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In vreme ce unii dau faliment, altii sunt cat se poate de prosperi, cand vine vorba investitii. Un astfel de exemplu este Sacramento Natural Foods, una dintre cele mai cunoscute coperative din Statele Unite. Este vorba de o asociatie care, de aproape treizeci de ani, mai exact din 1973, duce mai departe traditia politicii de sustinere si educare a consumatorului, bazata pe suportul comunitatii locale din Sacramento.
Prin intermediul unor programe speciale, dezvoltate de membrii si proprietarii cooperativei, proiectul serveste comunitatii din Sacramento oferind servicii de consum si distribuite prin magazinul local (targuri de degustare a produselor, demonstratii culinare sau literatura de specialitate), dar si cursuri sau seminarii de training, la Centrul de Studii al comunitatii cooperatiste. Mai mult, membrii si actionarii participa activ la evenimente importante din cadrul comunitatii sau contribuie prin intermediul unor donatii catre organizatiile non-profit din Sacramento.
Ideea cooperativei e una simpla: se doreste ca localnicii sa continue sa se bucure de produse traditionale, in acest sens ducandu-se o lupta in vederea pastrarii fermelor si implicit a fermierilor locali. Si asta in conditiile in care pamanturile sunt scumpe, fermierii cu traditie se apropie de varsta pensionarii, iar cei tineri nu isi pot permite sa investeasca in fermele californiene.
Cooperativa Sacramento Natural Foods incearca, alaturi de alte asemenea organizatii locale, sa atraga atentia asupra nevoii de a sustine si asigura fermele familiale, in folosul generatiilor viitoare.
Cum ajungi membru al cooperativei
In cazul in care cineva doreste, poate deveni membru al cooperativei Sacramento Natural Foods dupa ce plateste o taxa de circa 300 de dolari, din care primeste apoi produse gratis de 10% din aceasta suma. In cazul in care persoana doreste sa se retraga din afacere, isi primeste banii inapoi, dupa un an. Suma nu este impozabila si este depozitata intr-un sistem asemanator celui bancar.
Un membru primeste drept de vot in chestiunile legate de cooperativa, si asta indiferent de numarul de actiuni detinut.
De asemenea, la semnarea contractului, viitorul proprietar de actiuni primeste si o analiza detaliata a situatiei financiare a cooperativei, precum si informatii despre proiectele viitoare ale acesteia.
Suna greu de crezut, insa, in actualele conditii economice restrictive, cooperativa Natural Foods a terminat anul fiscal anterior cu vanzari foarte bune, de 23.2 milioane de dolari, cu 2, 8 mai mari decat in 2008. Trebuie spus ca din aceste profituri, circa 350.000 de dolari au revenit proprietarilor, sub forma de discounturi, iar alte aproximativ 650.000 de dolari au mers la plata datoriei catre banci.
Un alt aspect important este acela ca viitorilor membri ai cooperativei li se explica foarte clar, la semnarea acordului, ca aceste cooperative sunt autonome si ca sunt controlate exclusiv de proprietarii acestora. In cazul in care semneaza acorduri cu alte organizatii, incluzand aici finantari sau mariri de capital din surse externe, toate acestea se fac doar prin control democratic de catre proprietarii cooperativei, in sensul mentinerii autonomiei acesteia.
Din aceeasi categorie:
- Economia libertatii. Renasterea Romaniei profunde, editura Logos, 2009.
- RECENZIE: Economia libertatii.
Cooperativa Sacramento Natural Foods:
Alte date despre Sacramento Natural Foods.
Make a Healthy Investment!
We welcome you to become a co-owner of Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, a thriving consumer cooperative that serves its owners and the greater Sacramento community. Join us in supporting a sustainable, democratically controlled, economically fair form of business ownership!
It’s simple to make this healthy investment! Just follow these simple steps:
- Complete an Owner Application and Agreement by printing and filling it out now or at the Customer Service Desk in our store, and pay at least $25 towards the $300 FAIR SHARE investment (fully refundable) plus a $5 processing fee (nonrefundable). If you wish to pay the $300 all at once, you will receive a $30 SNFC gift certificate. If you wish to make investment payments, you will need to pay an additional $25 every six months.
- You may add one household shopper to your owner account for an additional $5 card fee. Your household shopper will receive the same benefits when shopping.
- An SNFC staff member will issue you a temporary owner card and your permanent card should be sent to you within 2 weeks.
Present your owner card every time you shop to have your patronage tracked and to receive any applicable discounts.
II. The Co-op Difference:
Born by community need and kept alive by individual participation, we are a consumer-owned natural foods grocery store that places the values of cooperation and sustainability at the forefront. Our focus is to benefit our owners, support our local growers, participate in our community and protect the environment. We look forward to carrying on that tradition with you.
The foundation of co-ops is based on the principles of cooperation which were created in 1844 by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, the first organized consumer cooperative organization. On September 23, 1995, in Manchester, England, the International Cooperative Alliance, on its centenary, adopted revised Cooperative Principles, relating to our developing role and mission as cooperatives. The SNFC Board of Directors has adopted these expanded principles:
Co-ops are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services without gender, social, racial, political or, religious discrimination.
2. Democratic Owner Control
Co-ops are democratic organizations controlled by their owners, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and Women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-ops owners have equal voting rights (one owner, one vote) and co-ops at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
3. Owner Economic Participation
Owners contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of the co-op. At least part of the capital is usually common property of the co-op. They usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of ownership. Owners allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the co-op, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefitting owners in proportion to their transactions with the co-op, and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
4. Autonomy and Independence
Co-ops are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their owners. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments or raise capital from external sources, they do on terms that ensure democratic control by their owners and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
5. Education, Training and Information
Co-ops provide education and training for their owners, elected representatives, managers and employees, so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-ops. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Co-ops serve their owners most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national and international structures.
7. Concern for the Community
While focusing on owner needs, co-ops work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their owners.
You can own your grocery store! A co-op is owned by the people who use it and operates for the benefit of its owners and community. Consumer cooperatives are very different from privately owned „discount clubs,” which charge annual fees in exchange for a discount on purchases. The „club” is not owned or governed by the „members” and the profits of the business go to the investors, not to the members. At the Co-op, instead of a fee, there is an investment. The members own the business and the profits belong to the community.
There are a variety of differences between co-ops and corporations. Co-ops are democratically governed by the owners who elect a Board of Directors that monitors the business, sets goals and hires management to operate it. The main purpose of a co-op is to serve its owners whereas corporations focus on making profits for their investors. A fair share co-op investment has a fixed value, is not traded in the stock market and is invested equally by the owners (one share per owner). Co-op fair share investments stay in the community, providing a financial foundation for the business to thrive and supporting the local economy.
III. Board of Directors:
Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op is run by a seven-person Board of Directors elected by our Co-op owners in an annual election held each September. Each Board member is elected for a three-year term and cannot sit on the Board for more than three consecutive terms.
The primary responsibilities of the Board of Directors are to be legally accountable for the actions of SNFC, to provide overall direction and ensure the long-range security and viability of the Co-op, and to make decisions in the best interests of the Co-op and its entire membership. The Board is responsible for developing policies necessary to carry out the duties of the Board and the functions of the cooperative.
Co-op owners may choose to be involved in the governance of the Co-op in a number of ways. Besides voting in the Co-op’s annual election, Co-op owners may also attend Board of Directors meetings, sit on Board committees or run for the Board of Directors.
IV. Annual Election:
Owners interested in submitting measures and arguments (pro and con), or any other election-related activities should consult the Bylaws and the Election Policy and Manual. These documents are available from the Board Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org .