Celebrate Cooperative Month
During the month of October in the United States the cooperative way of doing business is formally celebrated. The theme adopted in the U.S. is " Cooperatives: Owned by Our Members Committed to Our Communities."
People from every type of cooperative celebrate their achievements, reaffirming their commitment to the values that are the foundation of cooperative enterprise, and look to the bright future that cooperatives will help create.
The cooperative form of business is intrinsic to North American private enterprise and our national economies. The lives of more than 100 million Americans are improved by more than 48,000 cooperative private businesses that generate more than $500 billion in annual economic activity. In Ontario, there are approximately 1,400 co-operatives and credit unions, over 9,000 employees, assets over 17 billion and almost 2 million members, according to Bill Davisson, GROWMARK chief executive officer.
Cooperatives are inclusive. They bring into the free enterprise system people from every walk of life and every economic condition. They enrich our communities, large and small. Cooperatives are the means through which those who work together to build a business can attain all it's benefits and those who need service can receive it on their terms.
Cooperatives are different from other business forms because of the principles that guide every cooperative, define their unique structure, and express the cooperative's direct accountability to it's member-owners.
Cooperative businesses are created through the self-reliance of individuals who come together to meet their common economic, social, and cultural aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. Because cooperatives exist to provide service, and because they are owned and governed by their members, cooperatives are competitive standards, yardsticks for measuring the relative benefits delivered to people.
The benefits cooperative businesses create have long been recognized by people and by government. Earlier in this century, the U.S. Congress, by law, confirmed cooperatives' role in the mainstream of American business.
That wisdom has been tested and proven right year after year, and today cooperative businesses are an irreplaceable part of our economy.
As we observe this special time, let us grow stronger through the spirit of cooperation that these organizations have steadfastly contributed to our lifestyles.