K.J. Jakobson

Critique of co-op consulting: ‘completely resonant’

Marilyn Scholl, I have been a lifelong member of more than a dozen food co-ops as well as a manager in some and a working member in others. I have founded what is possibly the only truly 100-percent-organic-food co-op in the country.

Years ago, I was an employee board member on a policy governance board. In my hometown at another co-op I am a member of, I attended a “Community Conversation” run by one of your CDS Consulting Co-op staff that was anything but a conversation. It was scripted and controlled, and there was no opportunity to discuss real issues of concern in any depth.

Then, several years later, management claimed that plans for expansion of came out of this conversation. It was all spin.

While there was some brainstorming about add-ons to the existing co-op, it was merely an item on a wish list, not a serious examination of priorities. None of the important issues mentioned at the “conversation” - like GMOs in the co-op or improving the compensation of workers, which were raised as high priorities among members - have been addressed.

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