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Growing a Co-op Presenter — Carol Murray BC Co-operative Association Cowichan ~ March 2, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Growing a Co-op Presenter — Carol Murray BC Co-operative Association Cowichan ~ March 2, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Growing a Co-op Presenter — Carol Murray BC Co-operative Association Cowichan ~ March 2, 2013

2  A co-operative is any enterprise which is collectively owned and democratically controlled by its users for their mutual benefit.

3 Seven Principles of Co-operatives Worldwide 1 - Voluntary and open membership 2 - Democratic Member Control 3 - Member Economic Participation 4 - Autonomy and Independence 5 - Education, Training and Information 6 - Co-operation among Co-operatives 7 - Concern for Community

4  Producer co-ops  Consumer co-ops  Worker co-ops  Multi-stakeholder co-ops

5  For-profit co-ops can issue investment shares, whereas not-for-profit co-ops cannot  Not-for-profit co-ops can’t issue patronage dividends to members  Not-for-profit co-ops in BC are called “Community Service Co-ops”

6  City Harvest is an urban farming co-operative in Victoria that transforms backyards and unused urban spaces into thriving food gardens, providing an abundance of healthy, accessible food for our communities and a sustainable livelihood for its members.

7  The Kootenay Co-op in Nelson prides itself on offering a one-stop shopping experience of quality, healthy foods with nutritional integrity and an extensive range of vitamins, minerals and natural remedies and supplements.

8  Founded in 1975 in Vancouver, the Co-op initially operated as a volunteer-run buying club in a warehouse location at a time when it was hard to get natural foods, particularly in bulk. The objective was to put food shopping profits in local pockets. Today, the store is professionally managed and run by unionized staff.

9  Welcome to the the Kettle Valley Food Co- op’s online shopping system! Producers and Shoppers come together here on a weekly basis to buy and sell local products.

10  We are a co-operative: any profit we make we return it to you, our members, (as dividends) after paying our expenses (operating expenses) and building the business (retained earnings). We are here to build a thriving Boundary food system, not to make money for shareholders.  Please join us and help ensure that this Co-op will succeed at our three primary goals: Provide access to quality agricultural products grown in the Kettle Valley. Our vision is to facilitate year round production of- -and access to--local food. Link farmers to consumers through good food, consumer supported agriculture, farm visits, or other programmes. Build our farming economy by offering fair pricing to farmers and supporting services to help them be successful.

11  This non-profit agricultural co-op’s main mandate is to promote its members and their locally grown products. It also promotes sustainable agriculture and speaks as a unified voice for its members.

12 1. Group Development 2. Needs & Opportunities 3. Co-op Suitability 4. Development of your Idea or Concept 5. Determining the Co-op Structure 6. Feasibility Study/Business Plan 7. Incorporating your Co-op 8. Internal Structure & Roles 9. Maintenance, Aftercare & Growth

13  Get your group together  Who are your members?  How will you make money?

14  Address a common need that individuals cannot meet alone  All members own and control the enterprise  Members benefit in proportion to their use of the co-operative Advantages for Members

15 Advantages for Communities Provides local goods & services, stable jobs and economic opportunities Retains wealth and control in the community Builds local leadership & business skills Builds communities through providing services

16 Thank You! For more information, visit:


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