A Cooperative is a business owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services. Law dictates that profits generated by a Cooperative be distributed among Owners or re-invested in the business to expand products and services. There are several different types of co-ops: consumer co-ops such as Prairie Food Co-op, producer co-ops such as Organic Valley, worker co-ops such as Equal Exchange, and housing co-ops. Credit unions (maybe you belong to one!) are financial co-ops.
In food co-ops such as ours, you become an owner by buying two shares of the business — joining with your neighbors to provide the money that allows the co-op to exist. Your investment demonstrates that you support the mission of Prairie Food Co-op - to open a full service grocery store dedicated to strengthening our local economy and supporting local, sustainable food production. Your investment helps create a more responsible and just food system.
Food co-ops are not a new idea or niche market. There are more than 250 food co-ops in the US that generate over $1.4 billion in annual revenue and owned by over 1.3 million consumer Owners. Collectively, food co-ops are the third largest buyer of natural foods.
The Co-op Difference
- Supporting Local Food Systems
- Employment and Job Quality
- Economic Impact
- Environmental Stewardship
- Promoting Healthy & Sustainable Foods.
Food co-ops are different from a typical chain grocer in many ways. In fact, the United Nations declared 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives to highlight the important role that cooperatives play in creating employment and strengthening communities across the globe.