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Setting Up a Cooperative Business in Florida


Setting Up a Cooperative Business in Florida document sample

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                                                     Contacts: Roberta MacDonald, 802.839.0529
                                                                   Adam Schwartz, 202.383.5456
                                                                        Art Jaeger, 703.553.8000
                                                                                   October 2, 2007

Big Business Is Suddenly Mimicking Co-op Values. But Are the Values the Same?

Sustainability...empowerment…concern for community. These are among today’s most
popular business values.

But these values are nothing new to the nation’s 20,000-plus cooperatives. To co-ops, the
big-business focus on ―corporate social responsibility‖ is the sincerest form of flattery. It’s
what co-ops have been doing for 150 years. And the sudden interest in CSR is giving
cooperatives an opportunity to identify co-ops as not just as an alternative business model,
but as a better one.

Cooperatives welcome the efforts of investor-owned companies to protect the environment
and become more involved in their communities. But that doesn’t mean investor-owned
companies have the long-term commitment to these concepts that characterize
cooperatives. Stock companies’ focus on the bottom line and the next quarterly report simply
won’t permit it.

For cooperatives, concepts like sustainability, community involvement, and democratic
control are more than just buzzwords. They are basic to how they do business, and how they
will always do business. Cooperatives have multiple bottom lines, with social as well as
economic goals. Credit unions make a special effort to serve those underserved by for-profit
banks, agricultural co-ops help small farmers stay on their land, and electric and telephone
cooperatives serve less-profitable rural areas ignored by investor-owned utilities.

Cooperatives also exemplify the Ownership Society. Co-ops are not owned by Wall Street
investors, but by rank-and-file Americans — the people and small businesses that buy co-op
products and use co-op services. Surplus revenue is distributed to their grassroots owners,
rather than to outside investors. And, while stock company governance is closed to all but
the largest shareholders, cooperative governance is open and democratic.

For all these reasons — their grassroots focus, their democratic governance, and their
multiple bottom lines — cooperatives are truly a better way to do business.

A conservative estimate of total co-op membership is 130 million, or more than a third of all
Americans. Former congressman and co-op leader Glenn English calls that a ―force to be
reckoned with when we decide to come together.‖

And cooperatives are coming together like never before. Co-ops have united recently around
a series of joint marketing efforts being kicked off in October, traditionally celebrated as
National Cooperative Month. Included is a 17-minute video, a ―Co-ops for Community‖ Girl
Scout patch, a series of prominent sponsorships on National Public Radio, and a new
website,, serving as a gateway to the entire co-op community. There’s also a
new slogan in the air: ―Cooperatives Are a Better Way to Do Business… Cooperatives Change
the World… Go Co-op!‖
The enclosed materials provide an updated picture of the cooperative business community
today. For additional information, or to interview a co-op business leader, contact Art Jaeger
(703.553.8000 or, or Roberta MacDonald (802.839.0529 or
                                                   Contacts: Roberta MacDonald, 802.839.0529
                                                                 Adam Schwartz, 202.383.5456
                                                                      Art Jaeger, 703.553.8000
                                                                                 October 2, 2007

Cooperatives Are...
A cooperative is a business. Co-ops range in size from small store-fronts to Fortune 500
companies. In many ways, they're like any other business; but in several important ways
they're unique and different. Cooperatives…

      Are owned and democratically controlled by their members — the people who use the
       co-op's services or buy its goods — not by outside investors. Co-op members elect
       their board of directors from within the membership.
      Return surplus revenues — income over expenses and investment — to members
       proportionate to their use of the cooperative, not proportionate to their ―investment‖
       or ownership share.
      Are motivated not just by profit, but also by service, to meet their members’ needs for
       affordable and high quality goods or services.
      Exist primarily to serve their members.
      Pay taxes on income kept within the co-op for investment and reserves. Surplus
       revenues from the co-op are returned to individual members who pay taxes on that

Types of Cooperatives

Cooperatives fall into four general categories: consumer, producer, worker and
purchasing/shared services.

Consumer — Consumer cooperatives are owned by the people who buy the goods or use the
services of the cooperative. They sell consumer goods such as food and outdoors equipment.
They provide housing, electricity and telecommunications. And they offer financial,
healthcare, childcare, funeral and other services. Almost any consumer need can be met by a
cooperative. Examples of consumer cooperatives include all credit unions, housing co-ops,
and electric and telephone cooperatives. The largest U.S. consumer cooperative is Seattle-
based REI Inc.

