A cooperative exists to serve its members, but what makes co-ops unique is that the members are also the owners! In addition to getting the products and services you need, you also have a say in the business decisions your cooperative makes.
There are seven cooperative principles that co-ops operate under. They are:
- Open and Voluntary Membership
Co-ops are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership/ownership without discrimination.
The Syracuse REAL FOOD Co-op is open to EVERYONE. The Co-op is here to provide a member-owned business to the community looking for the services we provide.
Membership-ownership is Voluntary, you DO NOT need to be a member-owner to shop here.
Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their member/owners, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. All member/owners have equal voting rights: one member, one vote.
The Syracuse REAL FOOD Co-op is governed by a Democratically elected board of directors. Each fall the Co-op holds a General Membership Meeting (GMM) where the candidates announce they are running. Voting then takes place in the store.
Member Economic Participation
Member/owners contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.
Every member-owner of this cooperative makes an economic investment in the business. Member-owner’s capital is an important part of what makes the Co-op thrive.
Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their member/owners.
While the Syracuse REAL FOOD Co-op is a member-owner of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) we are autonomous and independent.
Education, Training & Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for their member/owners, elected representatives, managers, and employees, so they can understand the benefits of cooperation and contribute effectively.
The Syracuse REAL FOOD Co-op holds many events throughout the year meant to education and provide information not only to the member-owners, but to the community at large.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their member/owners more effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together.
The Syracuse REAL FOOD Co-op supports many different cooperatives including worker-owned, consumer-owned, producer-owned. We feature products from co-ops such as Organic Valley, Frontier Co-op, Once Again Nut Butters, Parmigiano Reggiano, Equal Exchange, Finger Lakes Organic
Concern for Community
Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their member/owners.
Participation in Community Events:
The Co-op participates in many events throughout the year. Look for us at events like Westcott Street Cultural Fair, Buy Local Bash and more…
Hosting Community Based Events:
The Co-op co-partners community events such as the Art Rage Film Series
Donations and Support of Community Groups and Organizations:
The Co-op proudly sponsors events, donates food and money to organizations, and lends support where needed…
Support of Local Farmers and Producers
Support of Local Business and Services:
We support our local electricians, carpenters, refrigeration companies, computer techs, restaurants, bakeries, and more…
Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union field of membership:
The Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union was founded in our back storage room. We are part of their field of membership, you can even make your deposits here!