Co-operatives in Canada
Co-operatives in Canada
Over 1,200 agriculture co-operatives in Canada retain between 15-20% of the market and for the most part fall into three groups:
- processing and marketing co-ops like dairy co-operatives;
- farm supply co-operatives such as seed co-ops;and
- farm equipment co-ops.
The support offered by development co-ops helps launch an average of 300 new co-operatives in Canada each year. Studies have shown the survival rate of new co-ops is almost twofold that of traditional businesses—an average that remains consistent both after 5 years and 10 years of operations. The application of the sixth co-operative principle of co-operation among co-operatives is indeed a key to this success.
Nearly half of economically-active Canadians are members of either a credit union or a caisse populaire – one of the highest rates in the world. One reason might be that Canadian credit unions have won Ipsos’ Annual Best Banking‘s ‘Customer Service Excellence’ award ten years in a row.
See also: MCDRN research on credit unions.
Health Care and Social Services
There are 535 of this type of co-operatives in Canada, 112 of which can be found in health care and 419 in social services.
See also: MCDRN research on housing.
See also – MCDRN research on natural resources.
See also: MCDRN research on renewable energy.
Retail and Wholesale
See also: MCDRN research on retail co-operatives.
The optimism and need of the early twentieth century drove growth in many new movements and ideas: the co-operative movement, though often overlooked, was no exception. The first co-ops to achieve stability in English Canada around the turn of the 20th century were farmers’ marketing and purchasing societies. – The History of Co-operatives, On-Coop.
Co-operative marketing organizations began to appear in British North America in the 1840s when British labourers attempted unsuccessfully to start stores similar to those common in Britain. The first stable store, or society, was developed in 1861 in Stellarton, NS. – Co-operative Movement History, The Canadian Encyclopedia.
- Industry Canada. Information Guide on Co-operatives. Co-operatives in Canada 2010 (data.)
- British Columbia Co-operative Association. Co-op History | Co-op Facts and Fun.
- Saskatchewan Co-operative Association. Introduction to the History of Co-operatives and Co-operation in Saskatchewan | Co-op facts and figures.
- Manitoba’s Credit Unions. Manitoba’s Credit Union History.
- Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité. Histoire de la mouvement cooperatif au Quebec | Statistiques.
Why do people co-operate?
Co-operatives are the only form of social organization known to have internationally agreed upon values and principles. They will typically provide work, a service or good, or a more affordable option for existing goods and services to the benefit of their members. This broad-level interest is in stark contrast to the profit-maximization interest of private corporations.
More Information about Co-ops