Shop Smarter - Rhode Island Co-op Guide

Find a Local Co-op in Rhode Island

What is a Co-op?

Rhode Island co-ops, also referred to as cooperatives, are local companies that are owned and managed by the people who shop at them. They are various kinds of co-ops that offer either products or services and sometimes both. Some examples of Rhode Island co-ops include:

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

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

 

What is a Rhode Island Food Co-op?

Food co-ops are mainly very small grocery stores and possibly the most common type of cooperative. They're owned and operated by a group of people in the community which often includes local farmers. Most of the time Rhode Island food co-ops sell natural and organic foods which are in season. Over the last several years more and more people have begun to understand the benefits of organic food and the demand has increased. Food co-ops are a fantastic option for shoppers that want to get organic food at less costly prices.

You can become a member of a food co-op in Rhode Island by paying a membership fee which gives you all the benefits and features 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 allow its members to recoup the price by way of the reasonable food prices. Membership in a Rhode Island food co-op also enables you to have a say in how the co-op is monitored.

The members of a Rhode Island co-op are equal members and make the decisions concerning what types 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. In addition it promotes 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 bargain price and also help your community then you should look into joining your local food co-op. It's a great way to familiarize yourself with members of your community and be interested in helping your community have great food at good prices.

 

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

As pointed out above, one of the biggest benefits of Rhode Island food co-ops are that they help to lower the expense of organic foods and produce. People require proper nutrition in order to remain healthy. Food co-ops in Rhode Island provide many different kinds 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 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 fruit and veggies, this reduces 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 Rhode Island Co-ops

Rhode Island 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.

Rhode Island co-ops help local farmers and merchants because they put focus on buying services and goods from others in the community. They promote local companies 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.