Cooperatives in California

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California Cooperatives - What Are They & How Do They Work?

California cooperatives, or co-ops, have been in existence for quite a while serving people and businesses for the betterment of the community. Cooperatives are California businesses owned by the people who use them. Depending on classification, they either offer certain services or foods to those within the community. Those who are a part of a cooperative benefit by helping, not only themselves, but others as well.

They provide necessary components to the economy. For instance, farming cooperatives are controlled and owned by the user, typically farmers. Farmers are able to join what are known as marketing cooperatives and charge more for the products but less for their marketing, attracting business. Those buying the products benefit on the fact that they are purchasing fresher, healthier products.

California Cooperatives - Group Classifications

California Co-ops are classified into groups such as;

  • Marketing Cooperatives
  • Purchasing Cooperatives
  • Service Cooperatives
  • Food Cooperatives

Within these classifications you can find more specialized cooperatives in California such as;

  • child care
  • health
  • utilities
  • credit union
  • housing
  • worker
  • agriculture
  • dairy  

Each of these offers inexpensive alternatives to those who are a part of the cooperative. Members have the choice of electing a board of directors. The board of directors oversees daily activities inside the cooperative.

Consortium child care cooperatives are also provided within industrial parks. This helps parents in CA place their child within a daycare that is moderately close to their job in most cases at a lower rate than most daycares. Though it may be the businesses who provide the primary funding to start this kind of service, it still revolves back to those that own the daycare electing their own board of directors. It is the owner of the company and its members that provide all the decisions and ultimately decide how it is ran.

A good example of how utility cooperatives can work for their members is Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative Company. This business offers telephone service to its members who hold shares within the company and at the end of every year each member gets a portion of that profit sharing. This not only encourages others to become members and pay their bill on time regularly, but also benefits both the company and those that they provide service to.

California electric and telephone cooperatives provide their services to individuals while hearing members voices. The members have the ability to voice their concerns and suggest what they want changed as it is them who determine just what goes on within that cooperative.


Membership in California Cooperatives

 Members of a California cooperative have a large list of responsibilities that they have to follow. They must make certain that all the relevant laws are met and followed by its members. They must appoint or removed directors on an appropriate basis. Members must know what their cooperative delivers and familiarize them self with services in order to better serve others. You must be able to meet customer satisfaction to be able to run efficiently, effectively and profitably.

There are occasions when cooperatives in California must decide to combine with other businesses in order to expand their services or dissolve on the grounds that there's not enough demand and supply of their services. The decisive role of the members can be difficult and yet it is important that they are knowledgeable and capable of making those decisions.

Cooperatives in California are an important part of people's everyday lives. By providing services and goods to their members, they are offering a mutually beneficial option. Without cooperatives, nearly 26 million people in America would be without the electric services that these places provide. Over 100 million Americans would be hard pressed to find affordable goods and services and all the net worth that these cooperatives pull in together would be lost.

It is crucial to have these in our lives in order to maintain a balance between affordable and quality in our lives. People are brought together in a cooperative group in order to run a business that will provide quality services to those in need while keeping the authority to make decisions about their company as a whole. That is what makes California cooperatives so unique amongst the rest in the world today.