The 7 Co-op Principles

A cooperative exists to serve its members, but what makes co-ops unique is that the members are also the owners! In addition to getting the products and services you need, you also have a say in the business decisions your cooperative makes.

There are seven cooperative principles that co-ops operate under. They are:

  1. Open and Voluntary Membership
    Co-ops are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership/ownership without discrimination.

    The Syracuse REAL FOOD Co-op is open to EVERYONE. The Co-op is here to provide a member-owned business to the community looking for the services we provide.
    Membership-ownership is Voluntary, you DO NOT need to be a member-owner to shop here.

  2. Democratic Member Control
    Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their member/owners, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. All member/owners have equal voting rights: one member, one vote.

    The Syracuse REAL FOOD Co-op is governed by a Democratically elected board of directors. Each fall the Co-op holds a General Membership Meeting (GMM) where the candidates announce they are running. Voting then takes place in the store.

  3. Member Economic Participation
    Member/owners contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.

    Every member-owner of this cooperative makes an economic investment in the business. Member-owner’s capital is an important part of what makes the Co-op thrive.

  4. Autonomy and Independence
    Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their member/owners.

    While the Syracuse REAL FOOD Co-op is a member-owner of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) we are autonomous and independent.

  5. Education, Training & Information
    Cooperatives provide education and training for their member/owners, elected representatives, managers, and employees, so they can understand the benefits of cooperation and contribute effectively.

    The Syracuse REAL FOOD Co-op holds many events throughout the year meant to education and provide information not only to the member-owners, but to the community at large.

  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
    Cooperatives serve their member/owners more effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together.

    The Syracuse REAL FOOD Co-op supports many different cooperatives including worker-owned, consumer-owned, producer-owned. We feature products from co-ops such as Organic Valley, Frontier Co-op, Once Again Nut Butters, Parmigiano Reggiano, Equal Exchange, Finger Lakes Organic

    We belong to co-ops such as The National Cooperative Grocers Association, The National Cooperative Business Association, Frontier Natural Products Co-op, River Valley Market

  7. Concern for Community
    Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their member/owners.

    Participation in Community Events:
    The Co-op participates in many events throughout the year. Look for us at events like Westcott Street Cultural Fair, Buy Local Bash and more…

    Hosting Community Based Events:
    The Co-op co-partners community events such as the Art Rage Film Series

    Donations and Support of Community Groups and Organizations:
    The Co-op proudly sponsors events, donates food and money to organizations, and lends support where needed…

    Support of Local Farmers and Producers

    Support of Local Business and Services:
    We support our local electricians, carpenters, refrigeration companies, computer techs, restaurants, bakeries, and more…

    Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union field of membership:
    The Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union was founded in our back storage room. We are part of their field of membership, you can even make your deposits here!

Location

618 Kensington Road
Syracuse, New York 13210
Map and Directions

Contact

Phone: (315) 472-1385
Fax: (315) 422-9021
Email Us

Store Hours

Open 7 days a week
8 am - 9 pm
Closed on some holidays, please call

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