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For most people "CoOp" brings to mind a local health food store which is owned and run by its members. This is only one example of a cooperative. Cooperatives - community or employee owned businesses or groups - can be formed for businesses of any kind, including cooperative banks (called credit unions), insurance and health care companies, day care, agricultural distribution and housing co-ops. Cooperatives are much more popular than most people realize -- almost a third of American farmers' products are marketed through cooperatives, half of the electricity in rural areas comes from rural electric cooperatives and more than 70 million Americans use credit unions!

As mistrust of corporations grows in America, the cooperative core values of honesty, openness, democracy, social responsibility, and putting people before profits, is attracting more to consider the CoOp model. More than half a million American workers have chosen to take control of their lives and economic choices by being part of employee-owned businesses. Welch's, Sunkist, ACE Hardware and the Associated Press are just some of the many employee-owned companies.

The cooperative movement is growing throughout the world. The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) was formed in 1895 - today it has more than 200 participating organizations with over 800 million members in nearly 100 countries! In 1994, the ICA and International Labor Organization (ILO) launched a global co-operative campaign against poverty, Co-operating Out Of Poverty, urging the worldwide cooperative movement to work together to fight poverty by helping the poor to form cooperatives.

CoOp Day has been celebrated on the first Saturday in July since 1927 to help promote the cooperative movement and the concept of cooperatives as an important community-building and economic model. Since 1930, October has been observed in America as National Co-Op Month to further promote the importance of cooperatives.


BetterWorld Project Resources

Co-Op Day
- First Sat in July
Co-Op Quotes

Handout on CoOps - PDF
(distribute freely, with copyright notice)

Other Links

About International Day of Cooperatives
International Cooperative Information Center
What is the UN International Day of Co-operatives?
Do Your Bit
COPAC and the International Day of Cooperatives

Co-op Month
Quentin Burdick Center's Co-Op Month site

What's a Coop?
What is a Cooperative?
International Co-operative Alliance
Cooperatives in the ILO
COPAC (Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives)

Promote Co-operate Out Of Poverty Campaign
Ideas for Celebrating Co-op Month
Find a CoOp near you




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