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Author: admin, 06.09.2014. Category: Organic Foods

It is hard to believe, after its recent renovation, that not too long ago the Food Conspiracy Food Co-Op on 4th Avenue was a hippy kind of place. It is rather a question of the ever-growing permeation of corporate culture and norms into every aspect of our lives, so that every consumer convenience, every increase in efficiency, every additional streamlining and standardization of the world around us (we could also say here sterilization and homogenization) is to be accepted because that, increasingly, is what we want and expect. How this corporatized norm is permeating other aspects of even the counter-cultural remnants here in Tucson will be a topic of further articles. What’s even more significant is that Mr Oser copped an authoritarian, aggressive tone in his response, validating the authors concerns.
The observations you make bear noting but do not recognize major differences under the skin between the Co-op and it’s competition.
This article touches on sentiments which are complex and need to be examined with a discriminating mind. It is important to note that my article is based on very real impressions (that are shared by others that I know) of the Food Co-op after its recent renovation and is not attempting to be a systematic critique of food cooperatives.
Occupied Tucson Citizen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. As the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, we provide our customers with quality and responsibly-sourced great-value foods.  As well as supporting British farmers, we are committed to helping producers in the developing world through our long-standing commitment to Fairtrade. With a food store in every UK postal area, we are the country’s leading community food retailer. With over 2,800 stores across the UK, we are at the heart of the communities in which we trade and we seek to play an active role in these areas by supporting local charities and good causes through our Community Fund.
In 2008 we conducted the world’s largest consumer poll on Food Ethics. 100,000 members gave us their backing. In 2001 The Co-op becomes the first retailer to introduce Braille onto its own-brand range of medicines. In 1985 we announced that no own-brand toiletries or household products, or their ingredients, would be tested on animals – even though the law allowed the practice to continue. The Co-op is the UK’s largest community retailer, employing more than 60,000 people in over 2,800 stores across the country. On a gorgeous morning a few weeks ago, Mayor Murphy and I met at Woullet’s Bakery on main street. It was a great example of the diversity, local pride and outside draw that Robbinsdale has. Jim Jurmu, co-owner of Woullet’s bakery, joined us for one of those recent meetings and provided the story of their Robbinsdale bakery.
Since the closing of Rainbow Foods was announced, the Mayor, city staff and I have reached out to many, many grocers and co-ops to encourage them to look at Robbinsdale as a location. All of these factors led to this meeting, and despite the lack of positives up to this point, we were excited and optimistic to keep moving forward. It was through one of the many contacts with co-ops that we were introduced to our guest, a project manager specializing in opening food co-ops. We discussed the laws, rules and practical limitations that don’t allow cities to be involved in co-ops, and how the effort needs to be driven by the residents and the community.
She agreed that we have some amazing factors in our favor, pointed out some challenges and had a number of great suggestions and ideas. This meeting will provide more information about getting organized, what a food co-op is, the steps that need to be taken, how to get involved and how to support this effort. Make no mistake, this will take very hard work and dedication, but with the fierce loyalty and pride in Robbinsdale and our history of drawing shoppers from outside the city boundaries, we are in a fantastic position to make a co-op a reality.

