Helping You Get What You Need: Update on the Co-op’s Supply Chains

To our members and shoppers,

We know everyone is worried about finding what they need, when they need it these days. Here’s some background on the scope of the issue, and what we’re doing at the Co-op to help. 

Nationwide in the grocery industry, demand on the market is currently far beyond what supply chains were designed to handle. This demand places enormous operational strain on suppliers, including the ones that supply the Co-op. 

Fortunately, food co-ops serve as buyers for their members. Our goal is simply to provide the products our members need. This is a very different model from many food retailers, who serve as selling agents for food manufacturers. It gives a co-op like ours a certain degree of flexibility, and allows us to be somewhat nimble and creative during challenging times such as this. 

With that, here’s what we’re doing:

First, we’ve changed the mix of the products we’re ordering. For the time being, we’re not focused on high-end items, specialty goods, or body-care products outside of first aid. Our focus is on essential goods, such as canned food, paper products, and pasta. 

Outside of the essentials, we’re mindfully ordering the products required by our shoppers with specialized dietary needs, such as those on gluten-free diets. 

We’re also working with multiple suppliers. This is not something that we normally do, but we’re doing that now in order to increase our supplies. 

Finally, we’re communicating daily with our suppliers. We’re assertively (but kindly!) going after the products we need, all while remaining positive and respectful in order to maintain the positive relationships we’ve always had with our suppliers. So far this has worked out exceptionally well. We know our suppliers are in survival mode, just like all of us are.

So bear with us, and know we’re all doing the best we can. At the moment there are many things out of our control, so our goal is to have a positive impact on those things we can influence until the supply-and-demand process begins to stabilize. You can help by getting what you need, but being mindful about what your neighbor might need, too. 

Questions? Comments? That’s what we’re here for. Email comment@coopfoodstore.com

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Ken Davis

Ken Davis

Ken Davis is a writer in the Co-op Outreach Department. Email him at kdavis@coopfoodstore.com.