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Governance and Structure
The By the Bushel Community Food Co-operative Inc. (the Co-op) was formed in the spring of 2009. Two years of community discussions lead to the co-op and the co-op purchased the former By the Bushel Home Delivery and is now focused entirely on creating a sustainable local food system. The affairs of the Co-operative are governed by and conducted in accordance with the Co-operative Corporations Act of Ontario. All co-op members are encouraged to participate in the co-op and are represented on the board of directors. The Co-op currently has a seven member board of directors with four consumer members, two producer members and one employee member. A co-manager sits on the board as an ex officio member.
The Co-op's first by-laws were accepted by the board on April 8th, 2009 and were approved by the membership at our first Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November 2009. The by-laws are available for download below.
The Co-op operates as a producer/employee/consumer not-for-profit share co-operative. By the Bushel Community Food Co-op offers ecologically grown products once a week to members during the growing season and monthly in the winter.
Board Of Directors Meeting Minutes
The next Co-op Board meeting is Wednesday March 6th, 2013, 7:00 PM at the BTB Store. All are welcome! Please email us in advance to let us know you're attending so we'll have enough space.
2013 February 6th January 9th
2012 December 12th November 7th October 10th September 21st August 8th April 19th March 22th February 15th January 26st
2011 December 15th November 16th October 20th October 6th August 29th July 28th June 2nd May 20th April 18th March 28th February 28th January 31st
2010 November 8th August 23rd March 24th February 9th January 12th 2010 Financial Statement January 12th
2009 December 10th December 10th Financial Statement October 31st October 31st Appendix
October 25th October 25th Appendix (Survey Results Summary) October 25th Appendix (Profit and Loss) August 5th July 8th June 10th May 27th May 5th April 22nd April 8th
AGM Minutes2011 AGM 2010 AGM 2009 AGM AGM Appendix A (Financial Statement) AGM Appendix B (Financial Statement)
Based a vision for a just, participatory and sustainable economic base for our local food system, the By the Bushel Community Food Co-op coordinates local producers to offer a combination of certified organic and ecologically-responsible products, primarily produce, to local consumers. Operating as a producer/employee/consumer not-for-profit share co-operative, the BTB Co-op offers products weekly throughout Peterborough and area during the growing season, monthly in the winter, by means of an affordable membership process.
The By the Bushel Community Food Co-operative will develop food security - a socially just, participatory and sustainable economic base for our food system - in the wider Peterborough area by:
History of our Co-op
In September, 2007, the first of many community meetings were held to discuss local food issues with a wide range of interested community members. The Community Opportunity and Innovation Network (COIN) hosted the evening event. There were two main objectives for the meeting (and subsequent meetings):
Participants included local producers, nutritionists, food basket and agency representatives, Council of Canadian representatives, COIN, Peterborough Green Up, students, and other interested community members.
Meetings were held monthly and included: visioning, general discussion and sharing of experiences, research into models of co-ops and food security councils, with these two sub groups reporting back to the whole. Attendance varied with a core group of people attending, complimented by enthusiastic extras. COIN continued to fund the meeting space and food, but general organization and facilitation of the group was taken over by volunteers from the core group.
During the summer of 2007 a meeting of minds and tired bodies happened on the bike path to Lakefield. Principal owner of By the Bushel Home Delivery-Sue Prentice and Sun Root Organics CSA farmer - Paula Anderson got to chatting about how to efficiently and effectively make the link between the growing of local ecologically sound food with a solid community of eaters, and how to do this while supporting the growers, organizers and eaters. The idea of working co-operatively together to build off of the different skills sets available to support this endeavor was born.
During the winter of 2007/2008, By the Bushel Home Delivery and Sun Root Organics joined the co-op working group that had been meeting monthly. During the winter months COIN graciously provided funding for the group to further explore the cooperative concept with the help of co-op developer Russ Christianson. Over time, it became clearer that collectively our commitment to food security meant that a co-operative that encouraged the fundamental discussion and negotiations needed among workers, producers and consumers would best exemplify the food security issues we were exploring.
In May 2008, COIN provided the funding for co-op developer Russ Christianson, to lead the group through a visioning session. The visioning session was held at Peterborough Green-Up; from which eight people definitively agreed to move ahead. The basis of which made up the coop steering committee.
With the blessing of the co-op working group, COIN then applied to the Ontario Cooperative Association and received funding to hire Russ Christianson to do a Feasibility Study in the fall of 2008. At the same time, Paula Anderson attended the Great Lakes Community-Shared Agriculture Conference. Combining the ideas she picked up networking at the conference with the visions and ideas generated through the coop working group, she came back with an action plan that would provide the co-op with some definitive direction and a place to start in making the co-ops' vision a reality. As a producer and community development worker with Peterborough Green-Up, she met with Sue Prentice, the distributor, and later with Russ Christianson to bounce the ideas off of them and iron out some of the details. The plan was then presented to the Co-op Steering Committee where it received full approval and was taken as the basic plan from which the feasibility study was developed and completed by the spring of 2009.
The basic concept was that we wanted to develop a producer, worker, consumer co-operative that grew out of the benefits to these groups that working together could create. This was a big concept and we needed to start small so we could get started on it at all. We needed to start with growing our local ecological growers, encouraging producers to participate, by having secure distribution and a eager market of eaters, who want to support the development of a sustainable local food system for all.
In January 2009, the first producer meetings were held to see who would be interested in participating and producing for the co-op during the 2009 growing season. Fourteen local ecological producers decided that they would be able to supply 85 to 100 consumer members of the co-op with great food during the summer months and well as into the winter. By the Bushel Home Delivery agreed to sell its assets, experience in distribution, and consumers to the co-op, and Sun Root Organics rolled its' CSA membership into the co-op as well, forming the basis of the consumer member portion of the co-op.
The co-op became known as By the Bushel Community Food Co-operative and held its' first public meeting on March 30, 2009. This public meeting was held to present the concept of the co-op to the community as well as to welcome the community to become active members.
In its initial stages the co-op was guided by a steering committee with mixed membership. They oversaw all the initial activities of the co-op, including the general meetings, co-op development, planning, marketing, fundraising and continued to do so until By the BushelCommunity Food Co-operative (BTB co-op) was incorporated in April 2009 and the transformation from steering committee to Board of Directors took place in May 2009.
In the fall of 2009 BTB co-op applied to the Ontario Co-operative Association to secure additional funding to hire Russ Christianson to do a complete business plan for the co-op. The co-op received the funding and announced this at our first AGM on November 23rd, 2009. The AGM also allowed for the first formal elections of a seven member Board of Directors.
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