Look for our products in a store near you. This is co-op month and stores around the country show their support by setting up end cap displays with products produced by co-ops.
In celebration of co-op month, we thought we’d take a moment to tell you why co-ops are important.
In an employee-owned company, all the employees are owners. We come together in company meetings and everyone has a vote on how the company is managed. Our company meetings are held to address: company policies, operational issues, and financial strategies. Committees are also formed to help resolve issues, which are subject to a final company vote (1 person = 1 vote).
The income that is generated in our business is distributed fairly. For example, a 3.5:1 compensation ratio of highest to lowest paid employees. Profit sharing bonuses are distributed equally to all owners. And we have at least 3 employee owners sit on our Board of Directors.
This is much different than in many corporations where managers are making multimillion dollar salaries. Some of these companies we have recently seen in the media where they were asking the government for corporate bail-outs and often line workers were barely making a living wage or little care was considered for fair trade conditions of international partners.
Once Again is not hierarchical in our structure. The supply chain is flatter and streamlined in the way that commodities are grown, purchased and distributed. Products are produced with a higher level of integrity because the employee shares ownership and they take pride in what they are producing.
Our employee-owned company cares a great deal that our growers make a fair wage and we engage in fair trade practices. We start co-ops in developing countries helping to address issues of economic crisis and poverty. We also engage in domestic fair trade practices supporting small and rural farms and bee keepers making sure they receive a fair price for crops.