October is National Co-op Month, a good time to connect with the virtues of the cooperative business model and its positive effects on families, communities and the environment. Let’s just take a look at some of the reasons co-ops rock:
Cooperatives are democratic organizations that are equally owned and controlled by a group of people. AFC is a consumer-owned co-op. There are co-ops in every sector of the economy and include worker co-ops, credit unions, agricultural co-ops, producer co-ops and more. In a co-op, each member has one vote.
Because community members democratically own co-ops, co-ops keep money and jobs in their communities.
Co-ops provide practical solutions to many economic, environmental and social problems.
Co-ops are an empowering means for self-help and solidarity.
Co-op owners equally share the burden in hard times and equally share the benefits in the good times.
Co-ops are more resilient. When times are tough, co-op members pull together to work out creative solutions.
Co-ops are part of an international grassroots movement that is growing in size and influence every day. There are one billion co-op members globally.
Co-ops strive to make our communities and economies more just and equitable.
Every co-op is flexible enough to fit different community and individual needs. There are co-ops with thousands of owners and co-ops with only three owners. There’s no one right way to do a co-op.
Co-ops are viable alternatives for meeting the social and economic needs of communities without exploiting people or the planet.
Across the Pacific Northwest, hundreds of co-ops provide goods and services as well as livelihoods for local workers. This active cooperative community is working to increase awareness of the many benefits of the cooperative business model and to encourage the growth of new and existing cooperatives. Each time you shop at AFC, you are part of a movement that believes business is better when it’s in the hands of the people. Go Co-op!