In this inside look at worker cooperatives, Joan Meyers challenges long-held views and beliefs. From the outside, worker cooperatives all seem to offer alternatives to bad jobs and unequal treatment by giving workers democratic control and equitable ownership of their workplaces. Some contend, however, that such egalitarianism and self-management come at the cost of efficiency … Read More
How does a business go about transitioning —“converting”— to a worker-owned cooperative? This report provides illustrations with case studies of businesses that have converted and highlights key lessons from those companies’ experiences. The report categorizes conversions into four types: Type I: Owner sells to existing employees with the intention of remaining with the company; Type … Read More
You may recognize him from the cover of your favorite flour or oatmeal, Bob Moore, founder of Bob’s Red Mill, based in Portland, OR, tells the story of his company’s transition to employee ownership through an ESOP.
Hear the story about how one of the first craft breweries in the nation became one of the most successful employee owned breweries in the world. Most business owners know that there are three options when planning for retirement. One, they can sell their business. Two they can, pass the business to a member of … Read More
The consolidation and sale of some beloved brands to Big Beer has raised eyebrows and piqued new questions about the industry’s identity. The good news is the industry is still expanding with more than 4,000 U.S. craft breweries, over 100 in San Diego alone, and there is an opportunity for employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) to play a larger role in the industry’s future.
In the wake of this cooperative’s recently concluded $4M stock offering, Equal Exchange created a single document that explains all of our unorthodox capital model…
Can We Do It Ourselves focuses on economic philosophy with an emphasis on the concept of economic democracy. The film helps viewers understand the difference between a market economy in which consumer demand drives a company’s supply of goods and services, and a capitalist economy in which private owners control production and hold a right to … Read More
In 1983, Rink Dickinson, Jonathan Rosenthal, and Michael Rozyne were all recent college graduates and working for a food co-op warehouse in the Boston area. They began to question the system: What if food could be traded in a way that is honest and fair, a way that empowers both farmers and consumers? What if … Read More
Inc. Magazine’s “coolest small company in America,” Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB), is an exemplar positive organization known for its culture and award-winning food. This case covers the ZCoB’s decision in 2013 to migrate toward broad-based employee ownership and the iterative, inclusive process by which Zingerman’s Partners Group researched and crafted a new ownership design … Read More
How could the managing director maintain the firm’s cooperative structure, address the nutritional needs of all Indians, make use of emerging technology, and navigate the country’s dairy policies in the coming years?
Equal Exchange is a cooperative organization that taps into the full capacities of everyone involved in a socially responsible way. This article describes how it has used the wisdom of its multiple stakeholders to create a collaborative community, to be profitable, and to have significant positive impact on people’s lives and the environment in approximately 20 countries.
This film tells the little known stories of employee-owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces. The film highlights examples including Mondragon in the Basque Country in Spain and the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as smaller businesses including coffee shops and bakeries.
This technical note explains how agricultural cooperatives are structured and financed, as well as how they form partnerships with one another and other elements of the food system.
Kevin Cleary, President and COO of Emeryville, California based Clif Bar & Company, explores how this privately held, employee owned company is also socially responsible. Series: ‘UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series’
CEO Michael Mendes has transformed a grower-owned cooperative into a publicly traded top marketer of snack foods. Diamond’s organization, culture, product development process, advertising and promotion strategy, and specifically its marketing department have been built ‘from the ground up’ to address fundamental changes in retail structure and consumer behavior. Can the Diamond model be successfully applied to other food categories?
Steve Voigt, the CEO of King Arthur Flour, must determine how the company can continue to grow, whilst preserving its unique culture. In 1996, the company was sold to employees in as ESOP transaction. The following decade saw significant growth, despite declining sales for the industry as a whole. The success could be attributed both … Read More
Fair trade and beverage pioneer, Equal Exchange, has teamed up with socially progressive bank, Wainwright Bank, to raise capital, protect its independence, and create a new financial product for investors.