TYPES OF CO-OPS
Fredericton Co-op is a consumer/retail Co-op. That means it provides its members with a variety of products and services that its members want to buy.
There are many other kinds of Co-op’s, including Worker Co-op’s (which provide the workers who own the Co-op with employment); Housing Co-op’s (which provide the owners with affordable housing); Service Co-op’s (which provide such services as day care for children, health services etc) and Financial Co-op’s (such as credit unions and insurance companies ..as in “The Co-Operators”)
CONVENTIONAL AND DIRECT CHARGE
Some Co-op’s are conventional in style, which means anyone can use/buy its products or services and the owners receive dividends. These dividends are usually determined by the individual enterprises depending on how successful they are each year. Fredericton Co-op is a “direct charge” Co-op, whereby owners of the store (and not the public at large) use/buy its services/products. Members pay a “service fee” which help with the operating costs of the store (such as heat, wages, maintenance etc.)
There are Co-op’s all around the world. All of these Co-op’s operate using Principles that were initiated over 150 years ago. In Rochdale England in 1844 the first successful retail Co-op was begun. A group of 28 flannel weavers, calling themselves the Society of Equitable Pioneers, were the owner of the store on Toad Lane. They adopted a firm set of working principles that still exist today with very few changes.