Shop Smarter - California Co-op Guide

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Find a Local Co-op in California

What is a Co-op?

California co-ops, also called cooperatives, are local companies that are owned and managed by the individuals who shop at them. They are various kinds of co-ops that offer either goods or services and frequently both. Some examples of California co-ops include:

  • Food Co-ops
  • Marketing Co-ops
  • Service Co-Ops
  • Purchasing Co-ops

California co-ops benefit the community by promoting the local economy and allowing customers a voice and direct control over the array of products and services that are offered to purchase. Also, because co-ops cut out the middle man they can offer their members affordable prices which is a big draw for many consumers.

 

What is a California Food Co-op?

Food co-ops are basically very small grocery stores and possibly the most typical type of cooperative. They are owned and managed by a group of people in the community which often includes local farmers. Usually California food co-ops sell organic and natural foods that are in season. During the last several years more people have come to understand the advantages of organic food and the demand has increased. Food co-ops are a fantastic selection for shoppers that want to get organic food at less costly prices.

You can become a member of a food co-op in California by paying a membership fee which provides you all the benefits and advantages of being a member of the co-op. The membership fee varies depending upon the co-op but it will be set low enough to permit its members to recover the price through the reasonable food prices. Membership in a California food co-op also lets you have a say in how the co-op is maintained.

The members of a California co-op are equal members and make the decisions pertaining to what kinds of food their co-op will carry and sell to the co-op members and the community. This allows everyone to feel like they are contributing equally. It also promotes democracy and community togetherness because members need to come together and combine their resources to be a success.

If you want organic food and products at a bargain price and also assist your community then you need to look into joining your local food co-op. It is a good way to become familiar with members of your community and become involved in helping your community have great food at good prices.

 

Better Prices on Organic Food and More at Co-ops in California

As pointed out above, one of the greatest advantages of California food co-ops are that they help to lower the expense of organic foods and produce. People require proper nutrition to be able to stay healthy. Food co-ops in California supply many different sorts of organic food that really help encourage beneficial nutrition and healthy eating habits in general. This has a ripple effect which leads to other positive changes in the community.

If people are healthier then health care costs are lower which helps the economy. Obesity is a huge problem throughout the state. Many people don't realize how much it affects all of our lives. More and more children are developing diabetes as younger ages because of poor diets. This eating habits are being passed down generation after generation. Even our national security has suffered because obesity has negatively impacted military recruitment. A food co-op helps to alleviate this problem by offering affordable organic food and products at very reasonable prices. Which means that people do not have to turn to junk food in order to save money on their grocery bills.

The environment can also be helped by a food co-op. Many farmers use harmful pesticides and chemicals when they grow their food. These chemicals seep into the soil and eventually get in to the water supply. By growing organic fruits and vegetables, this lowers some of the damage that would have been done in order to grow that fruits and vegetables. If people are supporting their local organic farmers more people will have a stake in creating a clean environment which improves standard of living for everyone in the surrounding area.

Community Improvement Though California Co-ops

California co-ops help to bring people together. A community is only as strong as its citizens and a co-op is only successful if its members cooperate and work together in order to make their venture thrive. Members have an equal say and must focus on how to build the co-op and help to produce enough products to feed and serve as many people as possible.

California co-ops help local farmers and merchants because they put focus on buying products or services from others in the community. They promote local businesses that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Anyone in the community can usually shop at a co-op even if they are not a member but typically the co-op offers better benefits and discounts to its members because they pay a membership fee. Regardless this means that local farmers and merchants will have more business from not only the co-op members but also everyone in the local community.