Why A Co-Op?
We are an incorporated food co-op. A co-op is a businesses owned and run by and for their members. Whether the members are the customers, employees or suppliers they have an equal say in what the business does and a share in the profits.
As businesses driven by values and not just profit, co-operatives share internationally agreed principles and act together to build a better world through co-operation.
As outlined by the International Cooperative Alliance.
Voluntary and Open Membership
Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
Democratic Member Control
Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership.
Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative.
Autonomy and Independence
Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.
Education, Training and Information
Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public about the nature and benefits of co-operation.
Co-operation Among Co-operatives
Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
Concern for Community
Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.
Priceless Benefits of a Co-Operative
Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
All members are encouraged to participate in every stage of our operation. Talk to us during pickup, respond to our online surveys, volunteer, attend our planning meetings or yearly General Membership Meetings, attend our BoD meetings, run for election to become one of our directors, or simply email us with your suggestions or concerns. YOU have a say in how your co-op is run, so make your voice heard!
(240) 329-2395 · 19946 National Pike, Hagerstown, MD · ©2016 Valley Co-op