Shop Smarter - Massachusetts Co-op Guide

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Find a Local Co-op in Massachusetts

What is a Co-op?

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

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

Massachusetts 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 eliminate the middle man they can offer their members lower prices which is a big draw for many consumers.

 

What is a Massachusetts Food Co-op?

Food co-ops are mainly small grocery stores and perhaps the most typical sort of cooperative. They are owned and operated by a group of people in the neighborhood which normally includes local farmers. Most of the time Massachusetts food co-ops sell certified organic foods which are in season. Over the past several years more and more people have started to understand the advantages of organic food and the demand has increased. Food co-ops are a great choice for shoppers that want to get organic food at less expensive prices.

You can become a member of a food co-op in Massachusetts by paying a membership fee which gives you all the benefits and advantages 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 to allow its members to recover the cost by way of the inexpensive food prices. Membership in a Massachusetts food co-op also permits you to have a say in how the co-op is managed.

The members of a Massachusetts co-op are equal members and make the decisions regarding 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. In addition it encourages democracy and community togetherness because members need to come together and combine their resources to be successful.

If you desire organic food and products at a good price as well as help your community then you need to look into joining your local food co-op. It's a good way to get to know 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 Massachusetts

As mentioned above, one of the biggest features of Massachusetts food co-ops are that they help to lower the cost of organic foods and produce. People require proper nutrition in order to remain healthy. Food co-ops in Massachusetts provide many different kinds of organic food which help encourage beneficial nutrition and healthy eating habits in general. This has a ripple effect which leads to other good changes in the community.

If people are healthier then health care costs are lower which helps the economy. Obesity is a huge problem over the state. Many people don't realize how much it affects all of our lives. Increasingly 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. 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 vegetables and fruit, this reduces some of the damage that would have been done in order to grow that vegetables and fruits. 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 Massachusetts Co-ops

Massachusetts 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.

Massachusetts co-ops help local farmers and merchants because they put focus on buying goods and 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.