Co-op Corner: A Global Movement

This article was originally published in November 2018

As a cooperative, PCC is part of a growing global movement. One in every six people in the world today is a member of a cooperative.

Cooperatives employ roughly 10 percent of the world’s workforce and generate more than 1.2 trillion dollars. There are more than 3 million cooperatives operating around the globe and the number continues to climb.

Does your cooperative membership make a difference? Yes, it does.

Supporting cooperatives, such as PCC, helps sustain the cooperative economy — an economy that adheres to a specific set of values and principles distinct from the goals of mainstream capitalism. The primary difference in cooperative economies is that members participate in the control of cooperative capital.

At PCC, members participate by electing the PCC Board of Trustees that governs and guides our co-op. In this era of partisan politics, co-ops are an alternative model for business that promotes community and participation. As a PCC member, your voice matters — your vote matters — and you help PCC to be the best it can be.

As you consider giving this holiday season — for your friends and family, for charitable donations, or for yourself — consider the economy that your gift-giving contributes to.

What guides the global movement of cooperative economies? There are seven core principles that cooperatives, such as PCC, follow.

  1. Voluntary and open membership available to all.
  2. Democratic member control — members actively participate in cooperative decision-making.
  3. Member economic participation — proceeds help grow our regional sustainable supply chain. Members also receive economic benefits.
  4. Autonomy and independence. PCC is owned by its members. This means the co-op is not funded by private equity, venture capital or stock market funds. Instead, we are accountable only to our member-owners — our community.
  5. Education, training and information. PCC strives to be a leader in sustainability, food, nutrition, cooking, health and wellness.
  6. Cooperation among co-operatives. Cooperatives work together. At PCC, we are pleased to source many products made by cooperative producers. We also support cooperative retailers across the country and are members of the National Co+op Grocers association.
  7. Concern for community. Community is the core of who we are.

What are the core principles that guide you?

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