Sail Along With Our Strategic Planning Process
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As a member-owned food co-op, we see ourselves as part of a growing network of cooperatives and non-profits building community resilience and increasing access to local, healthy food. This summer we turned four years old and as we enter our adolescent stage, we know that charting a clear course for where we want to be in the future is an important next step for our co-op.
Libi Geddes, Board Vice President, Strategic Planning Committee Chair
In 2016, the Orcas Food Co-op Board of Directors began preparing for the Strategic Planning voyage by forming a task force dedicated to considering big-picture goals. After launching the Strategic Planning process at the Annual Meeting in March 2018, the task force has been conducting research toward this end. Member surveys, staff and community focus groups, key informant interviews and an in-store vision board all offered threads of information that have been woven together to create the Strategic Plan. At the end of October, The OFC Board and Management team met at the beautiful Morning Star Farm with Holly O’Neill, our beloved facilitator extraordinaire, for our bi-annual Board retreat. We concentrated on assimilating the Strategic Plan feedback we’ve received over the last few months. We structured our focus around our 6 Ends policies. As well as a delicious potluck, and enjoying the stunning Fall day around the cozy wood stove - we were all inspired by the great response from you, our members, and the collective vision for where we strive to be in 5 years time! Click below for Strategic Planning updates!
In August, 2018, we conducted a member survey to find out how satisfied our members are with the Co-op, and learn how to serve them better. 224 Members completed the survey (about ¼ of our membership) and gave us some excellent feedback. We learned that overall satisfaction with the store is very high, and people had lots of ideas for improvement, included increasing product variety and selection, continuing to find ways to make healthy food more affordable, and putting more emphasis on waste reduction. Our Members want us to keep growing the Co-op to serve our community better. The survey results were extremely helpful for the board/management strategic planning, so that we can steer this ship in the direction where you want to go!
August 24, 2018
One of the primary responsibilities of your Co-op’s Board of Directors is to establish long-range goals for the organization. Over the next several months, we will be gathering information to help us chart the course forward. In addition to filling out your member shopper survey, please stop by the store and add your ideas to our Vision Board! And bring along your out-of-town guests to let them see what a cool little co-op we’ve got here on the island, to nourish our local farmers and our local community!
Update - August 15, 2018
This spring we launched a Strategic Planning Process at our Annual Meeting, with over fifty member-owners gathered to give input into questions such as:
- Where would you like to see the Co-op in 10 years?
- What would make the co-op work better for you as a grocery store?
- What do you want us to be known for?
- What is something you want more of in the community?
One of the themes that came out of the Annual Meeting was growth. Member-owners were interested in expanding our operations to be able to bring more healthy food to our community and make it easier to shop. There was also discussion of reducing waste, strengthening community connectivity, and building our local food system and local economy.
Since then, our Board of Directors has been spending most of their board meetings discussing what is on the horizon, and in August we launched our 2018 member shopper survey. This year’s survey contains the usual questions along with a special section specifically to get member input related to potential growth and expansion of our co-op. We really appreciate you taking the time to respond! Your input is essential to driving the priorities of your locally owned, democratically governed food cooperative. Let your voice be heard!