The West End Food Co-op hosted their first Purchaser Committee meeting Thursday February 13, hosted by James Partanen and Rose Bright, two worker-members of the co-op. Below is the call-out to members as well as the summary of the meeting by James Partanen.
West End Food Co-op is finally creating our Purchasing Committee and we need your help!
We are a multi-stakeholder Co-op, and the largest stakeholder group is the Purchaser Members! We believe Purchaser Members should have a meaningful say in the products WEFC has on its shelves, and even some input into how the margins for what we sell are determined within the constraints of our responsible financial model. Please consider coming out on Thursday February 13th at seven PM for the Purchasing Committee's inaugural meeting! We will come together in the Store (1229 Queen Street West) before heading upstairs to a meeting room.
Rose Bright, WEFC's Purchasing Coordinator and the individual who will be the primary interface between the Committee and the Co-op, will be co-chairing the first meeting. Also, james Partanen, WEFC's Canning Coordinator, will be present as a co-chair at this meeting to help facilitate understanding how the Co-op functions as well as to help the group develop its Terms of Reference. The Terms of Reference will be submitted to WEFC's Board of Directors for final approval.
Please contact rose (at) westendfood (dot) coop for more information,
james and Rose
Results of the Meeting
I wanted to take a moment to let everyone know that our first Purchaser Committee meeting happened today, and was a resounding success!
Twelve highly motivated members, some familiar faces and plenty of new ones, had a wonderful meeting taking a first crack at setting out a plan of action for both supporting purchasing policy and acting as an organ of direct engagement with Purchaser Members with respect to full participation as a core WEFC stakeholder group.
An active and engaged PC has always been part of WEFC's vision in terms of participatory democracy and governance legitimacy. It is also something I have been personally pushing for more than two years. To see this group of diverse people from a broad range of backgrounds come together and collectively demonstrate such a subtle and nuanced understanding of the complex issues involved in purchasing for a multi-stakeholder co-op in a mixed income environment was probably the most satisfying moment of my four-plus years working and volunteering at the West End Food Co-op.
Subsumed by the minutia of ensuring a successful and sustainable store we may sometimes forget that we are actively engaged in community empowerment. Just by keeping WEFC alive and growing these past several years we have generated a real and concrete awareness of Food Security and Food Democracy in our community. Tonight's meeting together with recent investments of time and energy in Worker's meetings is clear proof that we are making undeniable headway towards realising not only a sustainable enterprise, but the cherished values that inspired this effort in the first place.
I invite us all to take a moment to genuinely celebrate this milestone.