Tuesday, May 3, 2011

BDS and Food Coops - Davis

A year ago, the board of the Davis Food Co-op was faced with a BDS initiative.  They determined that BDS was not appropriate for their coop and did not allow a member-wide vote to go forward.  I summarized their reasons in a letter published in the Linewaiters' Gazette in September 2010.
The Davis Food Coop was also faced with members suggesting the coop join the boycott. Davis’ by-laws require that the co-op’s board of directors first approve a vote by determining if the proposed question is legal and serves a e “proper purpose.” After research and discussion with the membership, the Davis board determined the boycott failed the “proper purpose” test. The board reasoned that participation in the boycott would conflict with the general principles of the international co-op movement (the Rochdale Principles) which emphasize “political (and religious) neutrality and the dangers of meddling in political (and religious) affairs.” It would require the organization to accept as truth statements that could, at best, be characterized as opinion or selective presentations of fact. Furthermore, the board noted that cooperatives “that have failed to abide by this essential principle of political neutrality have been harmed by the divisiveness that such issues cause among members.”
It is worthwhile to read the entire text of the Board's resolution.  The Davis Co-op ended up dedicating a full page of their web-site to the BDS issue and debate at their coop.  This is a preview for what is in store for us, if the proposal moves forward.

Buy Dorot chopped frozen herbs.

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