Whether it is bringing fresh, local food through a food co-op, competitive financial services through a credit union, or affordable homeownership through a housing cooperative, cooperatives help strengthen communities.
In 2016 the top 100 co-ops in the United States generated $208 billion in revenue. Co-ops exist in many sectors, including agriculture, grocery, hardware and lumber, finance, energy, communications, housing, and recreation. As you scan the Co-op 100 list, you will recognize some familiar names, that you may be surprised to learn are co-ops. Land O’Lakes, Navy Federal Credit Union, ACE Hardware, REI and Ocean Spray are just a few well-known names on the list.
The Co-op 100 also highlights the various ways co-ops commit to their members, sustainability, education, impact, kindness, and their community, including:
• Ocean Spray Cranberry farmers conserve on average 5.4 acres of non-cropland that supports wildlife and biodiversity for every acre in cranberry production. This is equivalent to 189,000 acres, or more than 143,000 football fields.
• Boeing Employees Credit Union closes its branches once a year to send its 1,700+ employees to local high schools to host a Financial Realty Fair, teaching smart money management strategies to teens.
• In June, Cabot Creamery Co-operative honored 60 volunteers aboard their Community Celebrity Cruise to Alaska. The cruise honors those that go above and beyond in their community, much like the 1,100 farm family owners of Cabot do in their local communities.
What is a co-op?
A cooperative is a business that is organized, owned and governed by the people who use its products or services. Those people are called member-owners, and they own the co-op. They share the costs, the earnings, and they also have a voice in its operations and policies through a board of directors elected from among the members.
Co-ops benefit their members by taking advantage of economies of scale, combined buying power and strength in numbers to save money and return profits. In the process, co-ops provide millions of jobs, support business and personal needs, and enhance quality of life. A cornerstone of America’s economy, co-ops have been empowering people, developing communities and supporting innovation in this country for more than 100 years.
Learn about the top 100 co-ops and their impact by viewing the entire NCB Co-op 100 report.