Page 1

annual report & election issue 2018

The Co-op CafĂŠ,

located at the Coralville Public Library, opened in February! Enjoy coffee, smoothies, house-made sandwiches, soups, and many of your Co-op favorites at our cozy hang out!

published by: NEW PIONEER FOOD CO-OP 22 S. Van Buren St. • Iowa City, IA 52240 (319) 338-9441 open daily 7am–10pm 1101 2ⁿd St. • Coralville, IA 52241 (319) 358-5513 open daily 8am–9pm 3338 Center Point Rd. NE • Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 (319) 365-2632 open daily 8am–9pm STORE SUPPORT OFFICE 22 S. Linn St., Unit 2A • Iowa City, IA 52240 (319) 248-6400 open Mon.–Fri. 8am–5pm

IN THIS ISSUE Board President's Report

p. 6

General Manager's Report

p. 8

Candidates' Statements and Ballot Your Co-op By The Numbers

p. 12-15 p. 27 EDITOR Jenifer Angerer CATALYST DESIGN Melanie Roling & JoJo Baccam PRINTER Royle Printing, Sun Prairie, WI

Board of Directors Meetings All owners are welcome! September 26, 2018

6:30pm, New Pi Cedar Rapids

3338 Center Point Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

October 24, 2018

6:30pm, New Pi Store Support Offices 22 S. Linn St., Unit 2A, Iowa City, IA 52240

October 28, 2018 Annual Owner Meeting - Details at right.

Owners are welcome to share their views with the New Pi Board:



(year indicates when term expires) President CAITLIN SLESSOR (2018) (319) 389-6431,

Vice President JON FOGARTY (2019) (319) 400-4911,

Secretary KELLI KENNON-LANE (2019) (319) 361-2843,

Treasurer CALVIN NORRIS (2020) (319) 355-2603,



A sustainable and forward-thinking local food marketplace, defined by:

WANNETTE DOERRFELD (2020) (319) 651-3873,

ZARA WANLASS (2018) (319) 800-9046,


new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter

. Shared economics, community enrichment, and partnerships in the Corridor . Widespread and diverse participation . Identifying and meeting the needs of owners and future owners

If you haven't visited the Co-op Café,

come and see us!


ince the Co-op Café opened on Feb. 9, 2018, it has served as a comfy cozy satellite of our Coralville store. Located less than a block from the store, it makes for an relaxing spot to enjoy your coffee, take a study break, or chat with friends. You can enjoy affordable breakfasts, lunches, and snacks with local and organic ingredients and options ranging from healthy to indulgent, with gluten-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly choices, just like in Co-op stores! Come by and relax in comfy chairs over a hot (or cold) beverage – like our Fair Trade teas or espresso drinks and coffees brewed with fresh, locally-roasted Wake Up Iowa coffee. Not to fear, we'll also have housemade treats like our sweet rolls – declared here, "The best sweet rolls in town, for sure!" – plus our muffins and incredible cookies. Bonus: Events hosted at the Coralville Public Library can now feature New Pi catering! Choose from delicious, crowd-pleasing options such as our popular platters (like fruit, cheese, Mediterranean, or sustainable salmon), cookies, sandwiches, deli salads, lunch boxes, and more... so you might want to get your meeting on their schedule! Please start orienting yourself and your friends towards the Coralville Public Library at 1401 5th St. in Coralville!

annual report 2018 •








new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter




annual report 2018 •


New Pi Board President S L E SS O R so



le Caitlin S


HE LAST YEAR AT NEW PI HAS BEEN full of positive transitions. Looking at the increasingly competitive grocery retail market (particularly in Johnson County), we know that our cooperative can’t keep doing all the same things in the same ways and expect to stay competitive. Behind the scenes at New Pi, we have prioritized new ideas and innovative ways for us to do an even better job of delivering high-quality food and remarkable customer service. Some of these changes have been behind the scenes. These include improvements in how we order products, how we use technology for tracking inventory, and how we use and analyze sales data to better serve you, our owners. Other changes are happening right out front. In the coming months, New Pi will launch a customer app, online shopping, and digital signage in our stores. Perhaps the most exciting thing of all is the way we are staying the same. We remain committed to our history and to our founders. At the same time, we are committed to our future, and we are spending time educating ourselves about what shoppers and owners 3, 5, and 10 years in the future will want from the Co-op. New Pi will continue to be a member-owned food cooperative focused on making sure our owners and shoppers have access to healthy, local foods. We will continue to be a model of cooperative business, and seek to share the benefits of this model with others. We will continue to focus on improving our local food economy for everyone. We are as strong as our ownership. Member owners sustain and build up New Pioneer Cooperative. A cooperative is a different way of organizing to provide a good or service. In our case, we want to provide high quality groceries to you, our owners. We don’t have shareholders


new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter


who want to see a return on their investment. Instead we serve all of you, the employee on their lunch break, the dad getting family groceries, the millennial picking up something for a party, the woman with dietary restrictions, the retiree on a fixed income, the single person who wants to buy in smaller quantities, and everyone else. Our measure of success isn’t in shareholder return. It’s in the way you vote for us by shopping at New Pi. Tens of thousands of shoppers vote for us every year. By that measure, we had a very good year.

Caitlin Slessor New Pi Board President

g off fresh droppin rm a F e v e ti c u . llec aine lett om Echo Molly fr asparagus & rom

Zara W anlass,

Just got Bigger & Better...

+ 500 products

Zara Wanlass began her service to New Pioneer Food Co-op as a member of the Board of Directors in 2015. Over the three past years, she has served on multiple committees (Finance Committee Member, Governance Committee Chair, Management Relations Committee Member) and as Board Secretary in 2017. Zara’s leadership, ability to view complex issues from multiple viewpoints, and willingness to challenge norms in efforts to achieve the Board’s vision for the Co-op have made a lasting impression on the organization. Board Memb er

Thank you, Zara, for the gift of your time and talents!

up to 50% off every day for everyone!

