The purpose of the Orcas Food Co-op is to increase local food production and enhance Orcas Island’s community food network by selling high-quality local and organic, non-GMO food and other household goods at the lowest feasible cost, and by educating customers and connecting them to helpful resources.

The Orcas Food Co-op exists so that owners, customers, food producers and the Orcas Island Community will have:
  • 1. Equitable and affordable access to high quality, local and organic foods that support diverse nutritional needs.
  • 2. A sustainable local food system with strong regional connections.
  • 3. A resilient year-round local economy.
  • 4. A successful business that demonstrates the cooperative model and practices environmental stewardship.
  • 5. A welcoming community center, where islanders and visitors foster a growing network of knowledge, resources and skills, and share the common goal of healthy living.
  • 6. A major employer that provides fair compensation in an atmosphere where staff, customers and members treat one another with warmth and respect.

In March of 2015, the Management Team and Board Members came together at the Spring Board Retreat with the goal of identifying the Co-op’s long-term goals. As a basis for this conversation board members and management used information from a World Café style activity that took place at the first annual membership meeting the previous fall with over 75 member-owners participating in the discussion. The original World Café notes were brought to the spring retreat and posted up around the room for inspiration and reference [photo of retreat and Holly facilitating]. During a session with a professional Co-op facilitator, board members and management worked together to group similar ideas and came up with six main categories. The board then split into groups to discuss these further and form draft statements for each of these goals. Before the retreat ended a task force was assigned to further refine these statements into a draft document containing our six main goals as a Co-op.

After this draft was approved by the board at a subsequent meeting these six goals were submitted to the membership for input in the form of a survey. Once the results were in a few revisions were made to reflect member feedback and the goals were formally adopted in June of 2015. A form of governance called Policy Governance inspired the process we used to form these goals. You can read more on Policy Governance HERE