Macomb Food Co-op Annual Meeting
March 20, 2012
Arts Center, East Side Square, Macomb, IL
No official business was transacted at the Annual Meeting, other than the announcement of the results of the election of 3 members of the Board of Directors.
The following Board members were present and sat in an arc facing an audience of about 30 people: Karen Peitzmeier, Krista Bowers-Sharpe, Gordon Rands, Pam Rands, Brian Davies, Margaret Ovitt, Jean Davenport, and Dustin (Dusty) Berg.
The meeting began with an introduction of the Board members and welcome to re-elected board member Gordon Rands and newly-elected members Jean Davenport and Dusty Berg, who will each serve three-year terms.
The members of the audience (mostly owners) were then asked to introduce themselves. The 100th owner was announced; Sue Scott was presented with a certificate and a small gift, and a huge thank-you for her work in creating the co-op web site and in doing publicity for the co-op.
Karen began by giving a definition of a co-op, stated the 7 cooperative principles, and went over the Macomb Food Co-op statement of purpose and core values.
Co-ops – a definition
a. A Co-op is a group of people or organizations that come together for each person or group’s mutual benefit. Co-ops are owned by members and are democratically structured, meaning one member, one vote. Co-ops share certain characteristics, including:
i. They are all democratic, volunteer associations.
ii. They are created to benefit everyone and are, in fact, a business.
iii. The only owners are the members of the co-op.
iv. They do not work to make a profit. Any extra money is shared among the member/owners.
b. We are not alone! We have many experts and people who are willing to help, we need only ask.
Seven Cooperative Principles
The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice.
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
2. Democratic Member Control
3. Member Economic Participation
4. Autonomy and Independence
5. Education, Training and Information
6. Co-operation among Co-operatives
7. Concern for Community
Macomb Food Co-op – Statement of Purpose and Core Values
a. Our purpose is to create and operate a member-owned, Macomb-based cooperative that supports the local economy through the distribution and sale of regional and sustainably grown foods, fair trade products, and health care items.
b. Our core values reflect what is truly important to us:
i. Healthy food
ii. Transparency of operations
iii. Participative community engagement and education
iv. Sustainable and local
v. Positive experience for members, customers and employees
c. Our vision is to create a participative community by directly connecting producers and consumers for the mutual benefit of a healthy environment and sustainable agricultural development. Our store location will initially offer a variety of sustainably grown foods, fair trade products, and healthcare items.
Gordon then gave a short annual report with the following updates:
Committees have been very active. The Communications committee has developed a brochure and printed 5000 copies which are ready for distribution. They have established a system for communications with the public and with owners, and are planning a monthly newsletter. They keep a website updated and have a presence on FaceBook.
The Finance committee reports that we have 101 owners and have sold 139 shares. Grant income amounts to $20,000, income has been $15,710.35 and expenditures $7,047.79, for a net income of $8,655.56. We have succeeded in matching the first grant we obtained.
The Events committee shares information through community and Co-op hosted events which increase our owner base and raise funds. There have been 4 community events and 3 Co-op hosted events, which have raised $1200.
The Producer Relations committee had a January meeting with local producers to present facts and plans of the co-op. Margaret added a comment that we are maintaining contacts with a dozen producers. In response to a question, she said that a typical mix of produce might contain about 20% locally-produced items, depending on the season.
The Marketing/Ownership committee is developing marketing strategies and goals.
Two grants have been obtained with the help of Erin Orwig. The IIRA obtained a USDA co-op grant which has funded legal guidance for the bylaws and the articles of incorporation. The grant extended the Market Feasibility Study, and is funding a Financial Feasibility Study which is based on a Sources and Uses Budget and a Financial Pro-forma. A seed grant from the Food Co-op Initiative has provided $10,000 which has funded the Marketing Feasibility Study and various costs such as printing expenses. It has funded conference attendance, allowing two Board members to attend the “Up and Running” food co-op startup conference in Bloomington, Indiana. It also funded a visit to Macomb by Stuart Reid of the Food Co-op Initiative.
Karen then discussed the owner campaign and stated a goal of 400 owners before we commence an owner loan campaign. We are ¼ of the way to that goal. Various issues regarding this owner drive were described, including the need for personal contact, the use of our brochures, a series of house parties to recruit owners, and the development of an involvement list to coordinate involvement of owners in the various committee tasks.
To expand on some comments, Gordon briefly described some of the 15 tasks that the communications committee has identified as priorities.
The formal part of the meeting was then concluded and people were free to mingle and get acquainted.
Respectfully submitted by
Brian Davies, secretary of the Board of Directors of the Macomb Food Co-op