Harvest Co-op Members Asked Whether National Co+op Grocers Should Buy Co-op

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The Harvest Co-op's board is continuing to search for ways the market can stay open amid financial troubles. On Tuesday morning, Harvest's board of directors sent out an email detailing the latest possibility of the National Co+op Grocers (NCG) purchasing Harvest's assets.

Richard Heath

The Harvest Co Op in Forest Hills

In May, the Harvest Co-op board sent a letter stating that $300,000 needed to be raised by August or the co-ops two locations, Jamaica Plain and Cambridge, would close.

With this recent explorative relationship with NCG, Harvest has accepted a small loan while Harvest and NCG evaluate if it's in the best interest for NCG to take over Harvest's assets.

On August 6, Harvest Co-op will have a community town hall to hear from its board and NCG about the proposal and for questions. The time of and location of that meeting have not been confirmed yet.

Below is the recent letter sent by Harvest Co-op's board:

Dear Harvest community,

Last week, we sent an email to active equity member- and employee-owners*, describing a proposal brought to the Board by National Co+op Grocers (NCG)—a cooperative of food cooperatives—as a solution to address the financial crisis Harvest is currently facing.

On Wednesday, we held a virtual public board meeting where we voted unanimously to move forward in good faith with due diligence to determine whether the proposal from NCG to invest in a new consumer food cooperative that will purchase Harvest's assets is in the best interest of Harvest Co-op Markets.

What does this mean? It means that Harvest has accepted a small additional loan from NCG, allowing NCG time to do their due diligence and the Board time to gather feedback from member- and employee-owners and the community. Both Harvest and NCG have the option to not go forward with this proposal after due diligence has been explored. Harvest will continue operations in the meantime.

We know the Harvest community has questions about this proposal and what it means for Harvest, member- and employee-owners, and the like. We have put together a document describing the proposal and answers to questions we have heard, based on what we know currently. On August 6, we will have a community town hall to hear from the Board and NCG about this proposal and to ask questions. We will send notice of this meeting as soon as the time and location have been confirmed.

In the meantime, we hope that you can attend this screening of “14 Reasons to Shop at Harvest Co-op” on July 26 in Somerville.

Thanks for all you do to support Harvest,

Your Harvest Co-op Markets Board of Directors

* An active equity member-owner is one who is current or fully-vested on equity payments and has shopped at Harvest within the past year.