General Manager M AT T


Your Co-op Is Evolving


ew Pioneer was founded more than four decades ago by a small, committed group of people as an alternative to the conventional food system. Whole and organically produced foods simply were not widely available. A food structure founded on sustainable practices, for the health of consumers and the planet, did not exist. Hundreds of co-ops opened nationally in the late 1960s and early 1970s, creating the path to a new way of producing and consuming food. The food world has changed so much since the early 1970s, and the pace of change continues to accelerate. While the conventional food market share in this country is still far larger than that of natural and organic foods, its growth rate has become stagnant in recent years. Today, natural and organics are growing at a much higher percentage rate. This has led to waves of conventional operators and large food manufacturers pursuing the market and accelerating industry consolidation. Natural and organic foods are now available almost everywhere, both at physical locations and, increasingly, online. Your Board and management regularly consider and discuss these changes in our world and explore New Pioneer’s role in it. The Co-op will remain relevant and important to our community in the future because of the meeting of cooperative principles with sound business practices. Your Board considered a positioning statement at its annual retreat earlier this year, one that really speaks to who we are as an entity, and that will guide our business choices in the coming years: New Pioneer Food Co-op is a dynamic center of the Corridor community that brings diverse groups of people together to live life according to their values, share delicious food, build community, and support local enterprises.

Cooperatives are economic models that allow local communities to invest in businesses or activities that exist solely for the benefit of that community, rather than large corporations based elsewhere.


new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter

Matt Hartz

New Pioneer is governed by a democratically elected Board of Directors composed of your fellow owners that shop our stores daily. Cooperatives allow the community to join a journey in support of a more sustainable food system. New Pioneer can be a voice of transparency in a food system that is not very transparent. We are focused on strengthening the community in which we operate, not simply by pursuing market share for its own sake. We are exploring approaches to supporting our food systems that are even more integrated with our stores.

At New Pi, supporting your local farmers is not just a marketing message; it is part of our reason for being. You will see several changes in our Coralville and Iowa City stores in the coming year, all of which will work to improve services and offer new product programs. We are also turning our attention to exploring retail locations much smaller than our current stores, which will allow us to serve our community more widely. The Co-op Café, which opened at Coralville Public Library this winter, is but one example of this, with more small projects likely to follow. The Co-op will continue to do what it has done for 47 years: adapt and evolve, and continue to grow in new ways and directions. After all, pioneer is part of our name.

Matt Hartz New Pi General Manager

ce to ca erfect pla lunch p e h t is st or p Café The Co-o iends over breakfa fr up with

atch h!

Enjoy ma our Garlic L ny of your Co-op favo rites, like over's Pasta Sa our Co-op lad, right here in Café! annual report 2018 •


Financial Statement N O R R IS ,



he fiscal year ending June 30, 2018 was another challenging period for New Pioneer Co-op, with the organization posting an overall net loss of $565,063. Given the highly competitive retail grocery environment, the organization had budgeted for a net loss of approximately $400,000. From this perspective, the organization modestly underperformed. Fortunately, $804,000 of 2018’s net loss was due to depreciation expense, which is a non-cash charge against income. As a result, New Pi’s business did generate positive cash flow, but not enough to recoup its prior capital investments. As of June 30, 2018, New Pi’s overall long-term debt stood at $6,514,925, which was a decrease of $170,028 over June 30, 2017. Member equity was $6,534,364, with total organizational assets of $14,365,882. New Pi continues to wrestle with the extremely competitive organic and natural foods segment of the grocery market, particularly in Johnson County. Trader Joe’s (Coralville) and Natural Grocers (Iowa City) each opened new stores during the past fiscal year, creating even more headwinds for our small cooperative.

Since 2013, total retail grocery square footage within Johnson County has increased about 70%.




cooperative grocers in the United States are experiencing similar erosion in sales due to increased competition. Fortunately, the competitive landscape in Linn County has been a bit more subdued, although a new Natural Grocers store in Cedar Rapids did result in a slight decrease in sales at our Cedar Rapids location. Overall, New Pi’s total sales in 2018 declined 8.3% relative to fiscal year 2017. Over the last few years, New Pioneer has made significant adjustments to its operations to weather the ongoing decline in revenue. This has kept the organization solvent in the short-term, but this situation is untenable in the long-term. In many of our finance committee and board meetings, we have described this situation as treading water in a riptide. We may be able to tread water for a long time (i.e., remain solvent), but we eventually need to figure out a way to get back to shore (i.e., generate positive net income). Our management and staff are working to do just that. They continue to look for ways to deepen the relevancy we have to our owners and our community in our current environment. We intend to introduce several of these changes in the coming year, and we hope our owners will be pleased. We believe that by strengthening New Pi’s connections with its owners, we can begin to swim out of the riptide and eventually reach the shore together.

Calvin Norris New Pi Board Treasurer

As a result of this increasingly saturated market, New Pi has seen overall sales in Johnson County decline steadily for the last several years. It is worth noting that nearly all




Operating Activities Investing Activities Financing Activities

148,022 ( 140,985) ($145,168)

287,463 ( 201,650) ($120,013)

( 176,164) $ 30,656 $ 431,627

Net Change in Cash & Cash Equivalents




F L O W $







*2018 numbers are preliminary and pre-audit


new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter




o Calvin N




3,242,346 $ 10,699,696 $ 423,840.3

3,566,694 $ 11,184,736 $ 423,583.95


Assets Current Assets Property & Equipment Other Assets



Total Assets Liabilities & Equities Current Liabilities Long-Term Liabilities Total Liabilities



1,590,790.54 $ 6,240,727.96 $ 7,831,519

1,689,692 $ 6,410,755.75 $ 8,100,448

6,534,363.68 14,356,882


Equity Total Liabilities & Equities


$ $








*2018 numbers are preliminary and pre-audit




Net Revenue Cost of Sales & Operating Expenses Income from Operations

24,605,668 $ 24,839,041 ($233,373)