Producer — Producer cooperatives are owned by people who produce similar types of
products: farmers who grow crops or raise livestock, craftsmen, or artisans. By banding
together, they increase their bargaining power with buyers. They also combine resources to
better brand and market their products, improving the incomes of their members. Some of
the best known producer cooperatives are Land O’Lakes, Florida’s Natural Growers, Ocean
Spray, Welch’s, and Cabot Cheese.

Worker — Worker cooperatives are owned by the employees of the business. They operate in
all sectors of the economy and provide workers with both employment and ownership
opportunities. Examples include employee-owned food stores, processing companies,
restaurants, taxicab companies, sewing companies, and timber processors. Examples of
worker cooperatives include Equal Exchange Fair Trade Coffee, Alvarado Street Bakery, and
the upscale Manhattan restaurant René Pujol.
Purchasing/Shared Services — Purchasing and shared services cooperatives are owned by
independent business owners, small municipalities and, in some cases, state governments.
They band together to enhance their purchasing power, lowering costs and improving
competitiveness. They operate in all sectors of the economy. Well-known examples of
purchasing cooperatives are True Value hardware and Carpet One.

Why Co-ops Form

Historically, co-ops were formed when the marketplace failed to provide needed goods or
services at affordable prices and acceptable quality. Today, cooperatives offer a better
business model that has social as well as economic goals, distributes capital more equitably,
and is governed more democratically. Cooperatives allow people to improve their quality of
life and enhance their economic opportunities. Throughout the world, cooperatives provide
financial services, consumer goods, housing, and other services that would otherwise cost
them more, be unavailable, or lack democratic involvement.

Serving Many Needs...

Cooperatives may be organized to provide just about any good or service such as:

        Childcare
        Credit and personal financial services
        Employment
        Equipment, hardware and farm supplies
        Electricity, telephone, Internet and satellite and cable T.V. services
        Food and food services
        Funeral and memorial service planning
        Group purchasing of goods and services
        Health care
        Health insurance
        Housing
        Insurance
        Legal and professional services
        Marketing of agricultural and other products

Source: National Cooperative Business Association
                                                         Contacts: Roberta MacDonald, 802.839.0529
                                                                       Adam Schwartz, 202.383.5456
                                                                            Art Jaeger, 703.553.8000
                                                                                           October 2, 2007

Cooperatives by the Numbers
      There are more than 21,000 U.S. cooperatives in a wide variety of industries,
       according to the best current estimate.
      Cooperatives have approximately 130 million members, more than a third of all
      Cooperatives employ more than 600,000 people, with aggregate payrolls of more
       than $15.5 billion annually.
      Cooperatives generate annual revenues in excess of $273 billion.
      The top 100 cooperatives had total revenues of more than $150 billion in 2006.

Among Individual Co-op Sectors…

      Agriculture — Three thousand cooperatives, with 2.8 million members, market
       approximately one-third of U.S. farm products.
      Credit unions — Approximately 8,500 credit unions have more than 90 million
       members and $750 billion in assets.
      Electric — Nearly 1,000 cooperatives own and maintain nearly half of the electric
       distribution lines in the United States. Their lines cover three-quarters of the U.S. land
       mass and provide electricity to 39 million Americans.
      Telecommunications — Some 260 cooperatives provide service to 1.9 million people.
      Housing — Approximately 7,500 cooperatives provide homes for 1.2 million families,
       or 3 million people.
      Grocery — More than 350 retail and wholesale cooperatives have annual revenues of
       $33.5 billion. Retail food cooperatives alone have 500,000 members.
      Purchasing — Some 300 cooperatives serve 50,000 independent small businesses. .

Public Attitudes toward Co-ops

   A 2003 survey by the National Cooperative Business Association and the Consumer
   Federation of America found that two-thirds of consumers believe businesses owned and
   governed by their customers, with consumers on their boards, are more trustworthy than
   those that do not.

      A majority said that locally owned and controlled companies that allow customers to
       democratically elect the board of directors are more trustworthy.
      More than 75 percent of those surveyed agreed that co-ops run their businesses in a
       trustworthy manner, compared with just 53 percent for investor-owned companies.
      More than two-thirds agreed that consumer-owned co-ops are ethically governed,
       while just 45 percent said the same of investor-owned corporations.
      Co-ops also rated higher than investor-owned companies on questions of value,
       quality, price, and community commitment.
   Sources: National Cooperative Month Planning Committee, co-op trade associations, NCB’s Co-op 100, found
                                                    Contacts: Roberta MacDonald, 802.839.0529
                                                                  Adam Schwartz, 202.383.5456
                                                                       Art Jaeger, 703.553.8000
                                                                                  October 2, 2007

Cooperative Principles and Values
Cooperatives worldwide operate under a set of values and principles adopted by the
International Cooperative Alliance.


Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality,
equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the
ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.


Voluntary and Open Membership — Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all
persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership,
without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

Democratic Member Control — Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their
members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and
women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary
cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at
other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

Member Economic Participation — Members contribute equitably to, and democratically
control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common
property of the cooperative. They usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital
subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the
following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which
at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the
cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

Autonomy and Independence — Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations
controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including
governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure
democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

Education, Training and Information — Cooperatives provide education and training for their
members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute
effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public —
particularly young people and opinion leaders — about the nature and benefits of

Cooperation among Cooperatives — Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and
strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional
and international structures.
Concern for Community — While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the
sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.

Sources: National Cooperative Business Association, International Cooperative Alliance
                                                     Contacts: Roberta MacDonald, 802.839.0529
                                                                   Adam Schwartz, 202.383.5456
                                                                        Art Jaeger, 703.553.8000
                                                                                   October 2, 2007

Why Cooperatives Are a Better Business Model
Cooperatives are not simply an alternative way of doing business, they are a better business
model. Paul Hazen, president and chief executive of the National Cooperative Business
Association, an umbrella group for all co-ops, offers six reasons why the cooperative model is

1. Cooperatives distribute capital widely among average Americans, while stock companies
concentrate wealth.

Surplus revenues earned by a cooperative are either reinvested in the business or returned
to members in the form of lower prices or patronage refunds. Refunds, which cooperatives
call patronage dividends, are based on how much business a member does with the
cooperative. With more than 130 million cooperative members nationwide, this distributes
co-op revenues broadly among average Americans.

Investor-owned businesses, on the other hand, distribute profits based on how much stock
each shareholder owns. Those with the most shares receive the most. This can further
concentrate wealth; it is strictly a financial return. Shareholders often don’t even patronize
the businesses they invest, while those who those who do buy the business’s products
receive little.

2. Cooperatives keep capital in the community in which it was generated, while stock
companies export capital elsewhere.

Since cooperatives return surplus revenue to their members, they keep wealth in the
communities in which they operate. An electric co-op in Montana, for example, gives its
refunds overwhelmingly to middle-class people who live and work in the area in which it is
located. A credit union does the same, although a credit union’s surplus typically is returned
in the form of better interest rates on loans and savings, rather than as a refund.

Stock companies do the reverse. By allocating profits to shareholders, they take capital out
of the community and send it elsewhere. This is because the largest shareholders in a
publicly traded company are often investors who live outside the community. Most of the
stock in a bank, for example, is not owned by area residents. Rather, it is owned by investors
who may live in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles or even overseas.

3. Cooperatives exemplify the Ownership Society, while stock companies concentrate
ownership among the investor class.

Cooperatives don’t merely distribute capital to 130 million members nationwide; they are
owned by them as well. Cooperatives are owned by those who buy their goods or use their
services. That’s more than 40 percent of all Americans.
Ownership of stock companies, on the other hand, is concentrated among a small group of
outside investors, who own the majority of the shares in the business.

4. Cooperative governance is open and democratic, while stock company governance is

Cooperatives are run democratically, on a one-member, one-vote basis. All members have an
equal voice in running the business. Boards are selected by members in open, democratic
elections and are accountable directly to members. Contested elections are the norm. Board
members are usually volunteers and do not have a business relationship with the co-op,
other than buying its products or services. The governance process is open and boards are
free to act in the co-op’s best interest.

Conversely, most stock company shareholders have little say in running the company.
Shareholders must meet an ownership threshold — in other words, own a large amount of
stock — to have any meaningful input. Boards include members of management and those
with financial ties to the organization, such as major contractors. Management maintains
careful control over who is nominated and CEOs often serve as board chairs. Hand-picked
candidates are common and contested elections are rare. Control is in the hands of a few,
many of whom have agendas other than what is in the best of the business.

5. Cooperatives have both economic and social goals, while stock companies are motivated
solely by the need to maximize shareholder returns. This has positive consequences for co-
ops and negative ones for stock companies.

