PCC Board of Trustees report
Sound Consumer | November 2013
Next board meeting
The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be Tuesday, November 26 at 5 p.m. at the co-op office. Member comment period is at 7 p.m. Comments are limited to three minutes unless a longer presentation is approved by the chair in advance of the meeting.
The committee is reviewing board applications submitted by the October 15 deadline and beginning the interview process. The 2014 candidate slate will be announced in the January Sound Consumer.
Board member does international cooperative work
In February and March of this year, board member Carol Binder traveled to Senegal, Africa, to work with groups of rural Senegalese women who are joining together to form small business ventures centered around agriculture and agricultural products.
This volunteer assignment was sponsored by the National Cooperative Business Association Cooperative League of the United States of America (NCBA CLUSA), an international organization that promotes and helps develop cooperative enterprises throughout the world. (Learn more at www.ncba.coop)
The technical assistance provided by Binder and NCBA staff included training in basic financial management, how to assess profitability, and how to develop new products and new markets for their business ventures.
The people in these rural communities do not have access to many of the conveniences that we take for granted, such as running water, cooking facilities and electricity. Consequently much of their time is consumed with basic needs. Joining together in the cooperative groups gives them the opportunity to be part of a small business that ultimately will improve the economic level of the individual families and the entire community.
While initially expecting to present basic American financial and business concepts to the groups, Binder soon realized that the training sessions had to be tailored to the cultural and logistical norms that exist in the Senegalese communities. Binder came away with a much greater appreciation of how business in developing nations must be adapted to the individual nations' cultures and lifestyles.
"It's important they experience growth and economic development at their own pace in a manner that sustains and preserves those cultures and lifestyles," Binder noted.
"Global Ends: PCC exists to create a cooperative, sustainable environment for our members and patrons in which the natural and organic supply chains thrive."
The Ends serve to guide management in anticipating the direction in which the board of trustees believes our co-op should go. Management must report its interpretation of the policies, as well as the efforts it has made to comply.
Compliance with PCC's Global Ends is evaluated and documented annually according to progress made during the prior year in four key areas:
- PCC's economic viability
- PCC's support of cooperative endeavors
- PCC's sustainable business practices
- PCC's support of the natural and organic supply chain
Following is an excerpt from the 2013 report on 2012 activities in support of cooperative endeavors.
- PCC will continue to operate its business as a consumer cooperative and will be supportive of other cooperative endeavors.
- PCC's cooperative roots and operation as a consumer co-op are essential elements of everyday business.
- PCC members always have access to co-op information in our stores and on our website.
Product selections — PCC merchandisers try to source from co-ops when products fit our quality and value needs. For example PCC shoppers were offered wine from three producer co-ops last year (Bodegas Bocopa, Cave de Rasteau and Cave de Saumur).
Co-ops PCC has long done business with include the CROPP Cooperative (known by the Organic Valley and Organic Prairie brands), Equal Exchange (coffee, tea and cocoa products carried by PCC's deli and grocery departments), and Frontier Natural Products Co-op (brands include Aura Cacia and Simply Organic).
Products made with ingredients sourced from co-ops (such as the shea butter produced by co-ops in Togo, Africa, used in Alaffia Sustainable Skincare products) also are given preference.
National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) — In 2012 PCC continued helping coordinate the supply category bid process that results in better pricing for our co-op and other NCGA members on many key supply items.
Co-op consultations — PCC staff consult with other co-ops, locally and nationally, on a varitey of topics including store operations, merchandising, marketing, governance and sustainability.