Happy Co-op Week!
Co-operatives have been playing an integral part in their communities since their inception, it's simply a different way of doing business! A Co-op is not a store, an office, or a town. A co-op is its members. It is the team that works at our locations and the guests that shop there, all those who own an equal stake in the business and share the rewards. We are all part of Otter Co-op, and since we are celebrating Co-ops this week, how about a few fast facts?
What is a Co-op?
Co-operatives, as opposed to corporations, are owned by their members who each have an equal stake in the business. Co-operatives are therefore responsible for representing the interests of their members, who can vote on big business decisions as well as the Co-op's board of directors. Membership is ownership, and every member has one vote.
What is Otter Co-op?
Otter Co-op is the locally owned and operated Co-op founded in Aldergrove, BC. As we have grown, we have expanded with locations throughout the Fraser Valley and BC Interior. Our member-owners are the people who live in these communities and purchase a membership for the one-time fee of $10. They vote on who they would like our Board of Directors to be, share in the profits we make, and drive our decisions to invest in the communities we all call home.
What is the Co-op Retailing System?
Otter Co-op is entirely local, and just as our member-owners make up Otter, so too is Otter part of a larger network of co-operatives called the Co-operative Retailing System. Every individual Co-op in Western Canada owns Federated Co-operatives Limited which is a wholesale, manufacturing, marketing and administrative co-operative. Together, we are able to expand our buying power and source, produce, and distribute a large variety of products to our locations. While we are part of a bigger system, we remain locally owned and operated, which means our business decisions are done in the interest of our members right here at home.
Why are Co-ops Important?
Co-operatives are important not only because they are born out of a community, but because they continue to serve it long afterwards. We wouldn't be here today if it were not for a small group of farmers nearly 100 years ago that came together to provide better buying options for their families, friends and neighbours. We continue to live this mission by providing a great selection of local products, giving back to our member-owners, and investing in our communities through partnerships, sponsorships and donations. We are committed to this mission because these communities are our home too.
Together, we are a profitable business. Together, we give back to our community. Together, we are Co-op.