have candid discussions about the future of the co-op, and we find them to be truly valuable. We hope you will consider joining us at one of the upcoming events, but if you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next few months will be a challenging time for Food Front. As we face increased competition in the Northwest neighborhood with the anticipated arrival of New Seasons, and as we continue to try to meet the projected sales goals for the Hillsdale store, it is ever more important that we have your support as an owner. Whether you choose to join us for a Board meeting, send us an email, or even run for one of our two open board positions, all engagement will be greatly appreciated, and we hope all of you will choose to shop "Food Front First." And at this time of giving thanks, we wish to extend to all of you a sincere thank you for your continued support of the co-op.
The Food Front Board of Directors