What Is a Cooperative?

Cooperatives are everywhere helping people meet their needs through common effort.

Cooperatives have a special commitment to helping their members and their communities adapt to the times. That’s because cooperatives unlike many businesses are locally owned and operated.

Cooperatives are part of the self-help tradition of America.

Cooperatives are businesses organized by people to provide needed goods and services.

Cooperatives are member-owned businesses that:

  • Provide an economic benefit for their members.
  • Are democratic organizations, controlled by the members.
  • Are autonomous and independent.
  • Recognize the importance of education about cooperative business and organizational needs.
  • Support cooperation among cooperatives, which has resulted in the growing importance of cooperatives in today’s global economy.
  • Exhibit concern for their communities.