Co-operatives have multiple bottom lines. In addition to meeting the economic needs of their
members, they often have social objectives, such has widening participation in the economic
system or promoting sustainable development. Credit unions, for example, have a goal of
serving consumers often ignored or underserved by banks.

Stock companies’ focus on shareholder returns often leads to negative outcomes, including
exploitation of one economic group over another. In the underdeveloped world, for example,
while co-ops are associated with higher wages and fair trade, publicly traded companies are
notorious for condoning and encouraging slave and child labor to increase profits.

6. Cooperatives largely police themselves while government must provide extensive oversight
and control over stock companies.

Members provide oversight of cooperatives, generally assuring that the business adheres to
good business practices and cooperative principles, such as open government and concern
for community welfare.

To protect their customers, stock companies must be highly regulated. Despite this, in recent
years stock companies have been susceptible to scandals, while co-ops have been resistant
to scandal.

Source: National Cooperative Business Association
                                                      Contacts: Roberta MacDonald, 802.839.0529
                                                                    Adam Schwartz, 202.383.5456
                                                                         Art Jaeger, 703.553.8000
                                                                                    October 2, 2007

Cooperatives Are Working Together Like Never Before
Cooperative businesses — often a loose-knit, independent group — have worked together
recently on several efforts to better tell the co-op story. All are timed for an October launch,
during what is traditionally National Cooperative Month.

       A new website,, will serve as a gateway to the entire co-op community.
        It includes links to the major co-op sector associations, including the National
        Cooperative Business Association, National Cooperative Grocers Association,
        National Association of Housing Cooperatives, Credit Union National Association, and
        U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives. Future enhancements are likely to include a
        directory of co-ops searchable by zip code.

       A new slogan will be unveiled on ―Cooperatives are a Better Way to Do
        Business… Cooperatives Change the World. Go Co-op!‖ Cabot Creamery Cooperative
        in Vermont developed the slogan with help from representatives of various co-op
        sectors. The hope is the slogan will be adopted by co-ops nationwide.

       A month of high profile sponsorship announcements on National Public Radio will
        celebrate the co-op business model. Listeners will hear more than 50
        announcements boosting the cooperative business model during October on
        programs including All Things Considered and Morning Edition. All announcements
        will encourage listeners to learn more about cooperatives at Sponsors
        are Cabot Creamery Cooperative, the Credit Union National Association, NCB (the
        National Cooperative Bank), and the National Cooperative Business Association.

       A Girl Scout patch will promote cooperatives around the theme ―Co-ops for
        Community.‖ The activity booklet for earning the patch teaches participants what a
        co-op is, what the different types of co-ops are, how to govern a co-op, and how to
        find co-ops on the Internet. The patch was sponsored by Cabot Creamery Cooperative
        and the National Cooperative Business Association.

       A 17-mintue video, geared to educating people about co-ops, feature interviews with
        leaders of highly successful co-ops, including Equal Exchange in Boston, Ocean
        Beach People’s Organic Food Market in San Diego, Greenbelt Homes Cooperative in
        Greenbelt, Md., Basin Electric Power Cooperative in Bismarck, N.D., and Greater El
        Paso’s Credit Union, also known as GECU. The video, which was sponsored by the
        National Cooperative Business Association, will is available on, along
        with shorts featuring each of the individual co-op leaders interviewed in the video.

       A Day in the Life of Cooperative America, a booklet celebrating the diversity of the
        cooperative business sector, is being published by the National Cooperative Month
        Planning Committee. It will be available on the Co-op Month website,, during October. The work of the planning committee is
        supported by most of the major national cooperative organizations.
                                                             Contacts: Roberta MacDonald, 802.839.0529
                                                                           Adam Schwartz, 202.383.5456
                                                                                Art Jaeger, 703.553.8000
                                                                                               October 2, 2007

Big Business Is Mimicking Co-op Values, or Is It?
        Increasingly, investor-owned businesses are mimicking long-standing cooperative
         principles — in their actions, their products, and their marketing. Fortune 500
         companies from Bank of America to General Electric are stressing concepts like
         sustainability and concern for community, and launching programs to address major
         national problems ranging from greenhouse gas emissions to lack of home

        Many of these Corporate Social Responsibility programs are sincere efforts to make
         the world a better place. But others are more public relations than a serious effort to
         attack a problem. Still others, like Toyota’s marketing of the energy-saving Prius, are
         so intertwined with business goals as to be indistinguishable from them. A recent
         Harvard Business Review article underscores this point, suggesting that the best CSR
         programs simultaneously address a social problem and benefit the corporation’s
         bottom line.* A few companies do everything but take the legal step to convert to a
         cooperative, and have profited handsomely as a result. Whole Foods Market acts and
         looks like a chain of retail food cooperatives, and Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice
         Cream takes up numerous environmental and small farmer causes.