2017 26,846,791 $ 26,798,686 $ 48,105


Full time employees with benefits:




187 66%

1,967,584 6,680,705 $ 8,648,289




Number of employees to date:

3,550,843 11,811,276 $ 532,256





2016 27,203,486 $ 27,736,083 ($532,597)


N E W PI ’ S PA RT- A N D F U L LT I M E STA F F B E N E F IT S • 20% Staff Discount • 38% Staff Wellness Discount on Vitamins & Supplements • 401k Retirement Plans Matching 3% (Determined Annually) • Flexible Spending Plans (Medical or Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts) • Premium Pay for Working Holidays • Paid Bereavement Leave

Other Income/Expenses Income Before Taxes Net Income

( 331,690) ($565,063) ($565,063) $

( 320,350) ($272,245) ($214,941) $

( 133,820) ($666,417) ($529,108) $

*2018 numbers are preliminary and pre-audit

• Paid Parental Leave • Military Training/Development Leave • Jury Duty Pay • Life Insurance Coverage N E W PI ’ S F U L L-T I M E STA F F B E N E F IT S • Paid Vacation & Personal Time • Paid Holidays • Health Insurance • Dental Insurance • Short & Long Term Disability Coverage

-op clists biked the Co More than 150 bicy ily ride. to Co-op fam

Culinary W alk fu Family at N ndraiser for Field to ew Pi Iowa City.

annual report 2018 •


Caitlin Slessor Occupation:

Attorney at Shuttleworth and Ingersoll, PLC, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa


University of Iowa, B.A. in Journalism and Political Science, 2002 University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 2005

Special interests:

Cooking, agriculture, local arts and culture, and CrossFit

Q: Please summarize the aspects of your work experience you feel would be helpful to the New Pioneer Board and New Pioneer Food Co-op. I have been on the New Pioneer Co-op Board for the past three years. During that time, I have learned a great deal about the organization. I have been an attorney in the Cedar Rapids community for 13 years. Before that, I worked at New Pi from approximately 2000 to 2003. I have gained both business experience and strategic planning experience in each of these roles. Q: Have you served on a board of directors before? If so, please describe the organization and your role. I have served on several boards including the Linn County Bar Association, the Young Lawyers Division of the Iowa State Bar Association (representative and committee chair), Mediation Services of Eastern Iowa, the Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA, and the NEST of Johnson County. My experience has ranged from planning fund-raising and educational programming to evaluating budgets and expenditures for these organizations. Q: In your opinion, what is the role of the Board of Directors in the operation of New Pioneer Food Co-op? The role of the Board is to steer the Co-op into the future and to ensure that the management has the tools necessary to do the same. 12

new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter

Q: As a Board member, how would you guide the Co-op in fulfilling the values reflected in its mission statement? I truly believe that the Co-op is key to our vibrant local culture. We can support the supply chain, along with the owners and shoppers. We can create a workplace that is the best in the area. We can spread cooperative values throughout the Corridor. Q: What do you feel are New Pioneer’s primary challenges, and how could you help meet these challenges? Our biggest challenge is to stay ahead of our ever-changing marketplace. We need to do what we do well and consider how to add value for those who shop at our stores. As a board member, I will support forward-thinking change, while maintaining a respect and appreciation for our roots and our mission. Q: In your opinion, what is the role of the Co-op in the community? The Co-op's role in the community is to be a model employer, to be the liaison for local producers and shoppers, and to spread the word of the vast benefits of healthy eating to every facet of life.

Ramji Balakrishnan Occupation:

Professor at the Tippie College of Business


MBA, Ph.D. (Accounting)

Special interests:

Learning to lead a calmer, more purposeful life

Q: Please summarize the aspects of your work experience you feel would be helpful to the New Pioneer Board and New Pioneer Food Co-op. I have spent the past 30+ years trying to figure out what makes a business tick, and how I can best communicate this knowledge to future managers. Meeting these goals has required me to focus on gaining an understanding of the root causes of complex problems, as well as how to address them effectively in order to achieve desired outcomes. Today, we live in a turbulent environment, both in terms of business viability and of debate over some of the core values stated in our mission statement. I hope to leverage my experience to help our management team appreciate and deal with the forces that are buffeting our collective. We have to make hard choices over the next few years, and I hope to be a part of framing the problems suitably so that we can find the best way forward. Q: Have you served on a board of directors before? If so, please describe the organization and your role. I served on New Pi’s Board for six years, from 2008 to 2013. I stepped down so that others could step forward into leadership roles. I have also served on the boards of other local nonprofit organizations. Q: In your opinion, what is the role of the Board of Directors in the operation of New Pioneer Food Co-op? The Board of Directors (BOD) has two main roles. The first is advisory and the second is monitoring. As advisors, the BOD helps management to think through

issues and to formulate strategy. It also serves to highlight member concerns that might get overlooked amidst the pressures of daily operations. Equally important, the BOD monitors progress on strategy and ongoing operations. As stewards appointed by the membership, our primary task is to ensure adherence to the mission, both now and in the future, rather than engage in tactical operational matters. Q: As a Board member, how would you guide the Co-op in fulfilling the values reflected in its mission statement? When we moved to Iowa City in 1986, my wife and I became members because we subscribe to the values stated in the mission statement. For twenty-odd years, we were active owners in the sense that we shopped frequently at New Pi. In 2008, I joined the Board both because I was urged to do so by then-Board members, and because I felt that it was time for me to give back to my Co-op. I wanted to serve those who had served me so well through the years. I helped devise long-term plans (e.g., opening the store in Cedar Rapids, purchasing the Coralville outlet, starting the commissary) that deployed the funds that we had accumulated to gain strategic advantage. These actions are paying off today by helping us weather the storms we face. I believe that we are now entering a critical phase filled with great challenges, and I want to help navigate through this rough patch. Each of us has to contribute what we can to help us deliver on core objectives, and bringing more business experience to the board is my attempt to help. I do not know the answers or the best way forward,

