Types of Co-ops
Fredericton Co-op is a consumer/retail Co-op. That means it provides its members with a variety of retail products and services.
There are many other kinds of Co-ops, including Worker Co-ops (which provide the workers who own the Co-op with employment); Housing Co-ops (which provide the owners with affordable housing); Service Co-ops (which provide such services as day care for children, health services, etc.); and Financial Co-ops (such as credit unions and insurance companies .like “The Co-operators”).
Conventional and Direct Charge
Some Co-ops are conventional in style, which means anyone can use or buy their 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. This means that only member/owners of the store (and not the public at large) use or buy its services or products. Savings are returned to the members via excellent prices on quality items (rather than by dividends).
There are Co-ops all around the world. All of these Co-ops operate using Principles that were established 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 owners of a store on Toad Lane. They adopted a firm set of working principles that still exist today with very few changes.