The role of a Bloomingfoods member-owner is very different from that of a member of a discount buying club, neighborhood association, or other group. Becoming a Bloomingfoods member grants you the privilege of participating in democratic ownership of an organization dedicated to operating profitably, not as an end but rather as a means through which to contribute to the health and vitality of our community.
One convenient method of examining a member-owner's participation in a co-op is in terms of Rights and Responsibilities.
As a member of Bloomingfoods, you enjoy a number of unique and important rights.
- Elect directors — annual election held by mail ballot.
- Review reports on financial performance at the annual meeting and in the newsletter.
- Require the co-op to follow its bylaws.
- Run for the board of directors.
- Vote on questions put before the membership by the board.
- Vote for changes in bylaws as needed to keep the co-op current with the law. The board of directors is responsible for periodically reviewing bylaws.
- Attend board meetings (except for executive agenda sessions). Meeting dates are in the newsletter.
Similarly, the rights of membership come with a corresponding and equally important set of responsibilities which members must recognize and discharge in order for the co-op to function profitably. These include:
- Capitalize the co-op — purchase your full equity in a timely manner.
- Patronize the co-op — give your business to YOUR business.
- Vote in elections and respond to surveys.
- Attend the annual meeting.
- Promote the co-op to others — tell your friends and neighbors about us.
- Understand co-op principles and objectives — learn about cooperatives.
- Support the co-op financially and with your energy and enthusiasm during times of expansion.
- Understand that the co-op is a business and must meet the needs of a business.
- Stay informed of what is happening at the co-op — read newsletters and mailings.