We need your help. As you know, membership is a vital part of our Co-op community. You understand the importance of buying local and organic, supporting small farmers, and sustaining our Swarthmore and surrounding communities. But, as we also know, not everyone is sure if a Co-op membership is worth it.
This is where you come in. While we are always trying to get members, we need you to spread the word. Tell your friends and family (even a stranger!) about the Co-op and why it’s important to you. Tell them what membership has done for you, your family, and your community.
While joining the Swarthmore Co-op has its benefits (like the Membership Loyalty Program, membership discounts, and discounts on Co-op events), membership is more important to us and this economy than meets the eye. When recruiting members, emphasize that co-ops are…
- Committed to local – As a co-op, we have a commitment to providing you local food and products whenever possible. Buying local not only benefits your diet but also decreases your (and the world’s) carbon footprint.
- Knowledgeable about your food – We are blind as consumers when it comes to really knowing where and how our food is really grown. Sure, brands can slap a “natural” or “organic” label on their products (see “Caution: Greenwashing ahead”), but we don’t actually know how our food is grown and who is growing it. Co-ops help unveil what’s behind the “iron curtain,” as Food Inc. describes it. We love introducing our farmers to our members and we encourage you to talk to them! Stay tuned for our upcoming Meet Your Farmer events.
- Building your community – Historically, co-ops often pop up in neighborhoods that lack a town center. Developing a co-op encourages other businesses, such as coffee shops, restaurants, and retail stores, to start up in a neighborhood that formerly had nothing. By joining a co-op, you are supporting your neighborhood and its growth.
- Taking back the buying power – It’s no secret that our world is becoming quite corporate heavy these days. While corporations are inevitable in an economy, the development of conglomerates takes away buying power of the little guys (that’s us!) That’s where you come in. By joining the co-op, you have the power to control what you want in the store, rather than corporate telling you what you want.
That being said, it’s time to start talking. We need to tell people what a co-op is and how it’s different than the supermarkets we see today. We need to tell people why co-op memberships are important and how it benefits them. Remember, we’re in this together –this is your store.
The Swarthmore Co-op