Our High Five!
We have a vision for the future of the Co-op that we think is pretty exciting. Our world will look quite different as we approach 2025 because we accomplished some amazing work along the way. We identified five areas of co-op accomplishment - we call this our High Five, because when we’re successful, there will be high five’s all around!
Outpost is a place of inclusion and our stores reflect the fabric of each neighborhood. People come to shop at Outpost from all points as they find the shopping environment appealing and friendly while the co-op meets their everyday needs with quality, fresh choices and carefully selected local, natural and organic products. At 75% of total sales, owner purchases reflect satisfaction with the co-op. We have risen above market challenges and have opened additional profitable store locations, increasing our cumulative net profit each year and returning some of that profit back to owners. And an active ownership is reflected in participation in the annual Board election.
In an industry that is becoming more and more homogenized on a global scale, Outpost is proud of the fact the we are on a first name basis with our local and regional growers and producers. We understand their stories and support their entrepreneurial spirit. This level of relationship building gives the co-op the opportunity to network and collaborate more, offering more affordable prices and greater product diversity to shoppers, as well as opening up our regional food shed to even greater prosperity. Overall regional sales have increased by 5.6% to 36%. With total co-op sales hovering at $65 million dollars, that means close to $24 million dollars went back into our local urban and rural economies, creating jobs, and securing our regional food systems in times of change.
We believe climate change is real and is an imminent threat to our existence. Outpost is a market leader when it comes to sustainability and actively strives to reverse the course of climate change and our impact on the planet. Since we began keeping records in 2012, Outpost has reduced co-op greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 90%. We produce nearly 32% of our own energy and offset 100% of the rest for the continued development of a sustainable energy infrastructure. Because organic agriculture has the ability to sequester carbon, we continue to support organic farmers. Total sales to organic products at the co-op is at 50%. At Outpost, we don’t greenwash our efforts and cherry pick those initiatives that will give us the big spotlight. We choose to walk the talk across all sectors of business. Because it is the right thing to do.
A healthy community makes us all resilient. As a values-driven business, when we share our prosperity, fellowship with our neighbors, and live our co-operative values, it has a positive ripple effect. We reach across divides great and small and lift each other up through volunteering, increasing the total hours serving our community to 1,000 by 2025. With annual growth in giving, we will reach $150K in shopper contributions alone to fund our hunger relief give-back programs with Hunger Task Force. Our honesty and transparency inspire others to follow suit as we steward ourselves, our relationships, our planet.
Shopping at Outpost is always a pleasant experience because the staff who serve our owners and shoppers feel a deep connection and loyalty to their co-workers and their employer. Because 70% of Outpost’s work force is full time, which includes union staff, they are strongly suited to help shape and uphold the diverse progressive cooperative work culture they enjoy, including a livable wage with benefits. This level of satisfaction directly translates to how they view the co-op. Outpost employees consistently rate their overall work experience at the co-op in the top percentile (4.5+ out of 5) in annual employee surveys.