        Cooperatives applaud efforts of big business to work on behalf of the environment or
         to become more involved in their communities. But embracing cooperative values
         doesn’t make these investor-owned businesses co-ops. For cooperatives, concepts
         like sustainability, community involvement, and democratic control are basic to how
         they operate. Cooperatives are owned and governed by those who use them, rather
         than Wall Street investors. Those member-owners, rather than outside investors,
         receive any surplus revenue based on how much business the member-owner does
         with the cooperative. That keeps revenues in the community in which the cooperative
         operatives and also tends to distribute them broadly among the middle class, rather
         than the investor class. Cooperatives also have multiple bottom lines, with social as
         well as economic goals. Credit unions, for example, make a special effort to serve
         those underserved by for-profit banks. Electric and telephone cooperatives serve
         less-profitable areas ignored by investor-owned utilities.

        For these reasons, cooperatives remain a distinct business form, that is not just
         different from the investor-owned model, but better. And no amount of embracing
         cooperative values by a stock company will change that.

*Strategy & Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility, by Michael E.
Porter and Mark R. Kramer, Harvard Business Review, December 2006.

Sources: Company websites, National Cooperative Business Association , Harvard Business Review
                                                      Contacts: Roberta MacDonald, 802.839.0529
                                                                Adam Schwartz, 202.383.5456
                                                                     Art Jaeger, 703.553.8000
                                                                                 October 2, 2007

Cooperatives Are Tackling Problems and Making Life Better for Americans
Co-ops are tackling some of our most intractable national problems, helping people of all
income levels.

      Housing — Cooperatives are providing solutions to a variety of housing problems.
       Cooperative ownership is upgrading manufactured housing parks around the country,
       while an increasing number of housing cooperatives are catering to retirement-age
       residents. Limited-equity co-ops, which preserve moderately priced housing, make it
       possible for low- and middle-class families to stay in gentrified urban neighborhoods
       in cities like New York and Washington, D.C. A few housing cooperatives also provide
       services that allow seniors to ―age in place‖ near friends and relatives.

      Health Care — Cooperatives are bringing down the cost of prescription drugs and
       other health services, and improving patient care. Consumer-owned and governed
       HMOs like Group Health Cooperative in Seattle are improving care and lower costs by
       focusing on the needs of their member-owners, rather than on maximizing profits. A
       growing number of states, groups of states, and local governments are also lowing
       health care costs with volume pricing through drug and health care purchasing
       cooperatives. Finally, VHA, Inc., a Hospital purchasing cooperative based in Irving,
       Tex., , is keeping the doors open at small, community-owned hospitals across the
       nation by negotiating lower prices for equipment, supplies and other services.

      Financial Services — Credit unions, or member-owned financial institutions, help
       Americans of all income levels with their finances by offering lower interest rates on
       loans, higher interest on savings, and better service than for-profit banks. Consumer
       Reports recently said credit unions offer consumers ―the best … deals around‖ for
       financial services. Credit union-issued credit cards also scored high in a recent
       Consumer Reports survey. In addition, credit unions offer financial services to recent
       immigrants and others whom the investor-owned banking system ignores.

      Rural America — Cooperatives are helping rural America survive and thrive. Electric
       and telecommunications co-ops serve rural areas that investor-owned utilities often
       ignore. Telecommunications cooperatives are also helping to bridge the digital divide
       by offering reasonably priced high-speed Internet and satellite and cable television
       services. Farm co-ops are helping small farmers stay on their land, while many other
       co-ops are bringing jobs and income to rural areas.

       Saving Main Street — Small business purchasing cooperatives are helping local,
       independent businesses compete with the big boxes and mega-chains by negotiating
       group purchases of supplies, advertising, warehousing, and more. The savings and
       other services offered by these cooperative give their member-owners the ability to
       withstand intense competition from chains like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Walgreens,
       and Rite Aid. Among others, purchasing cooperatives are serving independent
         hardware stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, bicycle shops, and wholesale
         distributors of construction supplies.

