Shop Smarter - Iowa Co-op Guide

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Find a Local Co-op in Iowa

What is a Co-op?

Iowa co-ops, also known as cooperatives, are local companies that are owned and run by the those who shop at them. They're various kinds of co-ops that offer either goods or services and frequently both. A few examples of Iowa co-ops include:

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

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

 

What is a Iowa Food Co-op?

Food co-ops are mainly small grocery stores and maybe the most common kind of cooperative. They are owned and managed by a group of people in the neighborhood which usually includes local farmers. Much of the time Iowa food co-ops sell organic and natural foods which are in season. During the last several years more and more people have begun to understand the advantages of organic food and the demand has increased. Food co-ops are an excellent selection for shoppers that are looking for organic food at cheaper prices.

You can become a member of a food co-op in Iowa by paying a membership fee which provides you all the benefits and features of being a member of the co-op. The membership fee varies with respect to the co-op but it will be set low enough allowing its members to reclaim the fee by way of the reasonable food prices. Membership in a Iowa food co-op also permits you to have a say in how the co-op is maintained.

The members of a Iowa co-op are equal members and make the decisions regarding what sorts of food their co-op will carry and sell to the co-op members and the community. This permits 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 need organic food and products at a bargain price and want to assist your community then you need to look into joining your local food co-op. It's a good way to familiarize yourself with members of your community and be involved in helping your community have great food at good prices.

 

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

As pointed out above, one of the biggest features of Iowa food co-ops are that they help to lower the expense of organic foods and produce. People require proper nutrition to be able to remain healthy. Food co-ops in Iowa provide many different sorts of organic food which help encourage excellent nutrition and healthy eating habits in general. This has a ripple effect which leads to other good changes in the community.

If folks are healthier then health care costs are lower which helps the economy. Obesity is a huge problem across the state. Many people don't realize how much it affects all of our lives. A growing number of 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. This 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 fruit and veggies, 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 quality of life for everyone in the surrounding area.

Community Improvement Though Iowa Co-ops

Iowa 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.

Iowa 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.