Simply put, a cooperative is a business that is voluntarily owned by the people who use it, and is operated for the benefit of its owners. These owners are united by common principles to bring about results that would be unobtainable by a single person.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME
Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative owners believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
A co-op is what working together looks like all grown up. From the outside, a co-op might look like any other business, but it’s what goes on behind the scenes that makes it different.
A cooperative exists to serve its members, but what makes co-ops unique is that the members are also the owners. So, in addition to getting the products and services you need, you also have a say in the business decisions your co-op makes.
Rather than rewarding outside investors with its profits, a co-op returns surplus revenue to its members in proportion to how much they use the co-op. This democratic approach to business results in a powerful economic force that benefits the co-op, its members and the communities it serves.
THE CO-OP SIOUX FALLS EXISTS SO THERE WILL BE A VIBRANT COMMUNITY THAT:
Has access to sustainable, healthy and fairly traded goods and services
Champions the cooperative business model
Is better educated about food and social responsibility
Supports and strengthens the local economy
Enjoys a Higher Quality of Life
WHY CO-OPS MATTER
Cooperation means working together towards the same end, and joining forces to accomplish a task that one can’t achieve alone. Co-ops provide the framework that allows people to get what they want in a way that better meets their economic, social and cultural needs.
And because cooperation builds strong bonds between the people who use products and the people who supply them, co-ops offer a way to transform the way business is done. Co-ops give you the opportunity to get the products and services you need on a daily basis while strengthening the community around you.
In addition to our co-op’s commitment to serving its owners, we adhere to a set of seven principles that help guide the business. And as a result, we help to set a standard for the surrounding business community with a commitment to environmental and social responsibility.
THE SEVEN CO-OP PRINCIPLES
Co-ops are based on values not unlike those we subscribe to individually, including self-responsibility, democracy, equality, honesty and social responsibility.
Additionally, there are seven basic international principles that serve as guidelines to provide a democratic structure for co-ops around the world. While adoption of these principles is not required, most co-ops choose to adopt them for their business.
1. Voluntary and open membership
2. Democratic member control
3. Member economic participation
4. Autonomy and independence
5. Education, training, and information
6. Cooperation among cooperatives
7. Concern for community