Please RSVP at the new Facebook site so we can plan refreshments and child care accordingly! It only seems logical with Trevail getting national attention that this venue could be destined for something even more ambitious than a food co-op. I would make this one of my main shopping sites, I already frequent the Eastside Coop on a weekly basis. I am already a member of the Wedge and lived near it before moving to Robbinsdale recently.
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Cardtronics will also acquire ownership of Sunwin Services Group, a subsidiary of the Co-operative Group. Co-op Food is a division of the Co-op Group, and is one of the largest grocery retailers in the U.K.
Purchase consideration of approximately ?35 million will be paid to the Co-op Group in stages upon the passage of time and fulfilment of certain performance conditions.
Because Consumer Woman and Consumer Man, even of the alternative, counter-cultural variety, want to do their shopping (and this is primarily what they do, they shop) quickly, comfortably and easily, even if it means doing away with the actual counter-culture and replacing it with the affect of one.
So stay tuned… and beware of any formerly alternative but now corporatizing entities you might in the meantime encounter. The Food Conspiracy is doing more than ever to educate people on what is being done to their food supply, to supply healthy and nutritious foods at reasonable prices, supporting local agriculture, and networking with local small businesses and social programs to reach students, the elderly, poor and disenfranchised. The points made by Jeffrey Holsen on the Occupy Tucson Facebook page’s posting of the article are I think quite pertinent and point to some of the issues of cooperatives trying to survive in an aggressive market economy. Perhaps the culture there has shifted to reflect that of the members who do step up and serve on the board and committees. I am aware of the rigidifying of our culture: the insinuation of fear and lock step thinking which can seem overwhelming and which we wish to never to see reflected at OUR Co-op. Worker owned businesses are not necessarily co-ops and co-ops are not necessarily worker owned business.
It is certainly true that there is a difference between workers’ co-ops and buyers’ co-ops, but both (the point of my post) are under constant pressure from the larger, capitalist system that they are operating under, and many of the changes that they make that seem to go against their original mission are often defended on that basis (as is being done in the case of the Food Co-op).
We are also the first retailer to include Braille labels on some own-brand alcoholic drinks. The Co-op co-sponsored a Private Member's Bill with the RSPCA to require more informative labelling for products tested on animals. We want to work with developers, agents and landlords to help grow our business, opening new stores that will provide local people with delicious food, conveniently. Many of the suburbs like Crystal, New Hope, Plymouth & Golden Valley already have them. Cardtronics will take on the operation of the ATMs no later than January 2016, upon expiration of the existing ATM contract. SSG’s primary business is providing secure cash logistics and ATM maintenance to the Co-op Food ATM estate.
Acceleration in timing of the transfer of the Co-op Food ATM estate to Cardtronics could result in an additional ?6.5 million in consideration being paid to Co-op Group.
Journal (Adbusters Magazine being the only exception to this) or, quite significantly, any room for community-oriented publications such as the Occupied Tucson Citizen.

Not much further out there will be more corporate chain investment on the co-op’s door step. And this points to the problem in any enterprise (especially a cooperative one) that the time that paid staff puts in is their work time, and time that activists put in is their free time. The move coincided with the launch of our premium whisky and vodka in time for Christmas 2001.
I would shop at the local co-op frequently and it would compliment the great butcher shop on Broadway. In addition, beginning immediately, Cardtronics will have the right to install and operate ATMs in hundreds of Co-op Food locations that do not currently have an ATM, as well as in any new Co-op Food Store. SSG also provides these services and manned guarding services to other Co-op Group entities, as well as external customers, such as Cardtronics, which has been a customer of SSG for secure cash logistics services for a number of years. Cardtronics will acquire ownership of SSG upon the close of this transaction, which is expected to occur in November 2014.
We need to discern and differentiate our projected fears as well as be vigilant to assure that the glare of those fears does not cause us to see amiss.
Indeed some, such as one commentator on the Facebook page, might even enjoy seeing us vegetarians being put in our place. Hence, my activism for various organizations is threatening me financially, so I (and many other activist types) have no time for the Food Co-op, which is a tremendous advantage for the managers who are there, working all day anyway.
The agreement for Cardtronics to operate the Co-op Food ATM estate will also be effective as of the close of this transaction, but the operation of the ATMs will not commence until January 2016, after Co-op Food’s existing ATM contract expires. Only a few years ago, unincorporated from under pro-corporate co-op hostile AZ law and rechartered under MN law to be a real co-op in it’s legal business charter. The fact remains, however, is that virtually everywhere I go in this country already reflects our meat obsessed culture, and it used to be nice that the Food Co-op was an exception to that and so, of course, I would notice the reality that it increasingly isn’t. Based upon the timing of the completion of the acquisition and the Company’s assumption of the existing network of ATMs under contract, the Company expects the acquisition and the ATM contract to be neutral to Adjusted Earnings per Share in 2015 and accretive to Adjusted Earnings per Share in 2016. FC is also now more empowered in it’s actual implementation of assistance for progressive groups and organizations around Tucson involved in community, food, and sustainability.
One intention of the renovation change is to actually create a greater space for the membership and the community. We are very fortunate indeed to have established a community owned business which is at it’s core NOT a corporation. While the current GM at FC may be moderate and not see the need for a larger movement, the membership can play a role in rectifying that from the grass roots up.
Cultural revival can still happen, but thank goodness the store has a better infrastructure to house and nurture that now. The Co-op remains perhaps our best possibility for shared strength and ability to focus our economic energy onto the path of choice and sustainability while leaving a key in the hands of the members and community which can open the door of joy and possibility. However, mostly people want to bemoan and voice their discontents and allow others to do the work.

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