Equity and Inclusion

Statement of the Board of the Fredericksburg Food Co-op, June 5, 2020

Racism of any kind is intolerable. We must all take action to create a more inclusive and equitable culture that welcomes, values and empowers everyone, regardless of race, gender, creed, religion, and orientation.

We also firmly believe that Black Lives Matter.

At the core of our Fredericksburg Food Co-op is the principle of enthusiastically welcoming all – regardless of race, gender, religion or any other characteristic. We rejoice whenever a new owner joins our co-op.

At our co-op all are welcome to be joint owners of the co-op with equal rights and with an equal voice. A diverse ownership that represents all of the Fredericksburg area and in which each individual is valued and empowered makes our co-op stronger. Diversity and inclusion bring every perspective to the table – enabling our co-op to better fulfill its mission of bringing healthy local foods to this community, supporting local farmers, sharing information on the link between food and health, implementing the most sustainable environmental practices and helping to create and strengthen an inclusive community that comes together around these shared values.

Our commitment to inclusion and equity applies to every interaction involving our co-op, including, but not limited to:

• Purchasing from local farmers
• Hiring and treatment of employees
• Friendly and helpful service to all our shoppers
• Welcoming all to become co-op owners

As a cooperative business, we are guided by the seven cooperative principles that are rooted in democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. The cooperative model is a powerful mechanism to empower people from all walks of life—including those left behind by a shifting economy and facing the greatest economic and societal barriers.

We agree with the recent statement of Doug O’Brien of the National Cooperative Business Association:

“We envision an economy that is truly inclusive of all people. We are part of and have been supported by a long tradition of people from all walks of life, including people of color and marginalized communities who have used cooperatives as a strategy for shared economic and civic advancement in the face of great odds and opposition. In this moment, it is our responsibility to shine a light on their legacy and ensure that we are achieving our nation’s promise of justice and equality.”

Concern for community and a firm commitment to equity and inclusion are at the heart of our co-op. We are committed to working hard to put those principles into action as we prepare to open our co-op grocery here in Fredericksburg.