What is a co-op?
Co-op is shorthand for a co-operative. A co-operative is a private business organization that is owned and controlled by the people who use its products, supplies or services.
Although co-operatives vary in type and membership size, all are formed to meet the specific objectives of members and are structured to adapt to member’s changing needs. It is a versatile business model that can operate in every sector of the economy and offer virtually any product or service.
During the Industrial Revolution, the co-operative form of business organization was born to promote the interests of the less powerful members of society. Farmers, producers, workers, and consumers found that they could accomplish more collectively than they could individually.
Like many co-operatives, we are a community–focused, democratic business that balances financial and environmental sustainability.
The 7 Co-operative Principles
Co-operatives around the world operate according to the same core principles and values, adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995. Co-operatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern co–operative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844.
- Voluntary & Open Membership
- Democratic Member Control
- Members’ Economic Participation
- Autonomy and Independence
- Education, Training & Information
- Co–operation Among Co-operatives
- Concern for Community
Rules of Association
All co-operatives in British Columbia are regulated by the Co-operative Association Act, and by their own bylaws (called Rules of Association).
We serve our members and community and strengthen our local food system by providing the highest quality, local, sustainable, and organic products at reasonable prices, in a welcoming environment, with exemplary customer service.
We envision thriving communities with resilient food systems, where all people have access to affordable food that is healthy for our bodies, our communities, and the Earth.
- We favour local and regional growers, processors, and producers who are committed to sustainable practices.
- We source organic products when feasible and available.
- We provide fair compensation and a meaningful, just work experience for all employees.
- We promote community dialogue and empowerment through education about food, health, the environment and social justice.
- We are committed to philanthropy, and we support local organizations that enrich our community.
- We strive to equally balance social justice, environmental stewardship and financial responsibility.