Introduction to Coops
A cooperative (also known as a co-op) is a business that
is owned and controlled by the people who use it. Its primary
purpose is to provide goods and/or services to its members
for their mutual benefit. Given below are some statistics
that address the cooperative diversity prevalent today.
- 3200 agricultural cooperatives, with a membership of 3
million, account for around $103 billion in net business
- Credit unions have over 80 million members and assets
in excess of $100 billion.
- Rural electric cooperatives operate more than half of
the electric distribution lines in the United States and
provide electricity for 26 million people.
- There are approximately one million cooperative housing
units serving households with a range of income levels and
- Cooperative health maintenance organizations (HMOs) provide
health care services to nearly 1.4 million American families.
- More than 40,000 different cooperatives provide more than
100 million Americans with a wide range of goods and services
and account for $123 billion in net business volume
- In 2000, there were 213 dairy co-ops of which 157 were
pure bargaining co-ops and 56 were manufacturing/processing