but I would like to be part of the process for figuring that out. Q: What do you feel are New Pioneer’s primary challenges, and how could you help meet these challenges? The retail market in the Greater IC area has changed dramatically over the past five years. The entry of Costco, Trader Joe’s, and other corporations, as well as the expansion of Hy-Vee, has taken a severe toll on sales volume. While we can survive with today’s volume, we cannot afford to lose more market share. Devising and implementing actions to maintain our share while growing in selected product/market areas has to be at the top of our to-do list. I hope to contribute by bringing over three decades of business acumen and insights gained from my past service on New Pi’s Board. Q: In your opinion, what is the role of the Co-op in the community? New Pi has to be more than a grocery store. Ultimately, promoting healthful living is our goal. Ideas such as sustainability, local sourcing, humane treatment of animals, fair trade, and organic farming production methods are all part of what I see as healthful living. To this end, we must invest in education and community outreach in a variety of ways.

annual report 2018 •


2018 Voting Procedure the ballot You must hold a New Pioneer Food Co-op owner share in your own name to participate in voting. • Only the shareholder (owner) may vote. Spouses and household members without their own shares are not eligible. The shareholder is the name on the mailing address of this publication. You may also inquire at a store register, call (319) 248-6400, or email to determine the name in which the owner share is held and confirm your owner number. • To vote in the 2018 New Pi Board elections, you must have been an owner as of September 13, 2018. • Read the candidates’ comments ( pages 12–13) and select up to two. • Mark your selections in the ballot on the next page, 15, with a pen.

m ak e sur e we c an co unt yo ur ballot ! • ALL information on your ballot must be accurate. • Be certain to fill out your ballot completely. • Print your name (your Co-op ownership must be under this name). • Sign your name. • Print address and phone number. • Verify your owner number by any of the ways listed above. • Cut the ballot as shown ( ) and fold on designated lines. If mailing, please tape at the sides (very important—DO NOT tape at bottom, the post office needs this free of tape).

drop off or m ail promptly • Mailed ballots must arrive at the accountant’s office by October 26, 2018, to be counted. • You may also drop your completed ballot in a ballot box at any New Pioneer store until store close on October 26, 2018, to be counted.


new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter

Ballot N E W


CO - O P

2 0 1 8

This election fills two Board seats. You may vote for up to 2 candidates. Caitlin Slessor

Ramji Balakrishnan

Resolution #1 – Pertaining to Alternative Methods of Voting – Amendments 1, 2, and 3 (See complete text of proposed Amendments, p. 18)

Vote YES – To approve amendments to the Articles

of Incorporation to authorize alternative methods of voting allowed by law (electronic, telephonic, internet, or other means that reasonably allows owners the opportunity to vote).

Vote NO – To not approve amendments to the

Articles of Incorporation to authorize alternative methods of voting allowed by law (electronic, telephonic, internet, or other means that reasonably allows owners the opportunity to vote).

Resolution #2 – Pertaining to Notice Requirements – Amendments 4 and 5 (See complete text of proposed Amendments, p. 19)

Vote YES – To approve amendments to the

Articles of Incorporation to clarify the notice requirements for a meeting at which there will be a vote on 1) the removal of an officer or director, or 2) a proposed Referendum.

Vote NO – To not approve amendments to

the Articles of Incorporation to clarify the notice requirements for a meeting at which there will be a vote on 1) the removal of an officer or director, or 2) a proposed Referendum.

Resolution #3 –Pertaining to Membership Voting on New Locations and Relocations – Amendment 6 (See complete text of proposed Amendments, p. 19)

Vote YES – To approve an amendment to

the Articles of Incorporation removing the requirement that members must vote to approve any expansion to a new location or relocation of the retail business operations.

Ballots Due By mail: Oct. 26, 2018 In store: Oct. 27, 2018

Vote NO – To not approve an amendment

to the Articles of Incorporation removing the requirement that members must vote to approve any expansion to a new location or relocation of the retail business operations.

Ballot will be opened and viewed by BerganKDV personnel only. Results will be announced at the conclusion of the Annual Owner Meeting to be held on Sun., Oct. 28, 2018. Meeting details on inside cover. annual report 2018 •



Do not guess! An incorrect number will invalidate your ballot. Check any boxes that include updated contact information. Ask any cashier, call (319) 248-6400, or email


owner # TAPE HERE

email IMPORTANT: DO NOT ENLARGE, REDUCE OR MOVE the FIM and barcodes. They are only valid as printed! Special care must be taken to ensure FIM and barcode are actual size AND placed properly on the mail piece to meet both USPS regulations and automation compatibility standards.


address phone # owner name (print legibly)

You must hold a New Pioneer owner share in your OWN NAME to participate in voting. Complete all fields in this section for your ballot to count.







Produced by DAZzle, Version 12.2.02 (c) 1993-2012, DYMO Endicia, Authorized User, Serial #

Artwork for User Defined (3.666" x 8.5") Layout: 1-brc-3.666 x 8.5-IMb.LYT September 14, 2017



Amending Article VI SECTION 7 WHAT ARE WE PROPOSING TO CHANGE IN ARTICLE VI SECTION 7? We are proposing to remove the portion of Section 7 that states, “except that the Board shall not undertake any expansion to a new location or relocation of the retail business operations of New Pioneer Cooperative without a favorable vote by the members; a simple majority of members voting in the affirmative shall constitute approval.”

WHY ARE WE PROPOSING TO CHANGE ARTICLE VI SECTION 7? We feel that the language currently forces the Co-op to publicly discuss new store projects. This creates competitive risk. The current requirement of an owner vote for expansion increases timelines and limits New Pi’s ability to respond to market opportunities in a timely manner. We envision several potential business concepts much smaller in scale than our current three stores. We are exploring the development of much smaller neighborhood store locations, meeting people where they live and work. We are exploring food trucks, small cafés, and pickup locations for online grocery ordering, to name just a few examples. We are also evaluating adding a small store front to our bakery and kitchen site in North Liberty, a property the Co-op already owns. None of these were envisioned in 2002 when the retail expansion constraint was put into place.

