Co-ops are businesses that create value to share among their members. In a co-op, ownership and control is shared equally amongst members who use their co-op. Members of a co-op are people, other businesses, employees or other community stakeholders who work together to achieve a common purpose or outcome.
In broad terms, a successful co-operative harnesses the interests of its members to drive its performance.
Sometimes people feel that a co-operative structure is a good thing in itself, and that by adopting a co-operative structure an enterprise gains an immediate advantage of some kind. It’s important to make the right choice at the outset.
Australia has a proud tradition of agricultural producer co-operatives, and we can point to many excellent examples. In a successful producer co-operative the voice which producers have enables them to shape and improve the co-op’s performance and the ownership they have encourages them to think about the way they use what the co-op offers.
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