Guided by a collection of 7 participating Principles, co-ops room owned and governed by your members—not stockholders. The 40,000 co-ops in the U.S. Variety in size from small, neighborhood stores prefer your neighborhood Ace Hardware to $30 exchange rate multi-national institutions like soil O’ Lakes. Cooperative businesses operate throughout virtually every industries, or sectors:

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Co-ops account for a significant portion that economic task in U.S. Farming and food markets. Producer co-ops help farmers buy necessary supplies and also services to operate their individual farms and much more efficiently industry their products. As solitary farms, they i will not ~ have accessibility to this services—or the expense savings the they reinvest in your communities. Acquainted brands include Blue Diamond, Riceland, Florida’s Natural and Ocean Spray.

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The structure and scope of education co-ops vary widely, however they usually loss into among three categories: 1) cumulative purchasing by education institutions, 2) direct shipment of educational solutions to the youngsters of “parent-members” or 3) affiliated worker-owned schools, through teachers together member-owners. State, county, municipal and town governments—as well as independent institution districts—can all have actually a role, depending on state laws.

Financial Services

More than 110 million american belong come a credit union—that’s one-third that the complete U.S. Population. Credit unions can be uncovered in every state and virtually every congressional district. The credit Union nationwide Association (CUNA), based in Washington, D.C. And also Madison, Wisconsin, is the premier national trade association serving America’s credit unions. V its network of affiliated state credit transaction union leagues, CUNA offer America’s virtually 7,000 credit unions.


National Co+op Grocers (NCG), a business services participating for retail food co-ops located across the U.S., right now represents 148 food co-ops operating more than 200 stories in 38 says with a merged annual sales that close to $2 billion. NCG help unify herbal food co-ops to maximize operational and also marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power and ultimately offer an ext value to food co-op owners and also shoppers. Each $1 invested at a food co-op is reinvested right into its local neighborhood at an median rate the 160 percent.


Co-ops and also American medical care date back to the early on 1900s once hospitals formed the more quickly co-op purchasing teams to gain much better access come goods and services. When this role still constrain the sector, the critical 25 years have seen an evolution in the medical care co-op sector: neighborhood pharmacists preserving their freedom through purchasing, employers jointly negotiating far better insurance prices to lower premiums and also prescription costs, worker-owned home care co-ops offer improved working conditions for staff and also provider networks space cooperating to improve rural healthcare.


Housing co-ops have roots in the so late 1800s and also today are mostly concentrated in significant cities like new York, Chicago and also Washington, DC. However, co-op real estate has likewise become an affordable version for college students nationwide. Housing cooperatives sell the much more than 1 million family members who live in them a collective and also democratic ownership structure, restricted liability, reduced costs and also non-profit status.


The very first co-op in the U.S. To be a shared insurance firm founded in 1752 through Benjamin Franklin. Today, mutual and also fraternal insurance companies embrace that history, together they are wholly-owned by their policyholders. V no stockholders, policyholders poll in board elections and profits earned space cycled back into cost savings program or returned to members together dividend checks. When mutual and also fraternals room technically no cooperatives, both re-publishing a major directive of functioning to advantage their members.


Purchasing and also shared solutions co-ops directly help small, independent companies thrive. To buy co-ops understand that consumer still value high quality products, impressive service and also expert advice—especially as soon as it originates from local, trusted business owners who leverage their combined purchasing volumes right into savings and also efficiencies. By to buy in bulk, purchasing cooperatives room able to contend effectively in a marketplace submarine by sleeve chains and huge box stores.

Utility Services

Utility co-ops provide public services like electricity, water and also telecommunications. Electric co-ops account for much more than one-third of the nation’s electric utility industry, powering over 18 million homes, schools and businesses v safe, reliable and also affordable electric service. The national Electric cooperative Association is the national service organization for much more than 900 rural electrical cooperatives and also public strength districts offering retail electric business to an ext than 42 million consumers in 47 states.

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In a worker co-op, members space employees and bosses—they perform the occupational but additionally govern the business democratically with the “one member, one vote” principle. The U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) is the national grassroots membership company for worker co-ops and also is functioning to construct a dynamic activity for autonomous worker-ownership. In current years, worker co-op transitions have permitted businesses to avoid big box buyout or closure. The largest worker co-op in the U.S., participating Home care Associates, has reduced the employee turnover rate in the homecare industry from 60 percent come 15 percent.