IS THE BOARD CONSIDERING LARGE STORE PROJECT OPPORTUNITIES? Not at this time. We will be making some improvements to our current Iowa City and Coralville stores this coming year. We also expect to actively pursue some of the smaller retail concepts mentioned above.

WHAT CONTROLS ARE IN PLACE TO MANAGE PROJECTS? Management has been held to a standard of monthly financial reporting. This is in conjunction with an active Board Finance Committee providing oversight. The Board also has a Planning Committee that is actively involved in project due diligence and monitoring. Co-op owners entrusted the Board three times with store projects with 90%+ approval on each vote. In 2012, owners voted to authorize the relocation of the Iowa City store to the corner of College and Gilbert, in 2013 for the development of a third store in Johnson or Linn counties, and also in 2013 for a three-year authorization to relocate or add retail in Iowa City, precipitated by a potential project on the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center site (which did not materialize). New Pioneer opened our store in Cedar Rapids in 2014 on scope and under budget.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CHANGING ARTICLE VI SECTION 7? . We can act and respond in a timely manner to market opportunities. . We will NOT have competitors view our process.

HOW ARE WE INCREASING TRANSPARENCY? . Hold regular "Coffee and Conversations" events with the Board of Directors . Re-instate a regular Board email . Encourage Open Forum participation at every board meeting

WHAT PROMPTED THE DISCUSSION ABOUT CHANGING ARTICLE VI SECTION 7? In efforts to adapt to market changes and an extremely competitive environment, we will need to act in a more timely manner on opportunities.

HOW WILL THIS CHANGE AFFECT MY ROLE AS AN OWNER? Expansion decisions are commonly left to boards. The only legal, direct governance that owners usually have is the process of electing board directors. We hope that owners will increasingly be more active, engaged, and involved in our democratic process (elections and board meetings). Suggestions include: . Attend regular board meetings; open discussion about planning occurs in board meetings. . Attend a quarterly “Coffee and Conversation” with Board Directors.

Electronic Voting WHY ARE WE PURSUING ELECTRONIC VOTING? We are pursuing electronic voting in an effort to receive more participation from our owners and to reduce the number of spoiled ballots.

WHAT WOULD NEED TO BE CHANGED IN THE ARTICLES? We would amend Article VI Sections 4, 5 and 6, which reference paper ballots.

CAN WE STILL VOTE VIA PAPER BALLOT? We expect to do so for the near future as the purpose is to help support owner engagement. Owners will be mailed confidential and unique voting credentials with their annual ballot for a thirdparty online portal. The Co-op would engage a reputable thirdparty organization with security controls that are audited. Just as is the case with our current paper ballot system that is managed by external third-party auditors, New Pioneer Board and staff would never know how any individual voted. We will also have an electronic kiosk to facilitate voting in each store. annual report 2018 •


NEW PIONEER’S COOPERATIVE SOCIETY RESOLUTIONS OF THE MEMBERS OF NEW PIONEER’S COOPERATIVE SOCIETY APPROVING AMENDMENTS TO THE ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION WHEREAS, the New Pioneer’s Cooperative Society (the "Cooperative") is a cooperative association organized under Iowa law (Chapter 499 of the Iowa Code) with all associated powers and authority; and WHEREAS, the Cooperative’s Board of Directors has determined it is in the best interest of the Cooperative to submit a proposal to amend the Articles of Incorporation to the Members for vote in accordance with Section 1 of Article X of the Articles; and WHEREAS, the Board of Directors has called for a vote, at the Annual Meeting of the Members, on the Resolutions set out below to amend the Articles (“Resolutions”); and WHEREAS, written notice of the Annual Meeting of the members and these Resolutions has been given at least ten days and not more than 90 days in advance, and printed ballots for the Resolutions have been issued, all in accordance with the Cooperative’s Articles and Bylaws. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Members of the Cooperative as follows: RESOLUTION #1 – That the Articles of Incorporation be Amended to authorize alternative methods of voting allowed by law (electronic, telephonic, internet, or other means that reasonably allows owners the opportunity to vote), as follows: Amendment 1. That the members approve amending Section 4 of Article VI of the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative by deleting the portions shown by strikethrough and adding the underlined portions, as follows:

declared elected. In the event of a tie vote, there shall be a runoff election between the tied candidates. Amendment 2. That the members approve amending Section 10 of Article VII of the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative by deleting the portion shown by strikethrough and by adding the portions underlined, as follows: Section 10. Voting Rights of by Members. On all member voting matters, Eeach member in good standing shall be entitled to one vote and no more upon a single subject (except as provided in these Articles for election of Directors), which vote shall not be cast by proxy. The vote of a member association shall be cast only by its representative duly authorized in writing by the governing board of such association. Unless expressly otherwise prescribed in these Articles, member voting at an annual, regular or special meeting shall be by either (a) written ballot on forms approved by the board of directors and/or (b) an alternative voting method allowed by law (electronic, telephonic, internet, or other means that reasonably allows members the opportunity to vote) as may be approved by the board of directors. For the purposes of these Articles, a vote of members at a meeting includes written ballots cast at such meeting, mailed written ballots as may be authorized by the board of directors, and votes cast in conformance with alternate voting methods authorized by the board of directors. Amendment 3. That the members approve amending Section 1 of Article X of the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative by deleting the portions shown by strikethrough and adding the portions underlined, as follows:

Section 4. Election of Directors.

