The Foundation:
Board Purpose, Policy, Bylaws

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

Foundational Values

Governance of the Co-op is shaped by our identity as a cooperative and the values that define cooperatives. As noted by the International Co-operative Alliance, "Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others."

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 Co-operative Alliance’s 7 Cooperative Principles.

Policies + Bylaws

Our Co-op's bylaws identify the basic rights and responsibilities for owners and Board members. They provide general rules for governance of the Co-op.

With the bylaws as the foundation, the Board represents our owners' interests largely by creating policies for the store and monitoring for compliance. These policies help put our values into practice and achieve our goals.

The policies shape broad-level goals in areas such as sustainability, product standards, and customer service. The Board does not use policy to determine specifics, such as which brands of milk we sell. The policies shape the specific decisions made by staff, such as what our buyers put on the shelves.

The Board’s monitors for compliance with policy. Many policies place their expectations upon the General Manager, and so it is through the GM’s accountability to the Board that the Co-op ensures the organization is on track or is prompted to adjust.


Contact the Board's Administrative Assistant at
You may also reach the Board directly at