        Employment — Some worker-owned cooperatives offer both jobs and ownership
         opportunities for those with few or no job skills. One such cooperative, Cooperative
         Janitorial Services, launched in 1995 by Interfaith Business Builders in Cincinnati,
         now does $14,000 in business per month. The worker-own co-op model has also
         been adapted for taxi drivers, restaurant workers, and home health care workers.

        Community Assistance — Cooperatives offer a hand up to the disadvantaged in their
         communities through programs that help children, the elderly, the poor, and the
         homeless. Across the country, co-ops raise money for college scholarships, conduct
         community cleanups, and help low-income workers with their taxes. Others
         encourage energy conservation and lead recycling programs. Still others — especially
         electric and telephone cooperatives —breathe life into ailing communities through
         economic development programs that attract new businesses and create jobs.

        Education — Cooperatively structured preschools are part of the good news in
         education, requiring parent-members to participate in every aspect of the school’s
         operation, including governance, finances, curriculum, administration, and
         maintenance. Purchasing cooperatives of public school systems across the country
         are also saving taxpayer dollars though joint purchasing of services and supplies.
         These cooperatives also provide much-needed professional development
         opportunities for teachers and school administrators.

        International Development — Co-ops’ helping hands even extend overseas. Eight
         international cooperative development organizations representing various co-op
         sectors manage projects in more than 70 countries. These projects do everything
         from creating credit unions to bringing electricity to remote areas. The involvement of
         cooperative organizations overseas began more than 40 years ago. It grew from co -
         ops’ conviction that their business model, which has helped millions in this country,
         could be adapted to help people in developing countries achieve a better life.

Cooperatives are Innovators

        In the 1970s, retail food cooperatives pioneered the natural and organic food
         market. Food co-ops also were the first to offer nutrition labeling.
        In the 1980s, Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative, pioneered the Fair Trade
         coffee movement.
        In 2000, cooperatives won approval for .coop, one of the first restricted top level
         domains on the Internet.
        Cooperatives have been in the forefront of the ethanol movement since its earliest
         days. Today, the majority of ethanol is still produced by cooperatives.
        Now cooperatives are playing an equally prominent role in the biodiesel revolution
         and in advancing other renewable energy sources, including wind and solar energy.

Sources: National Cooperative Business Association, Cooperative Development Foundation, National Cooperative
Month Planning Committee, organization websites
                                                      Contacts: Roberta MacDonald, 802.839.0529
                                                                    Adam Schwartz, 202.383.5456
                                                                         Art Jaeger, 703.553.8000
                                                                                   October 2, 2007

Paul Hazen                      Floyd Robb                         Housing Cooperatives
President and CEO               Vice President, Communications
National Cooperative Business   Basin Electric Power               Mary Ann Rothman
Association                     Cooperative                        Executive Director
Washington, DC                  Bismarck, North Dakota             Council of NY Cooperatives &
202.638-6222                    701.223.0441                       Condominiums                           New York, New York
Charles Snyder                  Credit Unions            
President and CEO
NCB                             Mark Wolff                         Gretchen Overdurff
Washington, DC                  Senior Vice President              General Manager
800.955.9622                    Credit Union National Assoc.       Greenbelt Homes, Inc.                Washington, DC                     Greenbelt, Maryland
                                202.508.6764                       301.474.4161
Agricultural Cooperatives         

Roberta MacDonald               Harriet May                        Health Care Cooperatives
Senior Vice President           President and CEO
Cabot Creamery Cooperative      GECU – Greater El Paso Credit      Mike Foley
Montpelier, Vermont             Union                              Media Relations Manager
802.839.0529                    El Paso, Texas                     Group Health Cooperative     915.774.1702                       Seattle, Washington
Justin Darisse                                           
Communications Director         RETAIL F OOD C OOPERATIVES
National Council of Farmer                                         Purchasing Cooperatives
Cooperatives                    Kelly Smith
Washington, D.C.                Marketing Director                 Kevin Coggins
202.626.8700                    National Cooperative Grocers       Board Member, Yaya! Bike               Association                        Owner, The Spin Cycle
                                Iowa City, Iowa                    Gary, North Carolina
Electric Cooperatives           319.466.9029                       919.460.9373
Glenn English
CEO                             Nancy Casady                       Worker-Owned Cooperatives
National Rural Electric         General Manager
Cooperative Association         Ocean Beach People’s Organic       Erbin C rowell
Arlington, Virginia             Food Market                        Equal Exchange & Co-operative
703.907.5500                    San Diego                          Fund of New England
                                619.224.1387                       West Bridgewater, Mass.

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