Section 1. Amendment to Articles of Incorporation

All elections of directors shall be held during annual, quarterly, or special meetings. Using a paper written ballot or alternate voting method allowed by Section 10 of Article VII of these Articles, each member with voting rights may cast as many votes as there are directors to be elected. If there are more nominations than positions vacant, the nominees receiving the highest number of votes shall be

The Society Cooperative may amend its Articles of Incorporation by a vote of sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the members present using a written ballot, or represented by mailed ballots or using an alternate voting method allowed by Section 10 of Article VII of these Articles, and having voting privileges, at any meeting or any special meeting called


new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter

for that purpose, provided that at least ten days before said annual meeting or special meeting a copy of the proposed amendment or summary thereof be sent to all members having voting rights. RESOLUTION #2 - That the Articles of Incorporation be Amended to clarify the notice requirements for a meeting at which there will be a vote on 1) the removal of an officer or director, or 2) a proposed Referendum, as follows: Amendment 4. That the members approve amending Section 5 of Article VI of the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative by deleting the portions shown by strikethrough and adding the underlined portion, as follows: Section 5. Removal of Directors and Officers. At any meeting called for that purpose, a Any officer or director may be removed from such office by vote of a majority of all voting members of the Cooperative. at any regular or special meeting of members called for that purpose, provided that at least ten days before the meeting the proposed removal action is sent to all members having voting rights. Amendment 5. That the members approve amending Section 6 of Article VI of the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative by adding the underlined portions, as follows: Section 6. Referendum Any action of the directors of the Cooperative shall, on demand of two directors or of one-third of the directors, whichever number shall be greater, made and recorded at the same meeting, be referred to a regular or special meeting of members called for such purpose, provided that at least ten days before the meeting the proposed referendum action is sent to all members having voting rights. Such action shall stand until and unless annulled by a majority of the votes cast at such meeting, which vote shall not impair rights of third-parties previously acquired. RESOLUTION #3 - That the Articles of Incorporation be Amended to remove the requirement that members must vote to approve any expansion to a new location or relocation of the retail business operations, as follows: Amendment 6. That the members approve amending Section 7 of Article VI of the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative by adding the underlined portions and deleting the

portions shown by strikethrough as follows: Section 7. Duties of Directors. The affairs of the Cooperative shall be managed by the board of directors as provided by Iowa law. The board of directors shall have all governance authority except as may be reserved for the members as provided in these Articles or the By-laws. The By-Laws of the Cooperative shall provide for all duties and responsibilities of the directors, not controlled by the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative, except that the Board shall not undertake any expansion to a new location or relocation of the retail business operations of New Pioneer Cooperative without a favorable vote by the members: a simple majority of members voting in the affirmative shall constitute approval. Applicable to Each Resolution – Authorization and Effective Date. Upon passage of any of these amendments by the requisite sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the members with voting privileges present at the annual or Special Meeting, or represented by mailed ballots, that the officers of the Cooperative, or any of them, be and are each hereby authorized to execute appropriate documentation and take all other actions necessary to timely implement the approved amendments, including, but not limited to, filing Articles of Amendment with the Iowa Secretary of State. The approved amendments shall become effective upon the filing of Articles of Amendment with the Iowa Secretary of State.

Resolution Discussions Saturday, Oct. 13 at 10am

Coralville Public Library Schwab Auditorium


Sunday, Oct. 14 at Noon

New Pi Cedar Rapids

annual report 2018 •


p hy


L i n d a Fr i t z - M ur

Purchasing Manager F R IT Z- MU R P H Y

Products: Co-op Basics Just Got Bigger & Better!


t has been another dynamic, sometimes challenging, but always exciting year here at New Pioneer Co-op. In the Purchasing Department, we have what sometimes seem like competing priorities — providing the best economic value to our customers while also maintaining high product standards and being the best possible advocate for our local growers and vendors. Providing Great Prices For the past three years, we have proudly worked with our sister co-ops and National Cooperative Grocers to provide the Co-op Basics program to our owners and shoppers. The program enables us to offer quality products at everyday low prices. In September, we went back to the drawing board and picked more than 250 new items to add to this program! We are very excited to offer even more grocery staples at dramatically lower prices. Organic Valley milk decreased from the already low price of $6.39 per gallon to an amazing $5.99. Farmer’s Hen House white eggs dropped from $3.29 to $1.99 a dozen, and cans of Field Day organic beans are now only $0.99 (down from $1.49)! Our beloved housemade French baguettes have dropped from $3.29 each to just $1.99! And we’re not finished — we will continue to roll up our sleeves, crunch the numbers, and find ways to provide the best value we can for our shoppers, while still maintaining high product standards and supporting our local growers and producers. Supporting Local Producers This year, we continued adding to our wonderful portfolio of local vendors. Here are some of the highlights: • Tortillas Chihaus produces amazing flour tortillas right here in Iowa City.


new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter

• Urban Greens is a group of young growers who use hydroponics to provide New Pi shoppers with ultra-fresh and tasty greens all year long. These greens grow just six blocks from the Iowa City store! • Herbivorous Butcher brings us their beloved meatless meat from the Twin Cities. New Pi was the first seller in Iowa to feature these tasty products from this sister-and-brother power duo who make mind-blowing vegan steaks, cheeses, and Korean-style ribs (to name a few!). • Radiance Dairy provides premium dairy products from their Fairfield operation, which is setting standards in sustainable agriculture. (Long time owners may remember these products from their first tour with New Pi back in the '90s. At that time, we couldn’t keep them Urban G reens – ju on the shelves, and they had to scale back the Iowa st six blocks from City store production due to their commitment to ! sustainability over profits.) As New Pi continues forward in this rapidly changing marketplace, we will continue with our commitment to the balancing act between good value and good values. Both elements are priority for us in fully serving the community that defines our very existence.

