Participate in YOUR Co-op

By Emile Amarotico, General Manager

Democracy is a pillar of the cooperative structure, which means that co-ops have been designed to provide opportunities for anyone to take part in the process of moving the organization forward. If we think about democracy more broadly than just voting for the board—but by being able to contribute our voices, our talents, knowledge and skills to collectively helping the Co-op create impact, then suddenly, each and every one of us is shaping our co-op at any given moment. We all contribute to helping the Co-op make a real difference in the world!

Our Co-op means many things to many people. Some of us see the Co-op as a wonderful grocery store. Some of us see it as a community hub, while others see the Co-op as a leader in education and upholder of our communal values.

Each of us finds our own connection to the Co-op by way of the value it brings to us.

There are so many ways to participate in “cooperative life”, and when we do, we are keeping the business model strong and the Cooperative Principles in action, whether as a shopper, as an owner, as a staff member, or in some cases as all three!

Our owners create impact in so many ways: not only through voting for and serving on the board, but by providing input and feedback to the Co-op, investing equity and loans, attending classes, and even by enjoying great music with family in the Co-op courtyard.  

Though most owners are shoppers, not all shoppers are owners.

Shoppers create impact by providing the revenue our Co-op needs to do all the great work that it does.

After all, the Co-op sells groceries in order to do good things for its members and our community. Shoppers also make an impact when they buy local by keeping dollars closer to home. Those dollars support staff wages and benefits, fund community donations and sponsorships, and provide the great classes and events so many of us enjoy.

Supporting the Cooperative Movement is done every day by everyone who engages with our Co-op, whether by shopping or merely participating socially. And the impact that we collectively make grows only as our Co-op continues to grow.

More Co-op News

Meet Board of Director Trine Ostergaard

Trine Ostergaard is a newly elected Ashland Food Co-op Board of Director. She brings a world, literally, of experience to the table and has a sincere passion and love for the Co-op. We are thrilled to have her aboard and asked her to answer a few questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Meet Board of Director Dean Williamson

Dean Williamson is a newly elected Ashland Food Co-op Board of Director. He brings to the table a plethora of co-op experience and a love of chocolate chip cookies. We are thrilled to have him aboard and asked him to answer a few questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Staff Picks: Favorite Local Products

September is Love Local Month!  All month long we’re celebrating our local farmers and vendors with demos, events and more. Here are some of our staff's favorite local products.


Meet Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

By Lauren Taber, Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

Pachamama Coffee Cooperative started in 2001 with a few simple questions in mind: what would it look like to take Fair Trade a step further? How can coffee farmers be in direct relationship with end consumers in the United States?

We found that the answer was even simpler: cooperative ownership. Pachamama Coffee has been 100% farmer-owned since day one, and is currently owned by 140,000 small scale family farmers across the coffee producing regions of the world.

Community Cider Backyard Fruit Drive

How often can you browse the shelf at your neighborhood grocery store, see a bottle of hand crafted, local cider and say, “Hey, I help make that!” Well, at the Co-op you can.

2018 Board Election Results

The AFC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the results of the 2018 Board Election. There were three excellent candidates running for two Board positions. In total, 905 votes were cast.

Congratulations to the following candidates who will serve three-year terms on the Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors.

Thank you for voting!



Beat the Heat

When the heat of summer takes over, it can be hard on our bodies and moods. Don’t let the scorching temps get you down, cool off with one of these refreshing Staff recommendations.

Report from the Board of Directors: Strategic Plan Update

By Jeff Golden, External Relations Committee Chair

Ashland Food Co-op is striding into the future with careful intention. We’re especially focused on the three top priorities of our strategic planning process, a collaboration of our board and management team. A quick update:

Riding off into the Sunset


By Annie Hoy, Retiring Marketing Manager

Since I was born and raised in far West Texas, I cannot help but use some imagery from what is so familiar to me.

Staff Picks: Summer Hikes and Trail Snacks

Our staff loves to head outside and enjoy the gorgeous Oregon outdoors. Here's a few of their favorite trails and the Co-op snacks they like to take with them.



Be a Zero Waste Hero in Four Easy Steps

By Stephanie Koerella, Education Coordinator

Reducing our waste has continued to be of greater concern for Rogue Valley residents, especially since January, when options for recycling became even more limited. While the Ashland Food Co-op is ramping up our efforts to reduce waste as a business, there is a lot that our community can do at home to help the cause.