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Types of Co-ops

Co-ops exist in almost every industry in Canada. One of the oldest business models in our country, co-ops have played a strong role in traditional sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, and financial services. However in the past few decades they have spread to new and innovative sectors such as health care, transportation, housing, child care, funeral services, culture/tourism, energy production, and recycling to name a few. The following are some examples of co-ops currently operating in New Brunswick and across the country:

[infopopup:Services] [infopopup:Housing] [infopopup:producer] [infopopup:worker]
Services          Housing           Producer           Worker
[infopopup:financial] [infopopup:consumer] [infopopup:multi]
        Financial         Consumer     Multi-stakeholder

 

Type Description Industries & Examples Resources
Service Provide a wide variety of services to members. Funeral services, recreation, transportation, day care, nursing homes, health care, communication, tourismLocal Example
Rogersville Daycare Co-op, Fundy Funeral Home
Co-ops and Charity LawAn Overview of Health Care Co-operativesThe Role of Co-operatives in HealthcareEnabling Policy for Health and Social Co-opsCo-op Elder Care in Canada
Housing Any group can get together to form a housing co-op and some of the most common ones are for seniors, students, and lower income families. There is a growing interest in equity-based housing co-ops and CECNB is currently looking into legislative changes that could accommodate this type of housing co-op. Seniors Housing, student housingLocal Example
Cornerstone Housing Co-op
Guide to Co-operative HousingCo-op Housing Federation of CanadaNew Brunswick Housing Co-operatives – Listing and Contact Information
Producer These are groups of producers who band together to process and/or market their products. Supplies, manufacturing, production, marketing, arts & crafts, bio fuel, fruit and berry producers, farmers, fisheries, wood lot owners, alternative energy, etc.Local Example
Northumberland DairyNational Example
Gay Lea Foods Co-operative
Canada Co-operative Association – Producer Co-operativesGuide to Starting a Biofuel Co-opOntario Sustainable Energy Association has a great number of resources for developing community renewable energy projects 
Worker These are businesses owned and controlled by their employees. They provide work to members through a jointly-owned business venture. Manufacturing, communications, technology, marketing, arts & crafts, entertainment, education, forestry, printing, publishing, ambulance services, home care, health services, professional services.Local Example
EnergreenBuilders Co-opNational Example
Just Us! Coffee Roasters
The Canadian Federation of Worker Co-operativesThe Guide to Running a Successful Worker Co-op: The Code of Governance – Revised 2012Worker Co-op ToolboxVideos
Ram Wools Yarn Co-op – Winnipeg – Great example of workers buying a business as a worker co-opMondragon Worker Co-op Café – WinnipegNatural Cycle – Bike Courier Co-op – Winnipeg
Financial Like consumer co-operatives, the members of financial co-operatives are the individuals or business owners who use their services such as financial, loans, investment or insurance services to their members. Credit unions, caisses populaires, insurance co-ops, mutualsLocal Example
OMISTA Credit UnionNational Example
Co-operators Insurance
Incorporating a New Credit Union or Caisse Populaire in OntarioBulletin CU-2006-001, Procedure for Formation of a Credit Union in British ColumbiaVideos
The difference between banks and credit unions
 
Consumer These are co-operatives whose members are their customers; the majority of consumer co-operatives are retail stores. These co-ops offer products and services in food, supplies, hardware, clothing, equipment, arts, crafts, furniture,carshares, etc.Local Example
Co-op AtlanticNational Example
Mountain Equipment Co-op
 Canada Co-operative Association – Consumer Co-operatives
Multi-stakeholder These co-operatives include different categories of members who share a common interest in the organization: for example, clients, employees, investors and community organizations. Multi-stakeholder co-operatives in Canada include Common Ground Co-operative, which provides employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities; the West End Food Co-op, a Toronto co-op owned by consumers, producers and employees, and the Aylmer Health Co-op, formed by citizens, doctors and health professionals to improve community health services in Gatineau, QC.Local Example
Open Sky Co-operativeNational Example
West End Food Co-op
Canada Co-operative Association – Multi-stakeholder Co-operatives