Co-op Principles and Organization
Hampden Park Co-op became a legal cooperative in June of 1993. We follow the Statement on the Co-operative Identity (formerly known as the Rochdale principles), established by the International Cooperative Association to govern co-ops internationally. The cooperative principles are printed on the inside front cover of this handbook. Copies of Hampden Park Co-op by-laws, articles of incorporation, and policies are available upon request.
Hampden Park Cooperative exists to serve its member-owners and the community by promoting wholesome, healthful, and ecologically sound food consumption with the involvement of its members in food selection and the operation of the co-op.
Our Values Framework is used as a guide for assisting in policy and program decisions.
Community, relationships and membership
We believe that the people involved with Hampden Park Cooperative constitute a community, and that every person who shops at our cooperative is a member of our community. The community and the cooperative are held together by our common interest in food.
People become involved in our community because they share basic values about food and community. These values and the relationships that evolve between individuals are the life blood of our community and are the characteristics that make us unique. We strive to clarify our shared values, to act in ways consistent with those values, and to nurture the relationships we have with each other.
It is our responsibility as a cooperative to provide all members with a sense of acceptance in the community that is not conditional on their degree of involvement. Each community member is valued no matter what level of involvement they choose. Becoming a formal member is a matter of personal choice and is simply a public acknowledgment of one's commitment to the Hampden Park Cooperative community.
We acknowledge that members value different qualities in the products they buy. It is our goal to assure that there are enough product options to satisfy the needs of most members and that the choices provided are consistent with their own personal values. The products selected by Hampden Park Co-op should provide a balance of these values as expressed by the members who shop there. The shelves of Hampden Park Co-op should hold a balance of products that are organic, unprocessed, fresh, locally grown, healthful, and minimally packaged.
World improvement through collective effort
We at Hampden Park Co-op believe that our collective efforts can make the world a better place through the relationships we develop, the products we buy, and the joint action we take in our communities. We believe we can have an influence on the world by:
- articulating the values that we jointly hold and assuring that our business practices, governance, and relationships are guided by these values;
- modeling the relationships that we build with each other and the different way that we choose to run our business;
- applying economic influence by carefully selecting the products we sell and the relationships we develop with suppliers;
- educating and informing community members about their consumer choices; developing networks with organizations that hold similar values; and
- taking advantage of emerging opportunities for action when members of the Hampden Park Co-op community believe it is important.
Board of Directors
Members of the Hampden Park Co-op Board of Directors are elected at the Annual Meeting for three-year terms. The board represents the interests of the membership in setting policy and direction for store operations, and also oversees the management of the co-op through the general manager. Additional information about the Board of Directors can be found on the bulletin board in the lobby of the co-op.