In 2021, the UW Center for Cooperatives (UWCC) launched the Cooperative Governance Research Initiative (CGRI) with the goal of generating robust data and insights about governance practices within and across U.S. cooperative sectors. The 2021 CGRI survey yielded responses from 500 cooperatives. Of those 500 cooperatives, over 100 were retail grocery cooperatives, also known as food co-ops.
Food co-ops apply many of the same governance practices as other sectors, yet they face industry-specific challenges such as increased market competition, thin margins, and pressure to deliver value to members and society in many dimensions. We hope this report inspires reflection and conversations that will help food co-ops achieve their potential today and into the future.
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