In October, National Co-op Month gives us a lot to celebrate! We honor the spirit of cooperation and a model of business that: builds community; strengthens relationships; empowers people to collectively realize their social and economic aspirations.
One in three Americans belongs to at least one cooperatively-run business, with many belonging to multiple co-ops. In the United States, there are over 29,000 co-ops serving community needs – from natural food stores (over 400) to banks (credit unions are co-ops), manufacturers to farmers – and everything in between. With over 20 cooperatively run businesses in Vernon County alone, a co-op likely provides you with services you rely on every day.
So what differentiates the cooperative model from other business models? It all starts with the Seven International Cooperative Principles:
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
2. Democratic Member Control
3. Member Economic Participation
4. Autonomy and Independence
5. Education, Training, and Information
6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
7. Concern for Community
These principles are the common thread that runs through every cooperative business, and they provide the framework for a business run by and for the people it serves.
As a cooperatively run business, the Viroqua Food Co+op plays an important role in our community. From partnering with local farmers and producers to build the local food economy to creating a community space where everyone is welcome.
At the Viroqua Food Co+op, our mission combines a commitment to natural foods, superior customer service, and building a Cooperative business. We emphasize organic and local foods and products to promote the long-term health of individuals and the environment.
Here are three ways you can support the mission of the Viroqua Food Co+op and help build the cooperative economy:
• If you aren’t already, become a Co-op member.
• Vote in the Co-op elections.
• Shop at the Co-op.
During the month of October, stop in and sign up to win one of our giveaways of Co-op products and more!