What Are Co-ops?

Co-ops (cooperatives) are member-owned and member-governed businesses that operate for the benefit of their members according to common principles agreed upon by the international cooperative community. In coops, members pool resources to bring about economic results that are unobtainable by one person alone.

Most grocery store cooperatives are consumer cooperatives, which means that they are owned by the people who shop at the stores. Members exercise their ownership by shopping in the store and voting in elections. The members elect a board of directors to hire, guide ,and evaluate the general manager who runs day to day operations.

While traveling down the aisles of your favorite grocery store, you most likely fill it with products from many cooperatives – Sunkist citrus, Blue Diamond Almonds, American Crystal Sugar, Riceland Rice, Cabot Cheese, Land O' Lakes products, and Welch's grape juice. From food, to housing, to childcare, to electricity, to credit unions, co-ops touch our lives every day. Take a look around you to see how many times your purchases benefit a cooperative.

Facts about Cooperatives

Click on the link above for a presentation given at the Indiana Cooperative Development Center Summit. 

Seven Cooperative Principles

1. Voluntary and Open Membership

2. Democratic Member Control

3. Member Economic ParticipationIMG_0652.jpg

4. Autonomy and Independence

5. Education, Training, & Information

6. Cooperative Among Cooperatives

7. Concern for Community

Co-ops by the Number

In the United States, there are more than 29,000 cooperatives with 120,000,000 memners. 

Cooperatives in the United States generate 2,000,000 jobs and make a substantial contribution to the economy of the United States with annual sales of $652,000,000,000 and assets of $3,000,000,000,000. 

Cooperatives are a major economic force in developed countries and a powerful business model in developing countries, employing approximately 100,000,000 people.  

There are millions of cooperatives, which are owned and governed by more than 1,000,000,000 members, operating in every nation of the world.  

The economic activity of the largest 300 cooperatives in the world is equal to that of the 10th largest national economy.  

Provided by the National Cooperative Business Association --- www.ncba.coop


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