What Does Democracy Have to Do with Cooperatives?
By Annie Hoy, Marketing Manager
We often refer to cooperatives as “democratic enterprises.” But what does that really mean? The Ashland Food Co-op, like all other co-ops in most economic sectors, is owned and controlled by the people who use its services.
We talk about how “you own it” but not much about how “you control it.”
You may hear things like, “we vote with our dollars” when it comes to supporting your cooperative. But that gives the idea that as consumers, you only have dollars with which to vote! It is so much more than that. As consumer-owners of AFC, you have your voices to bring to open discussion, deliberation, and consultation about how our co-op moves forward with our mission. And you have your democratic vote when it comes to electing board directors to represent you.
This may be a lofty ideal, but I agree with co-op scholar Michael Healy who says, “As owners of locally controlled businesses, we cooperators are learning how to do the great work of society, and in doing that work for our local community, we can also affect the larger society in which we live.”
Historian and activist Howard Zinn says that democracy is not a series of votes; it is a series of actions.
Notice that democracy is not equated just with voting, but with actively participating and discussing. And that is just the opportunity you’ll have over this new year. As one of the 7 Cooperative Principles, the study of democracy is essential to deepen the relationship between the Co-op and its owners. It’s also a big part of actualizing the global co-op call to “Build a Better World.”
Mark two dates on your calendar now:
October 10th for an Evening with Frances Moore Lappe, author of Daring Democracy, Democracy’s Edge and Diet for a Small Planet.
More Co-op News
There are still plenty of colds and viruses making their rounds, and we want to help you better defend against them!
In January, we asked on social media what kind of secret weapons you use in the winter to stay healthy. We had a lot of responses, so we'll start with the All-Stars.
With your initial recommendations, our Wellness team reviewed the suggestions and picked the products with the highest quality standards and best feedback. Check those out below.
You may have heard about the fascinating discovery that trees can communicate with each other. What’s the secret? The mycelia - tiny strands of fungus - in the soil form a vast underground network through which trees send chemical signals to their neighbors.
The mycelia differs from the fruiting body of the mushroom, which is the reproductive component that contains spores and is thought to be higher in Beta Glucans.
This class instructor profile is connected to the February 27 free lecture, "You, Too, Can Beat the Flu!"
On an early Kolkata (Calcutta) morning, thick crowds gather outside the gates of the hospital while officials yell out "Brain tumor, kidney failure, cancer patients form a line here!” Hopeful patients, family members and caregivers arrange themselves by disease symptom.
So you grabbed a few too many extra oranges and grapefruits and lemons (and some finger limes, and some satsumas…), and rather than watch them go bad, we want to provide you with some ideas on how to reduce waste. You’ll also get to enjoy citrus in a lot of new ways!
There are many guides and recipes across the internet (like this one by our friends at Grow Forage Cook Ferment), so here are a few ideas to get your creative and citrus juices flowing.
Ashland Food Co-op's General Manager, Emile Amarotico, ends 2018 on a very uplifting note with a report back on the "Food for Paradise" donation campaign. Watch the video below, or read on for an extended written update.
Hello, this is Emile Amarotico, the general manager of Ashland Food Co-op with an update on the Co-op’s Food for Paradise initiative.
We’ve all been there: your bank account is looking thin after a month of celebrations, but you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to save up for a big purchase later in the year
Now’s the time to make some changes to your spending - but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality goods at the Ashland Food Co-op.
These are some lesser known ways to save at the Co-op. Think of them like ordering off the secret menu.
Savings Level: $
By Mira Wonderwheel, Board of Directors
It’s the New Year, our favorite time for goal-setting, making positive resolutions, and shifting our impact. One of the Co-op’s goals is to become a Zero Waste facility. Our staff works to divert as much food waste as we can - and we hope our member-owners will join us in this goal too.
The funding cycle for the 2019 Co-op Community Grants for nonprofit organizations begins in February.
The world of CBDs is continuing to grow, adding to our already vast assortment of medicine available, and sometimes adding to the questions we have about it. We asked our Wellness team to answer the five most common questions about CBD here at the Ashland Food Co-op.
How is CBD different from what I might find in a dispensary?
Many talented local chefs share their expertise in the Co-op Kitchen. Charlie Douglass is no exception. As the former Master Chocolatier at Harry and David, Charlie knows a thing or two about chocolate and candy making.
Tell us how your love of cooking and food began.
Tell us how your love of cooking and food began.
Finding the perfect gift for a friend or loved one is an art. This winter, we carefully selected these assortments for those who love some good self-care, are working in partnership with their gut health, or for those making efforts to reduce their pain. Each of these gift ideas will help you make your loved ones feel extra special and extra healthful.
Spend more time relaxing with friends and family this holiday. Order the Deli’s ready-to-heat and serve Thanksgiving meal without all the fuss. We make everything from scratch and all recipes use the highest quality ingredients.
Choose from three options:
During the month of November, Co-op shoppers can nourish their own families and help fight hunger in the Rogue Valley. We’ve teamed up once again with Smart Chicken® for the Smart Giving Holiday Challenge.
Here’s how it works.
For every 10 pounds of Smart Chicken® you purchase from the Meat Department or the Deli, Smart Chicken® will donate one pound of chicken to a local non profit