Celebrating Cooperation

Greetings and wishes for beautiful fall weather and colors ahead! The October/November 2020 issue of our newsletter, The Morsel, is all about co-ops, and when I try to explain the reason I find the co-op model so compelling… Well, it’s hard because I am so deep inside of it. But maybe that is the point—cooperation is a crucial aspect of who we are as humans. Whether you look at the world’s religions, educational philosophies, ground rules for social and friend groups, or award-winning business and leadership models, running through them all are the principles and values that guide cooperatives everywhere. When we see someone in need and we have a way to help, we want to help. When a problem is too big for one person to solve, we work together to solve the problem. We want our kids to grow up being self-reliant. We want the ability to change things that affect us. We want to be informed and aware. We want to be treated fairly and see everyone treated that way.

Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. Co-ops believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others. Since COVID-19 has become a daily consideration at Menomonie Market Food Co-op, these values are in the spotlight. Our amazing staff brings their self-responsibility and solidarity to work to make things safe inside the store for all of us. We make decisions based on caring for others, especially folks with high risk, to move toward equity.

There are two big ways that the cooperative model shines for me personally—not only is it a great model to get each individual day of work done in a fun and rewarding way, but in the great arc of Menomonie Market it provides local wealth and stability. Many, many small businesses will not survive the economic and social fallout that the pandemic has brought on the globe. We are going to, and it is because of the resilience, values, and shared commitment of resources that the cooperative business model brings. It is because of all of you. Learn more about the magic of co-ops in these articles, and if you haven’t made the leap, consider joining our co-op family this month!

This article was originally published in the October/November 2020 issue of our bi-monthly newsletter, The Morsel. If you’d like to read more stories like this one and stay up to date on the latest co-op news and events, pick up a print copy in-store on your next grocery run or find more news on our website here.

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