While the modern co-operative movement has been in existence for more than one hundred and fifty years — and its roots go back even further in history — the co-op business model has been receiving renewed attention in recent years, most recently with the United Nations' designation of 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives.
What makes a co-op unique is that it is owned and democratically governed by its members, an autonomous association of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
A co-operative can be used to accomplish almost any purpose: to fulfill a need, obtain a product or service, produce a product or service, or secure employment.
Around the world, co-ops operate in all sectors of the economy, from agricultural and fishery co-ops to food co-ops, industrial manufacturing to financial services, health care to the arts.
The purpose of the enterprise it not to accumulate profit for investors, but to meet the goals and aspirations of its members.
So how does that translate into what we do here at Natural Abundance Food Co-op?
It means that we provide the type of products you want for the lowest price possible and any surplus generated by us is reinvested in our business or returned to our members based on their use of services.
Learn more about what it means to be a member of Natural Abundance Food Co-op.