Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2022 Vision - Open Owners' Session At Board Meeting

So. I heard from Snüff Shöck/Neil (one of my immediate work-mates, and one of the good co-operators), who heard it from Amy Lorang (WSM Elections Committee Chair, and another of the good co-operators), that at around 6.00pm this evening, Wednesday, November 28, the WSM Board, before its regular monthly meeting, will be holding an open session to allow all owners to offer input on WSM's 2022 Vision.

Blimey. Where to start?

First, I cannot attend. On such short notice, I already have plans. And with the infrequency of those, I don't intend to cancel. In any event, I've not made any secret of my views on what would be my preferred 2022 Vision for our co-op, as opposed to building more stores, and getting ever bigger.

However, I would urge as many owners reading this Note as possible to attend. Again, I take the view that defining the common needs of our co-op should actually look like owners telling the Board what to do. Not the other way round. But, in the regrettable absence of that approach, when the Board seeks our input, we need to give it.

For anyone attending, I would ask that someone re-raise my suggestion that we hold workshops on a Monday evening at Panzanella, to give we owners a more realistic and comprehensive opportunity to be setting the goals for our co-op. Did that idea just die?

Now. To the wider questions. Um. Why are we learning about this, in an 'ad hoc' fashion, one day before it is taking place? It doesn't exactly scream of a Board that desires participatory democracy.

And let's get this clear. This is not the fault of our excellent Owner Services Co-ordinator, Brenda Camp, who does a superb job. It is the task of the Board to promote democracy in our co-op.

And I believe they are failing in this task. The most striking demonstration of the apathy the Board has engendered in our co-op is the fact that the last two Elections for Board Director have been uncontested.

This is not because we owners feel that the Board and the WSM corporate office are doing a great job. It is because their negative attitude towards inclusion has frankly sapped the energy of too many owners.

There are a multitude of ways that the Board can enhance participatory democracy in our co-op. I know. I contributed in the WSM Task Force that discussed these matters, back in 2008, and which led to the formation of the Elections Committee.

Hmm. Maybe it's time I dusted off my newly re-minted worker-ownership, and considered standing for the Board again ... ??

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Supporting Local And Sustainable Food - Really ??

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Here we go again. 'Tis the season for some folly -- at The Weave.

Just when we thought it was safe to dive back into the local, sustainable, non-pesticide-
infested produce, once again we're stocking fruit, that appears to be sprayed with more chemical than I ingest before a night of hey-ho-whoopsie.

Some combination of Thiabendazole, Imazalil, Pyrimethanil, Fludioxonil and Azoxystrobin on our Cuties fruit.

Now, I get that these 'harmless' chemicals may be required to keep the fruit mold-free, all the way from California.

But, um, how exactly is any part of this compatible with Goal 2 ("Drive the growth of local and sustainable foods") of the Four Goals we posted in our Annual Report (Page 4) barely, er, one month ago?

Wow. Talk about staying power. I saw Mitt Romney hang onto a policy position longer than that. I can't wait to see how the rest of the Four Goals pan out.

On which subject, where exactly are the discussion groups on the Four Goals which we were promised, to ensure that the process of designing, fleshing out and then implementing these Goals is democratic ... ??


I made the same point about Cuties fruit last year, in a post on Facebook which never made it to my blog:


WSM is currently waxing lyrical about its range of Cuties Californian Fruit, especially the Clementines. Well, I want to wax lyrical too. So, I check 'em out.

Leaving aside the fact that the fruit leaves another heart-breaking carbon trail, all the way from California, I read the bottom of the box - only to discover that the Clementines have been sprayed with more chemicals than BP used to spray its oil spill.

Thiabendazole, Imazalil, Pyrimethanil, Fludioxonil and Azoxystrobin seem to be a few. I'm working off memory here - plus a little Googling!

That same Googling tells me these are anti-fungicides, that they are 'only' sprayed on the exterior of the fruits, and that it's ok, 'cos these chemicals are less toxic than the alternative.

C'mon, Weaver Street, co-op that I love, can we really not do better than this ... ??