Linda Fritz-Murphy New Pi Purchasing Manager

ette The Gaz Jette for ff li C y nt, Photo b A recipie

DAC nded by in Iowa City. u fo , s u waves Chiha Tortilla Ramos, makes Kavir

Radiance Dai ry's ha from Fairfield ppy cows , Iowa

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annual report 2018 •


Locally Grown J E N I F E R

A N G E R E R , N E W




New Pi Purchases from over 130 local farmers and food producers year-round!


e purchase from over 130 local farmers and food producers year-round to bring you the best Iowa has to offer (Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois too) – even for the ingredients in our ready-to-eat foods! So if you missed the farmer's market, you're in luck: you can find goods from the growers and local businesses you love right here at your Co-op, every day of the year. We define "local" producers as within the state of Iowa, or 250 straight-line miles of our stores. We all know that money spent locally recirculates and multiplies through our local economy, but local food purchases do even more than that. Every dollar spent on locally produced natural and organic food is a vote for a better way of doing business and a healthier way of life. Those dollars are an investment in the health and sustainability of our land, water, and air. And that’s the kind of growth and investment that YOU, as a New Pi owner, can take pride in. – Sarah Walz, Former New Pi Board President

Urban Greens Iowa City, Iowa Owners of Urban Greens, Ted Myers and sisterbrother duo Laura Greig and Chad Treloar, want more local greens in your life year-round. They are as local as it gets, located just six blocks from the Iowa City Co-op at 1135 E College St. With biology, environmental science, and global agriculture resource studies at the University of Iowa in their back pocket, this crew has set up a pretty impressive hydroponic growing system. Hydroponic growing uses burlap as a growing medium, removing the need for soil and eliminating soil-borne diseases and pests, weeds and the use of herbicides and pesticides. A water tank contains all the nutrients required to grow the baby greens. The channels are linked 22

new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter

to the tank with tubing, which carries the water to the plants and the channels drain the excess water. LED lighting and fans are used to create and maintain the proper indoor growing environment. “No one else is doing it in this area,” Chad says. “It’s a pretty good niche for Iowa City.” They spend 100+ hours a week tending to thousands of microgreens growing in the backyard and basement. And they are delicious! Microgreens are small, nutrient-packed produce that can be used any way you use other greens (on sandwiches and burgers, blended into smoothies, or tossed into salads). The trio plant a variety of veggies including arugula, sunflowers, sweet corn, cilantro, broccoli, and lettuce and harvest them just a few weeks after they germinate. By utilizing their basement as a hydroponic greenhouse, they are able to grow year-round. Ted says,

We’re trying to innovate and become the New Age urban farmers. The old way of doing things isn’t working out. The population is only getting bigger and bigger, and finding new ways of growing things and educating people, that’s the most important thing. Once they have maximized indoor and outdoor production on the College St. property, they are looking to purchase other properties around the city center, close to delivery points so they can cut down on transportation costs. Urban Greens sell their crops to New Pioneer Food Co-op, local restaurants, and at the Iowa City Farmers Market.

cal! o l r e p y h They are

Chad, Laura, & Ted, Urban Greens

T.D. & Sarah, Garden Oasis

Urban Greens

Garden Oasis Coggon, Iowa T.D. and Sarah Holub founded Garden Oasis in 2013, on just half an acre of land. By a stroke of luck, they were able to buy a farm in the rolling hills just a stone’s throw from where T.D. grew up in Coggon, Iowa. Their farm now consists of 10 acres of sustainably raised, pesticide-free vegetables, eggs, and pastureraised broilers. T.D. says,

I think that our role in the larger community is to educate about the healthy food that we grow, and why it makes a difference to purchase locally. Growing up on a family farm, we were always very close to our food sources, but as time went on less of the food we ate came from our own farm. Having no connection or idea where your food comes from is sad. I get to see the joy of my CSA members and farmers market customers, when they get to choose the perfect head of lettuce and tomato to make their BLTs that night. I don't think you get that excitement when you purchase food at a large grocery store. That is something I really appreciate about New Pioneer – the identification of where the food is coming from. Seeing the pictures of local growers’ in the stores and realizing how many of the products are coming from fellow farmers makes shopping at the Co-op fun and interesting! Food is amazing, and so are the people that

grow it. We love growing great-tasting food and the lifestyle that only being a farmer can bring. It's the appreciation for each day and what it offers.. It's not always easy, and it’s not always fun, but it is always fulfilling and worth the time and effort. Someday I hope we can look back and say that we have made an impact on our community by growing great food for those who need it!”

Buffalo Ridge Orchard Central City, Iowa Buffalo Ridge Orchard was started with the planting of its first apple tree in 2003. This planting began the transition of a traditional, 80-acre agricultural farm to one that supplies healthy local produce. Buffalo Ridge orchard has over 50 different types of new and classic apple varieties. It is located at the top of Buffalo Ridge, just outside of Central City, Iowa. The landscape is picturesque – so calm and serene that all you can hear are songbirds and the leaves of 3,600 apple trees rustling in the breeze. Farmer Emma Johnson’s mom started the orchard with the romantic memory of a heritage apple tree from her grandmother’s farm as her inspiration. Each year, the family adds more trees to the orchard, allowing them to grow their business slowly, at a comfortable pace. Emma; her husband, Marcus; her parents; and a few others all work the land. Buffalo Ridge Orchard is a labor of love. Of special interest is Emma’s favorite midseason apple, Sweet 16 (also known as Song of September). It is an especially sweet, crisp, and crunchy apple with hints of cherry she can smell as she harvests them. Marcus is fond of the Swiss Gourmet variety. It has a nutty flavor, and pairs extremely well with cheese. Try it with Milton Creamery Prairie Breeze! Emma says,

The best thing about being an apple farmer is that, unlike a ripe tomato, [an apple] doesn’t have to be picked right now. It can wait until tomorrow. It is a nice pace.

Their motto is "growing quality local produce responsibly", which includes continually modifying and updating their management practices. Every year, they work to fine-tune practices and systems to conserve soil and resources through an integrated pest management system. Iowa is a tough place to have an organic orchard, with the rain and humidity. They use organic practices such as crop rotation, cover crops, cultivation, hand weeding, and organic sprays (when necessary). In early spring, they do use a minimal amount of conventional spray before the trees blossom. One way they are trying to combat summer pests is to encourage beneficial insects in perimeter native prairie plantings. After the apples are picked, they wash them in an organic solution (peroxide and vinegar). They do not dip their apples in a postharvest fungicide dip or wax their apples. Buffalo Ridge apples are delicious and have such a great flavor. I’ve not found one I didn’t like, and I’m looking forward to putting some away for a tasty apple pie or apple crisp this winter!

