Q. Who can be a member?
A. Anyone over 16 years is able to join the co-operative. One person applies for a 'Household Share' (membership) for use by those residing at the same address. A maximum of two people are named on the Share application.
Q. Is there a membership fee?
A. Yes there is a $20 administration fee for those wishing to join the Co-op. It takes time to process applications, induct new members, and to maintain our records. All of this is done by Alison, our staff member.
The administration fee will commence on 1st February 2021 for new members only. As advised last year, we will be reviewing annual membership fees over the course of this year.
Q. ‘How much do your organics cost?
A. We are constantly working to lower our costs so you can enjoy organics in the most affordable way. Our discounts will be built into the costs, so you can now enjoy organics at 20% less than the cost of other shops
Q. As a member, will I need to work at the co-op?
A. Yes, our Co-op runs by our lovely members contributing their time to make it work. There are different ways you can help out though. It could be helping out on the days we are open, stock taking, making coffees for members, manning a stall at the Wednesday market or helping with administrative or marketing duties. These are just a few of the ways you could help contribute, depending on your skills.
Q. Can non-members still buy from the shop?
A. Unfortunately non-members will no longer be able to buy from us. You will need to be a member to enjoy all the Co-op benefits.
Q. Who will be running the shop?
A. As a Co-op we are managed and run by our lovely members.
Q. Can I help in any other way?
A. As a member how you help out is up to you. There’s lots of ways to contribute from running workshops, share your knowledge, helping with the IT side of things or mucking in by doing some physical work i.e. building, gardening, organising etc.
The Co-op Structure
Q. What is the legal entity of the Co-op?
A. It is a co-operative company as detailed in the Constitution. As a member shareholder you will be a part owner of the business.
Q. When did the Co-op start functioning?
A. The company was formed in December 2015, and the Nelson Organic Co-op bought the Organic Green Grocer business on the 29th April 2016. Now we're in the business of running the shop!
Q. Why did it change?
A. Sue and Seager, the previous owners of the Organic Shop, had managed the business for 23 years and are ready to enjoy more time back home on their farm. They were keen to support the transition to co-operative ownership.Financial
Q. How much money did the Co-op have to raise to purchase the OGG?
A. We needed $67,000 in total to purchase the stock, fittings, goodwill and provide for working capital of $10,000. The deposit for buying the business was $30,000.
The total raised at point of purchase was $52,406.
Any remaining payment will be paid back over 3 years, coming from ongoing capital raised through additional sales of Household and Supporting Shares.
Q. How were the initial purchase funds raised?
A. The funds were raised through issuing Household Shares at $365 each, along with larger investors, Supporting Shareholders. In other words the people of Nelson got involved to make this possible.
Q. Is the business financially viable?
A. Based on previous figures, the business is able to secure a small profit. Future viability will depend on the commitment and decisions of the community, elected Board and the members.
Q. How will the business function?
A. The Co-op originally operated from the Tasman Street premises for a year, before blending our operations with the Nelson Environment Centre at Ecoland on Vanguard Street. It redesigned the focus to deliver on affordable everyday organics to the people of Nelson and surrounds. The Co-op endeavours to support local producers, and has reduced overheads to make our business resilient and sustainable.