Cooperative businesses in these sectors market, purchase, sell, or provide employment to their member-owners, who may be producers, consumers or workers.
Agricultural and farm supply cooperatives market, process, and supply inputs and agronomic services to farmers or other producers. Cooperatives account for a significant portion of economic activity in agriculture.
Grocery cooperatives function at both the retail and wholesale level. Retail cooperatives are owned by their consumer members, and provide retail grocery options where there are none, or natural and local retail food alternatives. Wholesale grocery cooperatives are owned by their retail members to provide purchasing, warehouse, and logistics support for retail operations.
There are a variety of other consumer or worker cooperatives in this sector that meet particular member needs for goods and services, or employment. Purchasing cooperatives provide an avenue for member businesses to obtain volume discounting and better terms for their wholesale purchasing, as well as and other services and benefits. These cooperatives allow independent retailers to better meet competitive challenges from big-box or online retailers.