5 Co-ops You Didn't Know Were Co-ops

For the people, by the people!

Maine's Credit Unions are member owned cooperatives. That means the members of each Maine Credit Union are also the owners! There are no shareholders at credit unions, instead there are volunteer board of directors. Credit unions (and all co-ops alike) are not-for-profit so when co-ops make profits they find ways to give it back to the community and their members.

Still wondering what a cooperative is? No worries, here's a little refresher for you

My friend and fellow Spokester, Kaisen from Young & Free Alabama, wrote an article featuring co-ops you might not know were co-ops! I was definitely surprised, so it inspired me to share it with you: 

Ocean Spray

Ocean Spray is cooperative of more than 700 family-owned cranberry and grapefruit farms across the U.S. They invented cran-apple juice and craisins.

Land O’Lakes

Land O'Lakes is a Minnesota agricultural dairy cooperative made up of 1,000 cooperative dairy farms and about 3,200 independent producers. It’s one of the largest producers of butter and cheese in the U.S.

Best Western

Best Western is one of the largest hotel chains in the world, and it’s a co-operative (well, a “nonprofit membership organization”) of more than 4,000 independently owned and operated hotels in 100 countries. It was the one of the first hotel chains to offer guests internet access, way back in 1995.

Cabot Creamery

Cabot Creamery has been voted for having the "World's Best Cheddar." The Vermont based dairy and agriculture marketing cooperative that is owned by its members: the farmers of New England and upstate New York! The have creameries in New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts. 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press is a nonprofit news cooperative owned by its member newspapers. It operates more than 240 bureaus worldwide, in about 120 countries, and has a staff of 3,200. The AP has won 51 Pulitzer prizes, including 31 for photography. Plus they have an awesome news app that keeps you updated with what’s going on in the world!

How awesome is that? You can check out the full list at freelancersunion.org.

Be well, 

Lauren R.