Being a member-owner of the Portland Food Co-op:
Portland Food Co-op member-owners invest in the co-op to support the viability and growth of the cooperative. In addition to being eligible to participate in cooperative purchasing, each member-owner is a stakeholder in the cooperative business and is therefore entitled to all the voting and decision-making rights as outlined in our bylaws and as determined by board policy. These rights and responsibilities include voting in board member elections, running for a position on the Board of Directors, and voting on important matters that are brought to a vote by members. As a member-owner, you hold the board accountable to our mission and give input on our policies.
Being part of the Portland Food Co-op means costs savings:
The PFC regularly conducts price comparisons with items bought by PFC members-owners and through PFC vendors compared to other grocery stores in Portland. The most recent price comparison showed PFC member-owners had a 26% average savings when buying with PFC compared to other grocery stores in Portland. The cost savings with buying from the PFC ranged from 0-71%, with 50% of the items member-owners bought not sold at local groceries.
Two Types of Member-Ownership
There are two types of member-ownership in the Portland Food Co-op.
Purchasing member-owners have voting and decision-making rights and participate in cooperative purchasing. Prior to placing your first order, you attend an orientation session and sign up for a work shift. Purchasing member-owners work one three-hour shift each month. More information about the food available through the co-op and how the process works.
Organizational member-owners also have voting and decision-making rights but do not purchase food. You do not have to work a monthly shift. This option works well for those who support the growth of the co-op but prefer to wait until retail operations get underway to buy food.
Member-owner investment in the Portland Food Co-op:
Individuals interested in becoming member-owners of the co-op must make an equity investment of $100. Full payment is preferable because we are relying on member investment for our next stages of growth. However, if you are unable to pay equity in full right away, a payment plan may be arranged. The co-op also has a low-income $10 member-ownership option for those people on public assistance.
Your financial investment is evidence of your interest in bringing a consumer food co-op to Portland. This evidence of a supportive member base is precisely what larger community investors and foundations will look for as they consider supporting the growth of the Portland Food Co-op. The Portland Food Co-op, like every other consumer food cooperative in this country, relies largely on member investment for capital. Your investment, in addition to the hundreds of others we anticipate receiving in the next year, will strengthen our financial base and sustainability.
If a member-owner decides to leave the PFC, they may choose to contribute to the growth and sustainability of the PFC by leaving their investment with the co-op. Alternatively, the PFC is able to repay equity in a time period that allows for its ongoing, sustained financial operations.
Become a Member-Owner:
The first step to joining is determining which type of member-ownership you would like. Would you like to order food immediately or hold off on buying and support us in our development of a retail store? Once you have decided on your membership type, click here to begin the process.