#8268
Jen BudneyJen Budney
Participant

Great comments, everyone. You have addressed the legitimacy of co-ops on two levels – the legitimacy as viewed by individual members for their local co-op, and the legitimacy of the second-tier as viewed by member co-ops. I do want to point out that the number of individual members is not always a good indicator of legitimacy or success in grocery co-ops – as James points out, members don’t typically find it too hard to shop elsewhere if they think they can get better prices or service at another place. So for the individual retail co-ops, they need to know what they are offering that is different and that members value (what is their co-operative difference?), as Jim discusses, and then make sure they consistently deliver on that difference. For the second-tier co-ops, legitimacy is arguably more complex, at least most of the time. My question for you is: how can a board or management of either a first- or second-tier co-op assess its legitimacy in the eyes of members? What processes should it use, what measures, etc.? Are they different depending on the type of co-op?

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