Shop Smarter - Vermont Co-op Guide

Find a Local Co-op in Vermont

What is a Co-op?

Vermont co-ops, also known as cooperatives, are local businesses that are owned and run by the people who shop at them. They're a number of co-ops that offer either products or services and sometimes both. A few examples of Vermont co-ops include:

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

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

 

What is a Vermont Food Co-op?

Food co-ops are essentially very small grocery stores and maybe the most common type of cooperative. They're owned and managed by a group of people in the neighborhood which normally includes local farmers. Usually Vermont food co-ops sell natural and organic foods that are in season. During the last few years more people have come to understand the benefits of organic food and the demand has increased. Food co-ops are a great option for shoppers that want to get organic food at less expensive prices.

You can become a member of a food co-op in Vermont 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 with respect to the co-op but it will be set low enough to allow its members to recover the cost by means of the affordable food prices. Membership in a Vermont food co-op also enables you to have a say in how the co-op is managed.

The members of a Vermont co-op are equal members and make the decisions concerning 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 achieve success.

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 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 Vermont

As pointed out above, one of the greatest features of Vermont 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 Vermont supply many different kinds of organic food that help encourage beneficial nutrition and healthy eating habits in general. This has a ripple effect that 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 throughout 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. 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 vegetables and fruit, this lowers 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 standard of living for everyone in the surrounding area.

Community Improvement Though Vermont Co-ops

Vermont 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.

Vermont co-ops help local farmers and merchants because they put focus on buying products or 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.