Oryana Natural Foods Market
Oryana Natural Foods Market
260 East Tenth Street | Traverse City, MI 49684 | (231) 947-0191

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2012 The International Year of Co-ops

January 5, 2012, 10:01 am

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. This designation is intended to raise public awareness of the invaluable contributions of cooperative enterprises to poverty reduction, employment generation, and social integration. The Year will also highlight the strengths of the cooperative business model as an alternative means of doing business and furthering socioeconomic development.

Co-ops Come in All Shapes and Sizes


Producer-, purchasing, consumer- and worker-owned cooperatives play a vital role in America’s continued economic growth and development. Co-ops operate in many forms and in all sectors of society including housing, utility, agricultural, healthcare, childcare, manufacturing, banking, and retail. More than 29,000 American cooperative businesses contribute 850,000 jobs and $500 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy each year. And co-ops around the world generate millions of dollars and serve more than one billion members. In fact, the top 100 co-ops generate more than $150 billion in revenues.

Why Co-ops Are Great

  • Co-ops are owned and democratically controlled by their members—the people who use the co-op’s services or buy its goods—not by investors.
  • Co-ops return surplus revenues to members proportionate to their use of the cooperative, not proportionate to their ownership share.
  • Co-ops are primarily motivated by service to their members, not by profit.
  • Members have a say in the governance of their co-op by electing their Board of Directors and/or running for the Board themselves.

Oryana will be celebrating the International Year of Co-ops with various events throughout the year. We are proud to be part of an international movement that humbly began in Europe during the Industrial Revolution when workers, consumers, farmers and producers banded together to gain economic clout. Frustrated by the abuses of store owners, they improved their options by pooling their money and purchasing supplies together. We salute these early co-op pioneers and thank our member-owners for supporting our store and our efforts to provide high quality food produced in ecologically sound ways at fair value to all our customers and our community.

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