The International Year of Cooperatives has been an exciting time to showcase successful cooperatives and their impact. Whether it is bringing fresh, local food through a food co-op, affordable financial services through a credit union or affordable homeownership through a housing cooperative, cooperatives help strengthen communities.
As cooperatives, we know that our model of business is successful and sustainable. Our challenge is to tell more people in decisions-making positions and in the media, about the scope, size and scale of the cooperative model, its impact on the economy, its sustainability, and the work it does to build communities across the world.
IYC 2012 has offered tremendous exposure to cooperatives across the globe. Reading the cooperative stories on stories.coop and watching the videos on National Cooperative Grocers Association's "Stronger Together" website have provided wonderful opportunities for cooperatives to tell their story. But we need to keep marketing the cooperative difference.
Recently NCB partnered with the National Cooperative Business Association to develop CooperateUSA.coop and CooperateUSA mobile app. CooperateUSA is the most comprehensive directory of U.S. cooperatives making it easier than ever to locate co-ops so you can shop, bank and live cooperatively. I encourage you to download this free app and find co-ops near you!
NCB’s Co-op 100 list is just another tool to help promote cooperatives and the impact these businesses make in our economy. In 2011, the top 100 Cooperatives generated nearly $216 billion in revenue, an increase of 11% from 2010. We also saw 6 new editions to the list including; MFA Oil Company, Co-alliance, Select Milk Producers, Inc., Cooperative Producers, Inc, Truepoint Cooperative and United Farmers Cooperative.
Like our Co-op 100 audiences, we are eager to see which co-ops make the list, how they rank compared to the previous year, and what kinds of revenues they’re generating. This year, as always, we are delighted to see that co-ops continue to grow and expand, providing vital services to their community and members.
Charles E. Snyder
President & CEO, NCB