To Our Community,
As hard as it is to believe, we are already halfway through the fiscal year. That means my team and I are getting started with the business planning for 2022. Just like last year, I want to keep you updated each step of the way.
First, a brief review: Each year we develop a business or operating plan for the upcoming year. This plan is designed to support the Co-op Ends, defined as the end results we aim to achieve in the world. Teams throughout the Co-op develop budgets that support the plan, which in turn supports the Ends.
Our business plan speaks to our ability to leverage our strengths with respect to opportunities we believe exist. It is also a chance to highlight weakness and threats to our business that we must overcome.
As I often say, a business plan reflects a journey rather than a destination—a continuum that shows the progress we are making toward our long-term goals each year. My team and I will be working on this plan over the coming months, and we will present a finalized version to the Co-op Board of Directors by the end of the year.
As we work through our business plan, we will be relying on a tool called the Business Canvas—a strategic-management template that breaks a business model down into several building blocks. At present, we are working on models for several business—the Community Market and the Service Centers. We intend to introduce the Business Canvas template to our Kitchen and Online Ordering businesses shortly. You will be hearing more about this in the weeks ahead.
As you know, our Co-op has set a big goal: We are committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, which means now is the time to concentrate on the steps it takes to get there.
We are currently working with Efficiency Vermont, an organization that provides consultants and strategies to help companies increase their energy efficiency. Consultants with Efficiency Vermont are now on site, working in each location to help us move forward. I have been very impressed with the organization and its work so far, and like many others, am excited about the possibilities and what the future holds.
My thanks to Efficiency Vermont and all the teams who are working together on this project. This is truly a collaborative effort, and a great example of cooperation in action.
I am happy to report that our Lebanon Upgrade continues to move forward on schedule. To review the steps of this multifaceted project, visit our online guide here. There you can review where we have been and where we are going. For now, you will see we are working to replace our HVAC system, which is a key step toward our emissions goals. The new system will be far more energy efficient and will keep our store nice and comfortable for many years to come.
Double Up Food Bucks
Finally, I would like to close with some very good news. The state of New Hampshire has approved its yearly budget, and we were thrilled to see that budget provides support for SB 98, a bill that seeks $150,000 in state funding to provide SNAP recipients with greater access to the Double Up Food Bucks program.
What does this mean? Double Up Food Bucks supports healthful diets by giving recipients a 2-for-1 match on purchases of fruits and vegetables at local retailers, up to $10 per day. The Co-op has been a strong supporter of this program for many years. The state’s funding will attract matching federal funds, helping to expand the program to more retail outlets in New Hampshire.
Our Director of Public and Government Affairs, Allan Reetz, has testified multiple times in support of SB 98, working in collaboration with the Fair Food Network, New Futures, and other colleagues and advocates throughout the region. Thanks to SB 98, which had strong bipartisan support, more independent grocers, small stores, and mom-and-pop businesses throughout the state will be able to double their buying power for healthy fruits and vegetables.
My thanks to Allan and all involved for the tireless work and advocacy. As Allan expressed so well, this is a big win for New Hampshire kids and families.
Thanks to all of our members and shoppers for the continued support. As always, reach out to me anytime. In the meantime, be kind to one another and to yourselves, and we look forward to serving you in our stores and at the curbside.
Onward and upward,