This can be a challenging issue. Centralized vs decentralized each has it’s own benefits and considerations. I have seen this type of scenario in many organizations / industries. I was with our local health authority when it when from 16 small health boards to one. I was also on the board /employee of the YMCA which has a federated model but local YMCA’s had the ability to have autonomy to deliver programs that are most applicable to the local communities. Similarly cooperatives can truly benefit from economies of scale and scope through a centralized system without losing their autonomy. As many have mentioned above the consultation has to be there but also the trust that the FLC will make decisions in the best interest of the greater good of the smaller cooperatives. The smaller cooperatives may not have the infrastructure and expertise to deal with complex issues that affect the entire industry. FCL will need to clearly communicate and consult to ensure they are taking into account challenges of local coop’s.
Some of this consultation can be done in a number of different ways. As we do at our local CU’s we have boards that should be representative of the membership that can speak to the greater good. There will always be some that disagree which you have to have sound logic with your decisions to ensure you can justify them.