Durango Natural Foods Co-op

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Durango Natural Foods Co-op

Why Co-ops?

What’s to love about food co-ops? So much! Co-ops have a cool way of doing things differently. They’re people working together for better food, stronger communities and a healthier world. And cooperative grocers are making a big impact. A new study quantifies the impact food co-ops have as compared to conventional grocery stores. READ MORE HERE.

The Co-op Distinction

How is Durango Natural Foods Co-op different from a corporation?

A Corporation:

A corporation is a group of people authorized by law to act as a legal personality and having its own powers, duties and liabilities. Generally corporations are organized to limit any liability to the owners of the corporation in the case of failure and to reap profits for the owners in the case of success. Most corporations are run from the top down with an eye toward the “bottom line” of profit.

 

A Cooperative:

A cooperative is a group of people that come together to serve the needs of themselves and their communities in an alternative financial model which adheres first and foremost to the Cooperative Principles (see below for the 7 Cooperative Principles). Cooperatives are run by democratic control and have a commitment not only to a bottom line of profit but to a triple bottom line. That being: people, planet and profit.

One of the greatest differences between a corporation and a cooperative is the ability of the customer of a cooperative to become an owner. Most corporations are either privately held and closed to outside investment, or they are publicly owned where the people who have the largest percentage of stock have the largest percentage of control and reap the highest percentage of profits.

In a cooperative it is one share, one vote. Each cooperative owner has the same influence as the next, there is no one person or group of people who make all the decisions and reap all the profits. There is no way for an owner to become a “majority” owner of the cooperative.

When there is a profit in a corporation the profit is shared by the private owners or by the stockholders according to how many shares they own. In a cooperative, the profit is shared by the owners based on their patronage of the business and usually after a substantial amount of capital is put back into the business for its improvement and invested in various ways into education and community enhancement as well.

At the co-op it is all about working together in cooperation.

We go beyond low prices for natural and organic food, when you choose to shop at the co-op you are supporting a business that supports it’s members, employees and the entire community through education, delicious local and organic food, and environmental awareness.

 

For a visual description click on this link: Distinction_-Coop_-Corp

 

The 7 Cooperative Principles:

1. VOLUNTARY AND OPEN MEMBERSHIP

Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able to use its services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

2. DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.

3. MEMBERS’ ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION

Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.

4. AUTONOMY AND INDEPENDENCE

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the cooperative’s autonomy.

5. EDUCATION, TRAINING AND INFORMATION

Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.

6. COOPERATION AMONG COOPERATIVES

Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

7. CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY

While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.

 

How to become a member:

A full membership is $100 – payable yearly, quarterly or monthly in $20 payments. What do you get? A neighborhood store, a personalized shopping experience, products provided based on a solid product policy based on your health. You also get member exclusive deals every day on products you already buy. Once a quarter we have a member/owner day where each member/owner receives 10% off their entire basket. If you ever move away your equity is always refundable in full.