To Our Community,
I would like to update you on several initiatives happening at your Co-op.
This morning the leadership team heard a high-level update about our cooperative’s ongoing local strategy. The overview was presented by Amanda Charland, Director of Cooperative Engagement, and Bruce Follett, Director of Business Unit Operations, and reflects the developing work of their respective teams.
- Our cooperative is synonymous with local to shoppers in the Upper Valley.
- Local encompasses our triple-bottom-line approach: working conditions, healthy ecosystems, and community support.
- Demand for local products continues to grow nationally and in the Upper Valley.
- The pandemic revealed the power and resiliency of local sourcing and local supply chains.
- When it comes to local, we have a tremendous strategic advantage. We can work with small vendors who can’t meet volume requirements of large stores, onboard vendors faster, and get products to the shelf more quickly.
Why does this matter? When the Co-op leverages its strategic advantage, we help to create a strong local economy which is good for all the stakeholders we serve—vendors, suppliers and shoppers.
Next, our teams will be building a robust plan moving forward based on shopper surveys, extensive market research, and operational data. There will be much more to come.
If you are a Co-op member, do not forget to vote for the Co-op Board of Directors! Your vote matters. All elections need to have at least 500 votes for the election to be deemed valid.
You can vote in stores or online now through April 30.
Reducing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions
Our organization has pledged to significantly reduce our CO2 emissions over the next several years, and is working towards becoming carbon neutral.
Our Board of Directors is committed to this long-term objective. And so too is Co-op management. Every store update or renovation, or replacement of equipment or vehicle, has this goal in mind. This is front and center with the Lebanon refrigeration project and embedded in the solar contract recently signed that will provide some of the power needs for our White River Junction store.
But, there is more to do. Our teams are having exploratory, high-level conversations with Efficiency Vermont, a program that provides consultants and strategies to help organizations increase energy efficiency.
Where do we go from here? The first step is to ask questions and gain an understanding of the requirements needed to attain this goal and the cost involved. Projects like this one will be a multi-year effort. Look for more updates from me moving forward.
To our cooperative community, please feel free to reach out to me anytime. In the meantime, remember to 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,