Strategic Direction & Planning

The Guiding Principles are meant to inspire us, to enlarge our horizons as a business and our aspirations as a community of Co-op member-owners.


Strategic Plan & Planning

In 2012-2013 the board, in conjunction with representatives of Co-op stakeholders (members, employees, suppliers and the community in general) developed a vision of what the Co-op should look like in 2020. This statement is aspirational and lays the foundation for strategic planning efforts.

Taking the 2020 Vision as a guide, the board has developed a series of overarching Principles that encompass the elements of the vision.

While these principles provide a template for how the Co-op should operate, many also lend themselves to specific goals. These goal-oriented elements have been expanded into a more formal Strategic Plan that includes specific metrics and targets.

The plan is not intended to define specific operational mechanisms, but rather to lay out the overall objectives and create ways to gauge our success in meeting those. Many activities can and will be taken on in each category to bring us to the goal. These specifics are in the purview of operational management.

We have developed a set of metrics that would allow us to understand whether we are making progress towards implementing the vision.

The Strategic Plan has four main themes. The following sections explain the themes and give an idea of the kinds of things that we feel we can monitor to provide a gauge for whether we are moving towards the future we envision.

Stewardship and Ongoing Viability: Nothing can be accomplished towards the vision unless the Co-op is fiscally sound and is managed successfully as an ongoing, viable organization. Metrics will include revenue growth, profitability, number of active members, cash in reserve, and the ratio of debt to equity. View our 2016 Financial Summary here.

Member Engagement: The Co-op should be important to the member/owners. We will be looking at the primacy of shopping at the Co-op, the number of patronage dividends, participation in Co-op decision making, and the general connection member/owners have through social media and other communications.

Employee Engagement: Our employees are important to the Co-op, and we continually hear from members that our employees’ knowledge, helpfulness, and commitment are a major element of why the SVFC is such a wonderful experience. We will be looking at metrics mostly related to employee retention and connection to the Co-op.

Community Engagement: It is imperative that beyond our own operations we must be a part of the overall community–supporting like-minded organizations and generally cooperating with the larger community to bring about a better future for all. Our metrics and goals here are related to our direct granting (through programs like 4% Friday), community outreach, and organizational partnerships.