Marcus & Emma, Buffalo Ridge Orchard

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J e n if er A n g


Co-op Outreach


r Ry a n H a



Living Up to Our Name



of competition that has entered our local marketplace in recent years: Costco, Aldi, HyVee, Lucky’s Market, Natural Grocer, Trader Joe’s, and let’s not forget Amazon, which now owns Whole Foods. Consumers now have 75% more options to shop for organic food than they did just five years ago. New Pi has certainly noticed these, as have our local growers. Our sales have dropped, and so have the sales of our local growers. New Pi supports more than 35 local produce growers every year. We make buying/ growing contracts with them each year, a system that is not practiced by the competition. You might find a handful of local items at a few of our competitors, but honestly, it is cheaper for them to buy their carrots from California than from Andy and Melissa at Grinnell Heritage Farm. For the competitors and their corporate offices, it comes down to the bottom line. That is one point where New Pi differs greatly from our competitors. While the bottom line is important, we believe that it is more important to invest in our local community and economy. Our local farmers grow us the freshest produce; New Pi buys from our local growers; our shoppers buy from New Pi and enable us to buy more from our growers. That money just keeps circulating through our local economy, rather than padding a corporate bank account in another state. Owners and employees of New Pioneer have a proud history of leading the cooperative movement through fundamental shifts in the food industry. When these shifts have occurred, we’ve always succeeded in adapting new opportunities and technologies to serve our mission in exciting and innovative ways. Today, we again find ourselves a part of a radically shifting food industry, and we are pioneering new ways to operate more efficiently. We go into this without apprehension; it’s yet another opportunity for New Pioneer to show

that we are champions for our local and natural growers. How are we working to serve you more efficiently? The Co-op is developing new programs to better communicate with owners and add value to their visits. We understand there’s no community without communication, and soon we will be leveraging innovative digital platforms to connect with owners, connect owners with the products they love, and empower our local growers. For example, in the months ahead, your ownership will be personally tailored to you and offer sales on the products that you love through an owner loyalty program. We’ll also be offering our growers access to our new, state-of-the-art ordering system, providing them with the same technologies as their corporate competitors. Our checkout system will be revamped to be more interactive and efficient, allowing you to own your co-op and get out the door faster. You will continue to see changes throughout our stores, such as the introduction of digital signage (which you have seen in our Coralville and Iowa City stores). Why does your Co-op need to do this? To compete, we first need to operate more efficiently. Digital signage cuts down on a tremendous amount of labor and material costs and it ensures accurate and up-to-date information for our shoppers. (It also saves paper!) Ultimately, New Pioneer is once again living up to our name, and we’re excited to bring our exceptional values and mission into a new era.

Jen Angerer

New Pi Marketing Manager

tage Farm nell Heri n ri G , a Meliss nnell, IA Andy & Gri

One of se veral ne througho w digital signs you 'll ut the com ing year. see

Ryan Hall

New Pi IT Data Services Lead

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M AY B A N K S ,









Double-up Food Bucks

G e n i e M ay



on more than 500 everyday staple items, we’ve started participating in the Double-Up Food Bucks program.

What is Double-up Food Bucks? Double-up Food Bucks make it easier for low-income Iowans to eat fresh fruits and vegetables while supporting family farmers and growing local economies.

How it Works:

DUFBs all purchasin ow SNAP particip a g power o n fresh lo nts to double their cal fruits & vegetab les.

Any eligible customer would bring their SNAP EBT card (a.k.a. Food Stamps) to a New Pioneer Food Co-op Store. For every $1 a person spends on any fresh fruits and vegetables with their SNAP EBT card at New Pi, the participant will earn a matching $1 in DoubleUp Food Bucks, which can be used to buy locally-grown produce! If a SNAP user spends $5 on fresh fruits and vegetables, they will earn $5 in Double-Up Food Bucks. Recipients can earn up to $10 in Double-Up Food Bucks per day. Double-Up Food Bucks vouchers can be spent at any of our three New Pioneer Co-op stores or at participating Farmers’ Markets! Thanks to our partners at Iowa Healthiest State Initiative for assistance with the grant. Thanks to Horizons: A Family Service Alliance for their welcoming assistance with Double-Up Food Bucks at the Markets. Thanks to the produce buyers and growers who over the years have established us as “the” destination for locally raised produce, which makes participation simple. Special gratitude to our talented IT team for solving the “behind the scenes challenges,” allowing us to be the FIRST GROCERY STORE IN IOWA to participate. Being small and able to be flexible has advantages! More than 350 customers participated in the Double-Up Food Buck program this summer at New Pi, earning more than $1,000 toward local foods! With this program, we are supporting healthier food access and local farmers. WIN-WIN!

esh hasing fr i by purc P w e N at d. -EBT car hopping s while s with your SNAP B F U D Earn produce

Genie Maybanks

New Pi Marketing Coordinator

217 customers redeemed

$ 2,371 in DUFB 1,089 in DUFB at the Co-op to 347 customers for use

$ Spend DU participa FBs on Iowa grow ting Farm n ers' Mark produce at ets or at N ew Pi.

New Pi issued

whenever they need

annual report 2018 •



22 S. Van Buren St. Iowa City, IA 52240 (319) 338-9441 open daily 7am–10pm Change Service Requested



$ 10!

Receive discounts & special offers when you become a student member!

What you get: Special owner pricing on Flash Sales & owner loyalty deals 5% off local goods from more than 50 local companies, every day 5% off New Pi brand vitamins & supplements, every day 10% off supplements & body care the first Tuesday of the month


A. in U.S.

r! e i h s a c Ask a I C • 22 S. Van Buren St. C • 1101 2nd St. C R • 3338 Center Point Rd. NE

2018 New Pi Annual Report  
2018 New Pi Annual Report