[permaculture] Invisible structures: organizing local food cooperatives

Robert Waldrop bwaldrop at cox.net
Thu Apr 5 10:33:50 EDT 2007


Organizing a local foods cooperative: the Oklahoma 
Food Coop experience

The early registration deadline for the Oklahoma 
City "how to organize a local foods cooperative" 
workshop, to be held May 17-19, is coming up April 
16th.  After that, the price increases by $25. 
The early registration cost is $125, and includes 
all meals and materials, everything except for 
your travel and lodging.  Below is the original 
email about the event.  This information can also 
be accessed at 
http://www.oklahomafood.coop/2007workshop.php .

We hope to see you in Oklahoma City!  If you have 
questions that need immediate attention, call me 
at 405-613-4677.

Bob Waldrop, president and general manager
Oklahoma Food Cooperative
www.oklahomafood.coop

The Oklahoma Food Cooperative will host a three 
day workshop on May 17, 18, 19, 2007 in Oklahoma 
City on how to organize and operate a local food 
cooperative internet-based order and delivery 
system.

Topics to be covered include organizing campaigns, 
producer issues, financial accounting, computer 
systems, customer and volunteer issues.  The event 
will be held in conjunction with the May delivery 
day of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, and 
attendees will participate in all aspects of that 
activity.

Cost of the 3 day workshop is $125 if received by 
April 16, 2007 ($150 thereafter), which includes 
all meals (made from local ingredients) and social 
events, but does not include your transportation 
to and from Oklahoma City or your hotel cost.

Attendance will be limited to 30 people. To secure 
your reservation, payment must be received in 
full.

Workshop sessions will be held at Epiphany of the 
Lord Catholic Church located at 7336 W. Britton 
Road in Oklahoma City.

The closest motel is the Courtesy Inn at 6600 NW 
Expressway, 405-722-8694.  The next closest motel 
is the Executive Inn, 6410 NW Expressway, 
405-728-9913.  We can provide transportation to 
Epiphany Church from these hotels, or others 
further east on Northwest Expressway, and perhaps 
from other areas (check with Bob Waldrop on this). 
We will also work on coordinating transportation 
to the airport on the final day of the workshop.

To register for the conference, send your name and 
full contact info including email to:  Oklahoma 
Food Cooperative, 1524 NW 21, OKC, OK 73106.  Or 
send this info in an email to 
prez at oklahomafood.coop and either mail your check 
or pay with your credit card or electronic check 
via Paypal (send money to paypal at oklahomafood.coop 
and put in the comments field that it is for the 
'Oklahoma Plan Conference').

More info will be available as the planning 
progresses at http://www.oklahomafood.coop .

Hope to see you in Oklahoma City!

Bob Waldrop, president and general manager
Oklahoma Food Cooperative
prez at oklahomafood.coop
405-613-4688

About the Oklahoma Food Cooperative:
Organized in 2003, the Oklahoma Food Cooperative 
operates an innovative internet-based order and 
delivery system that only sells Oklahoma grown or 
made foods and non-food products.  The cooperative 
has both customer and producer members.

The cooperative does not buy wholesale and sell 
retail. Members order items from specific 
producers, so each produce in effect is his or her 
"brand" in the coop product lineup. The producer 
members set their own prices, and the cooperative 
charges them a commission for selling through the 
cooperative.  Customer members pay a commission 
for buying through the cooperative. The 
cooperative operates this delivery cycle once each 
month.

Monthly gross revenues are presently ranging from 
$25,000 to $35,000, and the coop has 1,000 
members. The coop has been completely 
self-financed since it was organized via the sale 
of member shares and operating revenues.

DRAFT SCHEDULE FOR THE WORKSHOP

May 16, Wednesday:
folks arrive, evening social event
May 17, Thursday

8 AM: delivery day begins (lunch at delivery day 
site)

6:30 PM, dinner, followed by opening remarks and 
social time

May 18th, Friday

8 AM, breakfast

9 AM: Session 1 - Getting started: the organizing 
campaign

10:30 - break

11 AM- Session 2 - What's for sale?  Producer 
issues

12:30 - lunch

1:30 - Session 3 - The Amazing Portable Oklahoma 
Food Cooperative: Delivery Day

3 PM - break

3:30 PM - Session 4 -- How much does this cost? 
Financials

Saturday, May 19

8 AM - breakfast

8:45 AM - Session 5 - Internet Commerce and Local 
Foods: Computer Systems

10:15 - break

10:45 - Session 6, What's the market? Customer and 
Volunteer Issues

12:15 - lunch and closing remarks.






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