What is a cooperative? Why Cooperative?
A cooperative is a private business that is owned and controlled by the people who use its products, supplies, or services. Historically, cooperatives began to form during the Industrial Revolution as a useful way to promote the interests of less powerful members of society. Farmers, producers, workers, and consumers found that they could accomplish more collectively than they could individually.
Well-Known National Cooperatives:
- REI – consumer cooperative
- ACE Hardware – retailer-owned cooperative
- Organic Valley – farmer-owned organic cooperative
- Land O’Lakes – member-owned agricultural cooperative
- Aurora Cooperative Elevator – member owned agricultural marketing cooperative
- University of Nebraska Federal Credit Union – a member-owned financial cooperative
- Open Harvest – member-owned grocery store (retail) cooperative
- Nebraska Food Cooperative – member-owned producer/distributor cooperative
- Wild Flour Grocer – multi-owner retail and community space
NCDC can help your community!
Are you concerned that a business in your community, like your grocery store, restaurant or daycare, will not transition into the future? Your community could save these businesses and minimize the risk by working together. NCDC has worked in a number of communities establishing grocery store cooperatives in Nebraska. For example, the Elwood Hometown Cooperative Market opened in 2013 after the local grocery store closed in 2012.