A co-op is a community-owned and democratically-governed business – in our case, a full-service grocery store. We’re working together for better food, stronger farms and communities, transparent growing practices, and a healthier world. Although anyone can shop at the co-op, owners receive a number of benefits and have a say in how the business is run.
Co-ops are also committed to ethical business practices, to sustainability, and, in the case of a food co-op, to providing fresh, locally grown food. They serve as centers for the community, and they are committed to making an impact – economically, socially, and environmentally – in the communities they serve.
That’s what we’re hoping to do, and we hope you’ll join us…
So, what’s to love about food co-ops? Check out his great video to hear about the way food co-ops impact their communities!
You might also like this video produced by the International Labor Organization (ILO). It gives an inspiring overview of what a cooperative is.
The Seven Principles of Co-ops:
1. Voluntary and Open Membership Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able to use its services and willing to accept the rights and responsibilities of membership, without discrimination.
2. Democratic Member Control Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative, and who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. One member = one vote.
3. Members’ Economic Participation Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. Profits are distributed back to members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.
4. Autonomy and Independence Cooperatives are autonomous organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, they do so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintain the cooperative’s autonomy.
5. Education, Training and Information Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative. They also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.
6. Cooperation among Cooperatives Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together.
7. Concern for Community While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.