Shop Smarter - Tennessee Co-op Guide

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Find a Local Co-op in Tennessee

What is a Co-op?

Tennessee co-ops, also referred to as cooperatives, are local businesses that are owned and run by the individuals who shop at them. They are many types of co-ops that provide either goods or services and sometimes both. Examples of Tennessee co-ops include:

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

Tennessee co-ops benefit the community by promoting the local economy and allowing consumers 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 less expensive costs which is a big draw for many consumers.

 

What is a Tennessee Food Co-op?

Food co-ops are essentially very small grocery stores and maybe the most typical sort of cooperative. They are owned and operated by a group of people in the community which often includes local farmers. Most of the time Tennessee food co-ops sell natural and organic foods that are in season. During the last few years more people have begun to comprehend 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 less costly prices.

You can become a member of a food co-op in Tennessee 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 reclaim the fee through the reasonable food prices. Membership in a Tennessee food co-op also enables you to have a say in how the co-op is maintained.

The members of a Tennessee 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 a success.

If you want organic food and products at a good price and also help your community then you need to look into joining your local food co-op. It's a great way to get acquainted 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 Tennessee

As stated above, one of the greatest features of Tennessee food co-ops are that they help to lower the cost of organic foods and produce. People require proper nutrition in order to stay healthy. Food co-ops in Tennessee supply many different kinds of organic food that 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 individuals 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. 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 quality of life for everyone in the surrounding area.

Community Improvement Though Tennessee Co-ops

Tennessee 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.

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