Tacoma Food Co-op, Central Co-op of Seattle agree to merge

The merger between Seattle-based Central Co-op and Tacoma Food Co-op is complete.

Following elections at special member meetings on Dec. 21, the two boards met and each voted to become a “unified company with a worker/consumer solidarity structure.”

“This election had the highest voter participation that we have ever seen and landslide voter approval of the ballot measures,” said Dean DeCrease, Central Co-op board chair, in a release Wednesday. “The new solidarity between workers and consumers, and the unity between Seattle and Tacoma will make us stronger than ever.”

The “solidarity structure” comprises a 50/50 relationship between consumer-members and worker-members.

“This powerful vote from the members of Tacoma Food Co-op will enable us to have the co-op we have worked toward since the early formation days,” said Jeff Bessmer, Tacoma Food Co-op general manager, in the release. “Better pricing, improved staff compensation and more will come to our community. We are setting a transformative grassroots example of what the future can be.”

The articles of the merged cooperative will be filed and in effect, beginning Dec. 28. Eligible employees at both locations will have the opportunity to join as worker-members that day.

C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535