What is a Co-op?

A cooperative is a business voluntarily owned and controlled by its member patrons and operated for them and by them on a nonprofit or cost basis.  It is owned by the people who use it. — UWCC

There are many types of co­operatives, from housing co-ops to co­operative banking (the George Street Co-op is a consumers’ co­operative).  To find out more about all of the different types of co­operatives, read this entry from Wikipedia.

Many, if not most co­operatives follow the “Seven Cooperative Principles”, guidelines by which co­operatives can put their values into practice.  These principles were adopted by the 1995 Centenary Congress of the International Co-operative Alliance.

The Seven Cooperative Principles

Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives 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
Cooperatives 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.  In primary co­operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co­operatives at other levels are also organized in a democratic manner.
Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.  At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative.  Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.  Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives 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 cooperative autonomy.
Education, Training and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives.  They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
Co-operation among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co­operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
Concern for Community
Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.

George Street Co-op

Map

89 Morris Street
New Brunswick, NJ
732-247-8280

(map and directions)

New weekday hours!
Monday – Friday 8am - 8pm
Saturday 10am - 7pm
Sunday 10am - 6pm
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, NJ Families First

Sign up for our newsletter

Email  

Sales, upcoming events, and more!

Spread the word

Be our friend:
Facebook
Twitter
Foursquare
MySpace
Gaia
Share this page:
email to a friend
Wear our gear:
CafePress
Bookmark this site:
add to favorites
digg
del.icio.us
furl
blinklist
ma.gnolia
simpy