Cooperatives (Co-ops)

Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union

In August 2012, a delegation of the Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union toured co-ops in Cleveland, Ohio; Iowa; and Washington, D.C. (where this interview was conducted). Founded in 1965 as a buying club by 200 housewives in Tokyo, today the Seikatsu (“lifestyle” or “living”) co-ops have over 340,000 members. Together, network enterprises have an annual turnover of US $1 billion. Today, over 600 worker co-ops employ over 17,000 people in such businesses as food distribution, food preparation, catering, recycling, childcare and education.

Evergreen Cooperatives 2012

This new video highlights the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative's achievements to date, including breaking ground on Green City Growers, and the central role of worker-owners in making it happen. Read more about Evergreen Cooperatives 2012...

Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work

This new documentary highlights the work of the Mondragon Cooperatives as well as companies across the United States, such as the Evergreen Cooperatives, which are owned and governed democratically by their employees. Airing on PBS stations across the country in the summer of 2014, the film includes interviews with the Democracy Collaborative's Ted Howard. Find out about the Washington, D.C. premiere here.

International Summit of Cooperatives

October 8th, 2012 to October 11th, 2012
Quebec City, Canada

In this four-day conference, participants will focus on economic and financial issues surrounding the cooperative movement, examine major international development trends, and discuss strategies for current and future business challenges.

Read more about International Summit of Cooperatives...

Documentary films tell the story of the new economy

Cooperative and community based models highlighted

An exciting movement towards new cooperative business models and community wealth building strategies is gaining momentum and recognition, and there is a veritable bumper crop of recent documentary films testifying to this new interest in the new economy.  As communities throughout the country innovate and cooperative businesses develop and flourish despite a struggling economy, these films offer a compelling portrait of an alternative vision.

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Employee ownership legislation in the Senate

Bills would help expand worker-owned business

On July 23rd, 2012, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced two bills to support the expansion of employee owned businesses in the US.  The underlying rationale behind the legislation focuses on the increased productivity and stability of businesses in which employees are also owners.  By helping employee ownership and participation in businesses to become more widespread across the United States, the two bills would help preserve jobs and build a stronger economy.

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Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution

Marjorie Kelly

As long as businesses are set up to focus exclusively on maximizing financial income for the few, our economy will be locked into endless growth and widening inequality. But now people across the world are experimenting with new forms of ownership, which Kelly calls generative: aimed at creating the conditions for all of life to thrive for many generations to come. These designs may hold the key to the deep transformation our civilization needs.

To understand these emerging alternatives, Kelly reports from across the globe, visiting a community-owned wind facility in Massachusetts, a lobster cooperative in Maine, a multibillion-dollar employee-owned department-store chain in London, a foundation-owned pharmaceutical in Denmark, a farmer-owned dairy in Wisconsin, and other places where a hopeful new economy is being built. Along the way, she finds the five essential patterns of ownership design that make these models work.

Evergreen Cooperatives

Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the Evergreen Cooperatives are pioneering models of job creation, wealth building, and sustainability. Their companies are employee-owned and for profit and are proud to say they are based locally and hire locally. The create green jobs that are meaningful to the Cleveland community and keep important financial resources within the Greater University Circle Neighborhoods. Worker-owners at Evergreen earn a living wage and are able to build equity in the firms as owners of the business. 

  Read more about Evergreen Cooperatives...

Southern States Cooperative

In 1923, 150 farmers met in Richmond and decided to pool their funds so that they could purchase better quality seed suited to Virginia lands. Today, that gathering has grown to become one of the nation's largest farmer cooperatives, at over 200,000 members. The cooperative purchases, manufactures, or processes feed, seed, fertilizer, farm supplies, and fuel. Southern States Cooperative has also developed a hybrid corn research program, established a chain of feed testing and research farms, and acquired a wholesale and retail farm supply company. 

Snake River Sugar Company

The Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC is owned by Snake River Sugar Company, a grower owned Cooperative. It is headquartered in Boise, Idaho with processing plants in Paul, Twin Falls, and Nampa, Idaho. In addition, Amalgamated owns or leases warehouses and bulk transfer stations at strategic locations from the Midwest to the West Coast.

Read more about Snake River Sugar Company...

Isthmus Engineering

Owned as a worker cooperative by its 29 employees, Isthmus Engineering and Manufacturing provides advanced solutions in industrial automation, with the cooperative structure providing an oasis of stability and steady growth since 1980, an exception in a manufacturing sector all too prone to disruption and job loss. Read more about Isthmus Engineering...

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Founded in 1929, NCFC is a trade association of nearly two million farmers and ranchers. NCFC members include nearly 50 national, regional and federated farmer cooperatives, which, in turn, are comprised of some 3,000 local cooperatives, and 27 state and regional councils. Read more about National Council of Farmer Cooperatives...

Cooperation Works!

A national organization of 17 rural-based cooperative development centers, CooperationWorks! helps its members work together to revitalize communities through effective cooperative enterprise development. Members provide expertise across all aspects of cooperative development, including feasibility analysis, business plan development, training and education. Read more about Cooperation Works!...

Center for Cooperatives

The Center for Cooperatives at the University of Wisconsin conducts research, training, and education on cooperatives. Its web site includes an extensive clearinghouse of information on nearly all sectors of the cooperative movement. Read more about Center for Cooperatives...

Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE)

The Association of Cooperative Educators is an association of co-op educators, based primarily in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The association holds an annual conference of cooperative practitioners who teach cooperative educators and trainers. Read more about Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE)...