What is a Cooperative?


A cooperative is a business. In many ways, they're like any other business; but in several important ways they're unique and different.


  • Are owned and democratically controlled by their members-the people who use the co-op’s services or buy its goods-not by outside investors
  • Co-op members elect their board of directors from within the membership
  • United voluntarily to meet their common economic goals for their mutual benefit
  • All of the profits of the coop are returned to its members annually in proportion to their purchases from Central.


  • Capital is provided by members based upon their purchases from the cooperative
  • Profits distributed based upon the members purchases from the cooperative relative to all other members
  • 100% of profits distributed as patronage earnings for the year less amount held back for contingencies, reasonable reserves, and capital expenditures
  • Rebates (profits) paid out annually in October for fiscal year ending July
  • Effective with fiscal year 2011 rebates will be paid quarterly in advance at 50% of the previous year’s rebate % with the balance paid in October
  • Open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership
  • Central is controlled by their members, who participate in setting policies and making decisions.
  • Provide education and training for their members

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