Viroqua Food Coop General Manager's Report
Jan Rasikas, General Manager
MISSION: The Viroqua Food Cooperative combines a commitment to natural foods, superior customer service and the building of a cooperatively run business. We emphasize selling organic and local foods and products to promote the long-term health of individuals and the environment. As member-owners and as a center for community, we offer the opportunity to create together a work of enduring value.
Celebrating our Co-op’s 15th Year
June 2011 brought the close of VFC’s 15th year and we finished with the support of more than 2700 members. Another solid year for our community-owned venture. We do great things together!
Our mission brings us together and guides our daily work. It gathers in other like-minded folks from our community to make sure we get the wholesome foods we need to keep our families healthy. When we choose organic food, we support farming practices that are good for the soil, water and the people working to grow our food. When we use cooperative business principles we encourage our community to take responsibility in strengthening our local economy. When we build a strong relationship with the local farmers growing our food, amazing things happen. This is the success of the Viroqua Food Co-op!
A strong connection between farmers and consumers is paramount in bringing awareness to the state of our economy; especially our local food economy and the environmental impact of our food choices. Our actions drive the economy and every time you choose to buy organic and local food you’re choosing a healthier future for your family, Vernon County, and the planet.
VFC ENDS POLICIES
1. VFC exists so that our community is empowered at a worth sufficient to justify the cost.
1.1 Our community has access to socially and environmentally responsible products and services.
1.1.1 Our community has access to healthy food.
1.2 Our community is knowledgeable about nutrition, consumer issues, and cooperative principles.
1.3 Our community has a flourishing cooperative economy.
1.4 Our community has a sustainable environment.
We accomplished many important steps in FY 2010-11 in our efforts to realize our stated mission. This past year, to clarify and guide our actions at the VFC, our board of directors developed Ends Policies. Ends Policies take a deeper look at our mission and steer our daily work inside the Co-op. They create a framework for VFC’s staff to develop a set of measurements that provides us all with a tangible way to see the value that our Co-op brings us. While financial performance is vital to the sustainability of our Co-op, we recognize that our true success is based on fulfilling our mission and Ends for the greater good of VFC owners and our community. I’m looking forward to reporting on our efforts in years to come!
A few accomplishments in FY 2010-11 to note:
We wrapped up our mini expansion project with the East Parking Lot across Center St. This lot doubles our parking capacity and we’ll see the full benefit during the winter holidays! Our offices got a face lift with green materials, creating better organization and a few more stations for staff managers and buyers. We also rented space in the apartment house across Center Street to provide extra office space, a meeting room and a place for our marketing team to stretch out.
We seek to offer satisfying, gainful employment in a fair and productive workplace, thus furthering the goal of healthy living for ourselves and others. To measure our progress, we hire Cooperative Development Services, every 2 to 3 years, to perform a staff survey to evaluate our workplace environment. Our Employee Survey confirmed our progress toward great training, communication, and recognition. It showed a marked increase in satisfaction over our 2009 survey and had low standard deviation scores as well. We scored in the top 5% of 120 food co-ops nationwide!
Thank you Viroqua Food Co-op owners! I’m looking forward to another great year of purpose and prosperity!
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