Greenland Food Co-op – Five-Year Strategic Plan, 2018-2022
This strategic plan focused on key problems Greenland Food Co-op may be encountering in the Whole Foods Market currently and provide possible solutions to address its problems and improve its performance. The comprehensive analysis of the company required an examination of its internal and external performance. For external analysis, the research examined the industry and issues the company may face. SWOT analysis was used to analyze the internal performance of the organization. The research also offered alternatives and recommendations based on the information collected from the industry and internal analysis to improve the company’s future performance.
Greenland Food Co-op is a natural foods company founded in 1980. The company operates in the Whole Foods Industry having over six-thousand members with almost $11 million gross annual sales. The board of directors consists of democratically elected leaders who serve to ensure the cooperative satisfies the needs of the members and that that the company resources are utilized appropriately. The 5-year strategic plan for Greenland Foods Co-op will help guide the company during the period 2018-2022. The planning process steps will include the identification of strategic alternatives and about eight months of research. This research will include focus groups, informant interviews, and member survey. As the CEO, I will use this information to identify strategies and goals to guide the company’s businesses successfully into the future. The five-year strategic plan will outline the long-term goals that provide wide options for management, while allowing flexibility and innovation in implementation. The CEO and management are responsible for developing a 12-month business plan with specific objectives, budget, and activities. The Board of Directors will monitor progress and review and update the 5-year strategies annually as required.
Greenland Foods Co-op seeks to uphold the well-being of the society and world by making available whole foods and other basic goods at reasonable prices through the life-affirming democratic organization.
Greenland Food Co-op, whose owners voluntarily and willfully co-operate for the shared good, serves to build social and economic change and improvement within the wider community. The company affirms and promotes its mission by:
• Providing healthy, environmentally sustainable, and socially responsible food, products, and nutritional education
• Acting as a member-centered cooperative, using a wide range of opportunities for member involvement and participation
• Creating a model for social and environmental justice, environmental sustainability, integrity, and democracy
• Creating an engaging workplace through emphasizing principles of trust, transparency, and democracy
• Promoting local farmers and the implementation of regional food production systems to ensure food security
• Operating in a transparent fashion to cultivate trust in all aspects of management and operations so that members can vote and their opinions heard
Whole Food Market is a large and very competitive industry. The industry consists of conventional supermarkets, warehouse grocery stores, and supercenters. This industry has significant competitors who are not limited to local, national, and international specialty supermarkets, natural foods stores, restaurants, online retailers, and home delivery. Greenland competes with each of its competitors based on product selection and quality, store convenience, price, customer service, and experience. The industry has a wide selection of high-quality organic products. Greenland will consider perishable products in its production line. The industry has been successful in attracting a wide base of loyal customers by offering a variety of quality products. For this reason, the company will diversify its operations and differentiate its stores from other competitors.
Strengthen our position as the society’s leading provider of non-GMO, organic, and regional products and make the company even more accessible and price sensitive.
When developing a strategic course for the company’s future, several different alternatives will be evaluated. The cooperative will determine whether it needs to make changes to its store landscape or product selection depending on the membership feedback. However, the company’s resources and facility are currently not sufficient to determine how it will accommodate future growth. Research shows that for a company in the Whole Foods industry to better serve its customers, it must make its stores easily accessible to clients. This means that the company has to improve its stores and systems to improve its accessibility. As a cooperative, the primary goal is always to enhance the value of membership. This is what distinguishes the company as a unique business. Furthermore, the company will be better able to invest in its regional food system and contribute to the health of the society by strengthening its operations, attracting more members, and increasing sales.
• Distinguish our company as the most convenient place to buy healthy food in the region, with efficient customer service and a conducive, welcoming atmosphere
• Develop and improve programs and systems that help the members by whole foods and other basic goods at reasonable prices.
• Analyze member benefits and determine approaches to creating greater value for members
• Improve the company’s facility to make it more efficient and safe for current operations
• Develop a long-term plan for the company’s location and facility
? Sales growth
? Increase in the number of members
? Customer education and awareness of systems and programs that help them buy reasonably priced quality food.
2018: Member benefits evaluated
Market research conducted
Facility Upgraded to meet short-term goals
2019: Conducted a feasibility study and long-term facilities plan developed
Implemented improved member benefits
Developed marketing plan
2020: Begin facilities plan implementation
Greenland will be the store of choice for the society to access organic, local, and non-GMO products.
Food System Development
Actively engage in the development of local and regional food system
A key strategic idea I will consider as the CEO is how deeply to engage in food system development and what the company’s role should be. Information from focus groups, key informants, and member surveys suggest that Greenland already plays a crucial role and should emphasize its core competency. In order to expand the market for sustainably produced foods, the company will need to strengthen its own capacity as a dealer in regional products and operating more closely with other businesses to bridge the gaps in local and regional food production, storage, and distribution. These efforts are intended to build community food security and to ensure that members can access sustainably produced food at reasonable prices both now and in the future.
• Diversify and increase the quantity of local and regional foods available through the company
• Support producers and local farmers with relevant information and guidance to meet the growing need for local products
• Collaborate with local food companies and other community partners to 1) strategically bridge gaps in food production, storage, and distribution; 2) implement local and regional food security plans, and 3) educate the community and provide support for local food production
• Evaluate ways to promote local wholesalers such as hospitals, restaurants, and schools to more easily acquire local and regional products
? Number and range of local products sold
? Number of local and regional traders selling to the company
? Information and support provided to producers and local farmers
? Number of working partnerships and social development projects
? Number of local wholesale buyers buying local and regional products with the company’s assistance
2019: Evaluation completed for how the company can best support local wholesalers and viable activities initiated
2020: cooperation established with regional food companies
2022: local and regional food security plan developed with partners
A strong local and regional food system will provide the community with a sustainable supply of food at prices reasonable to both producers and consumers.
Internal Capacity Building
Inspire and promote leadership and passion within the organization
In order to be a sustainable organization and be able to implement the 5-year strategy, the company will need to build its internal capacity. It is useless to plan without ensuring that the people responsible for implementing the plan are motivated enough to perform the tasks. In evaluating the company’s strength and weaknesses, it is clear that the staff have varying reasons for working at the company. The company needs to be the kind that upholds diversity and wants the best for each member. Fair salaries and benefits, development opportunities, and training programs are crucial to making Greenland a place where one feels proud to work. The company especially needs to develop leadership skills at all levels (staff, board, and management).
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• Promote best practices as a company, including fair wages and benefit packages and professional development opportunities
• Build internal systems that inspire everyone to achieve goals and be acknowledged for their efforts
• Create a healthy work environment that promotes learning, fun, safety, and integrity towards others.
• Develop skills and ability of the board and management to undertake organizational change
• Offer consistent training of board members in both strategic issues and management
? Semi-annual research of competitive benefits and wages
? Semi-annual employee opinion survey of staff motivation and leadership
? Board and management team effectiveness evaluation
2018: professional development plans developed for staff, board, and management
2019: staff benefits package assessed and implemented
Comprehensive staff training program developed
Investment refund system assessed
The company will have a committed staff, management team, and board that utilize their growing knowledge and skills to create a sustainable workplace