Purpose & Values

The Board of Directors is composed of and elected by Co-op owners. The seven Board members act as trustees for the Co-op by providing direction and oversight regarding the Co-op’s financial well-being and long-term goals and by evaluating the General Manager’s performance.

Foundational Values

Governance of the Co-op is shaped by our identity as a cooperative and the values that define cooperatives. A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. The Moscow Food Co-op supports the International Cooperative Alliance’s 7 Cooperative Principles.

Policies and Bylaws

The Board creates and maintains policies for the store that help us put our values and vision into practice. Guidelines and long-term goals for finances and operations are established and updated based on current needs and desires. The policies shape things such as our our sustainability goals, wage range ratio, and the standards for protecting our assets. The Board does not use policy to determine which brands of milk we sell, but a Board policy about sustainability could shape what our buyers put on the shelves.

The Board’s process to monitor for policy compliance helps ensure consistent and thoughtful decision-making. Many policies place their expectations upon the General Manager, and so it’s through the GM’s accountability to the Board that we ensure we’re on track or are prompted to adjust.

Meanwhile, at the most fundamental level, our bylaws define the basic rights and responsibilities for owners, Board members, and management. They define our democratic structure and provide general rules for governance of the Co-op. The bylaws are available here.