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.

In the spring of 2019 the Orcas Food Co-op Board of Directors completed a multi-year strategic planning process, unveiling a new 5-year Strategic Plan charting our course for the future. As part of this process the Co-op’s Long-Term Goals or “Ends Policies” underwent a revision. A Vision Statement was also adopted. You can read about the Strategic Planning Process HERE.

Our Vision for the Future

In the coming five years, our aim is to continue strengthening our Co-op and building community resilience. We will be expanding access to healthy foods, investing more in our local farmers and producers, and implementing more sustainability initiatives.  As a cooperatively-owned grocery store, we keep more money circulating in the local economy and measure our success by the positive impact we have on the community. Everyone can join, everyone can shop, and together we are creating a healthy place for our friends and neighbors, our children and grandchildren.

The Orcas Food Co-op exists so that owners, customers,
food producers and the Orcas Island Community will have:

1. THRIVING COOPERATIVE ENTERPRISE: A successful business that demonstrates the cooperative model and furthers the co-op movement.

2. EQUITABLE AND AFFORDABLE ACCESS: Equitable and affordable access to high quality, local and organic foods that support diverse nutritional needs.

3. LOCAL FOOD: A sustainable local food system with strong regional connections.

4. LEADER IN SUSTAINABILITY: A model sustainable enterprise that practices environmental stewardship.

5. COMMUNITY CONNECTION: An inclusive community connector that fosters a growing network of knowledge, resources and skills.

6. MODEL EMPLOYER: 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