A co-operative consortium is an organisation which provides services such as marketing, administration and management for its members. The members may be self-employed individuals, partnerships or limited companies. By working together the members are able to have a bigger presence than if they worked separately.
Characteristics of a co-operative consortium:
- it exists to serve its members
- it does not set out to make a profit for itself, the primary aim is to provide a service
- it is a limited company with a board of directors
- directors are elected from the membership
- directors set the co-operative’s policy
- membership is open
- surpluses may be re-invested or distributed to members
The benefits of co-operation
- better marketing of members’ services
- shared costs of promotion and advertising
- better buying power – better terms and discounts – increased strength
- central office – allocation of work to members
- central administration – invoicing, book-keeping, etc.
- better profits for members
- opportunities for members to cover for each other in times of illness or during holidays.
So how does it all work?
- the co-operative acts as an agent for its members
- it takes a commission on business transacted for members
- it may charge for business services to members
- it may charge a membership fee
Organic growers / farmers join together to sell produce at Farmers’ Markets