Neechi Foods Co-Op Ltd. is a staff owned and operated enterprise. It is incorporated under Manitoba’s Cooperatives Act as a Worker Cooperative. Because of its social enterprise mandate the cooperative is designated as a “Non-Profit Organization” under Section 149(1)(l) of the federal Income Tax Act.
In Manitoba at least 80 per cent of co-op members in a Worker Cooperative must be workers engaged by the cooperative. As a pre-condition for membership, a worker needs to complete a six-month membership probationary period and purchase Membership Shares totaling $500. The Members makes decisions related to the governance of the cooperative at Annual General Meetings and at Special Members Meetings. They approve the annual financial statements and elect the Board of Directors. As is in all cooperatives, members of the cooperative make decisions on a “one-member, one-vote” basis.
Mission: Neechi foods Co-Op is committed to providing quality products and services that create a high degree of customer satisfaction and retention, to building a strong cooperative, to promoting community economic development and opportunities for Aboriginal People, and to promoting indigenous culture through artistic pursuits. The core vision includes a retail complex with a neighbourhood, Aboriginal and co-op development orientation that serves as a city-wide destination point for regionally harvested and processed foods.
- To foster entrepreneurial leadership, dignified employment and healthy food consumption
within Aboriginal communities and inner-city neighbourhoods.
- To promote regionally harvested and processed foods.
- To cultivate strong cooperative relationships and community spirit.
- To encourage artistic expression of indigenous culture.
- To generate surpluses for reinvestment in the business or other community enterprises.
Board of Directors:
Louise (Desmarais) Champagne, President
Candace Irvine, Vice-President
Russ Rothney, Treasurer
Lorissa Flett, Lisa Spence, Jessica MGillivray – Directors
Special Board Advisors:
- Senator Murray Sinclair, former magistrate and Chief Commissioner, National Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Peguis First Nation.
- Lionel Desmarais; accomplished Métis entrepreneur; former Senior Vice-president, Ledcor Industries.