Co-ops and you!

Contact Us

University of Wisconsin
Center for Cooperatives
230 Taylor Hall
427 Lorch Street
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: 608-262-3981


Types of Co-ops

Co-ops are differentiated in a number of ways. One such classification is based on their function and below are the different types of co-ops under that classification.

Marketing co-ops are cooperatives formed to sell products. Initially, most were involved in marketing agricultural goods, but today this has changed to include a wide variety of products. The work that they do also varies. Some marketing co-ops limit their activity to simply negotiating prices and terms of sales with buyers. Others primarily collect similar products together and assemble them into larger quantities to processors, wholesalers or retailers. Some examples of marketing cooperatives are Land O’Lakes, Sunkist, Blue Diamond.

Purchasing co-ops
purchase supplies and goods and sell them at a reduced price to members. This reduces member costs. First used by farmers to gain access to affordable and quality supplies like feed, fertilizer etc, purchasing co-ops are now found everywhere offering a wide range of low cost goods and services. Some examples of purchasing cooperatives are ACE Hardware, Carpet One.

Service co-ops, as their name suggests, provide services. They are similar to the other co-ops discussed above in the sense that they also provide a wide variety of services and were initially formed to serve farmers. Credit Unions, Health Care providers are just some examples of service co-ops.

For specific examples of co-ops, click here

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