Saturday, 13 January 2018

How Individuals Harness the Power of Many

Large groups of people, just like large corporations, have the advantage of economies of scale when it comes to buying power. Products and services purchased in bulk cost less money than purchasing the same items one at a time. Individuals have been wielding the power of many for decades through cooperatives. The earliest cooperatives were formed by family farmers banding together to get better pricing and services.

Basic Principles

Cooperatives, such as the River Country Cooperative, are based on three principles. The first is that the people who use the cooperative (co-op) are the people who own it. It is the called the User-Owned principle. The User-Control principle indicates that those who use the co-op also govern it. The principle that allows all members to share in the profits is called the User-Benefit principle.

Products and Services

Each cooperative decides what products and services will benefit the membership. Some focus entirely on food items, while others are more diversified. Most will expand as they grow to include more and more areas of operation.

An agricultural co-op, for example, will have feed and grain products and services for livestock and pets. It may also include agriculture and commercial energy products, such as diesel gasoline, tractor fluid, and engine oil. Many will offer items to the general public to increase profits via convenience stores with gas pumps, home heating oil and delivery, or a repair shop for farming vehicles and machinery.


Membership is not mandatory to take advantage of some services and products. People can patronize stores that are open to the public and participate in programs. Those people; however, do not have the opportunity to share in the annual profits of the cooperative. Becoming a member is quick and easy so why not join to save money and share profits?

Ask about membership the next time the family stops by a store, or visit site for details. Information on all products and services, as well as annual reports are available for visitors to browse. Once an understanding is gain about what a cooperative is and the benefits of joining, it is likely you will want to become a member.

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