By Jessica Miller
October 31st, 2014
NW EXAMINER: KNOW THE FACTS!
The following is a response to the NW Examiner's November issue cover article regarding Food Front Co-op read the article here: The co-op was misrepresented due to the article being biased and opinion-based. Here are some facts to clear things up.
Food Safety/Quality of Deli & Meat Departments:
The NW Deli sources ingredients from many of the same vendors as the rest of the co-op as well as from high-quality wholesalers. Our recipes use as much local, seasonal, organic and farm-direct produce as available to us.
Our Meat Department clearly labels the source and farming methods of the meat carried, and seafood is clearly called out as wild-caught, farm-raised, fresh, frozen, as well as the origin. We strive to carry as much local and sustainable meat & seafood as possible.
Human Resources/ Employment Policy at Food Front:
Food Front is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Food Front HR department has an open door policy. Food Front follows a standard corrective action policy for dealing with issues of conduct/performance. The intent of the policy is to inform employees of below standard conduct/performance. The corrective action policy allows for immediate termination in certain circumstances i.e. theft.
Food Front uses a grievance policy adopted by many grocery cooperatives that allows regular staff to file a dispute to resolve matters that arise in the workplace. If the dispute cannot be resolved in-house a reputable consulting firm will be hired to mediate the grievance.
Food Front utilizes professional HR best practices regarding all aspects of employment with the co-op –including confidentiality, hiring, promotions, merit raises and disciplinary actions.
High sales increases since NW remodel – FY2014 post remodel sales growth: Meat dept.: 68%, Deli: 62%, overall store: 14% (nearly double than projected!)
Food Front complies with GAAP standards and exceeds all financial reporting requirements including an annual external audit and monthly reporting to the board.
What about the big $441K loss?
The expenses associated with the remodel are the reason for the loss—half of that loss was a result of our commitment to keep staff on payroll when meat/deli was closed as opposed to laying them off. This loss was reported in Food Front’s Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2014 and available to the public via our website (http://www.foodfront.coop) and in-store hard copies. The decision to conduct a remodel has proven to be a successful investment for Food Front as we have seen higher than expected growth as a result.
To view Food Front's most recent Annual Report, click here.
Buyers make decisions for each store based on multiple owner/customer requests in order to serve our 2 unique neighborhoods.
Board of Directors Role
Policy governance: The decision to implement Policy Governance was made the Board, not the co-op’s General Manager in the early 1990s.
The Board takes governance seriously—over the past several years—updated the co-op bylaws, Ends, policy register, and implementing formal conflict of interest policy, and uses industry standard form of policy governance that is supportive of the unique co-op business model.
Please contact the management team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-222-5658 ext.133 for further questions and discussion. We want our owners to be informed with factual non-biased information.
To contact our board directly please email email@example.com
Food Front Management