Consumer Cooperatives


Consumer cooperatives are enterprises that are owned and managed by consumers. Consumer cooperatives aim at fulfilling basic needs and are orientated towards service rather than profit. Consumer cooperatives often take the form of popularly-owned shops and stores. In New Zealand, most consumer cooperatives are food distributors, often supplying locally sourced produce. An increasingly popular form of consumer cooperative is the credit union, which is a banking or financial institution that is owned by the people who use it. In the United States, people have shifted billions of dollars out of commercial banks and into credit unions in recent years. Consumer cooperatives can build system-changing connections to worker cooperatives and other democratic forms of economic organisations. In some cases around the world, worker cooperatives collective produce goods and commodities, while consumer cooperatives democratically organise distribution and consumption. Consumer cooperatives cannot be overlooked as a means for ordinary people to assert control over parts of the economic system.

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