Cooperative societies are organizations owned and controlled by their members. Members pool their resources and work together to achieve common goals, whether they are economic, social, or cultural. There are various types of cooperative societies that serve different purposes, including consumer cooperatives, producer cooperatives, marketing cooperatives, housing cooperatives, credit cooperatives, and multi-purpose cooperatives.
History of Cooperative Society
The history of cooperative societies dates back to the 19th century when people came together to form associations to address the challenges they faced in their daily lives. The first recognized cooperative society was the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, founded in Rochdale, England, in 1844.
The Rochdale Society was formed by a group of weavers who were frustrated by the high cost and poor quality of food and household goods they could afford. They decided to pool their resources and buy goods directly from producers to ensure they were of good quality and at affordable prices. They also established a set of democratic principles to guide their operations, which became known as the Rochdale Principles. These principles emphasized member ownership, democratic control, equitable distribution of profits, and education.
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Types of Cooperative Societies
Consumer Cooperative Society
Consumer cooperative society are established to provide goods and services to their members at a lower cost. They buy goods in bulk and pass on the savings to their members. The members of these societies are the customers who benefit from the economies of scale. Examples of consumer cooperative societies include supermarkets, retail stores, and credit unions.
Producer Cooperative Society
Producer cooperative society are formed by individuals or businesses engaged in the production of goods or services. These societies are established to pool resources, skills, and knowledge to enhance production and marketing of their products. Members of producer cooperative societies share the profits and risks of the business. Examples of producer cooperative societies include agricultural cooperatives, artisan cooperatives, and worker cooperatives.
Marketing Cooperative Society
Marketing cooperative society are established to assist their members in the marketing of their products. Members of marketing cooperative societies pool their resources to purchase inputs, storage facilities, transportation, and marketing services. These societies help their members to get better prices for their products by negotiating with buyers on behalf of their members. Examples of marketing cooperative societies include fruit and vegetable marketing cooperatives, dairy marketing cooperatives, and coffee marketing cooperatives.
Housing Cooperative Society
Members of housing cooperative society own and manage their housing units collectively. They share the costs of maintenance and repair, and each member contributes to the capital funds of the society. Housing cooperative society may also provide other services such as child care and community facilities. Examples of housing cooperative societies include apartment cooperatives, mobile home cooperatives, and senior housing cooperatives.
Credit Cooperative Society
Credit cooperative society are formed to provide credit to their members at lower interest rates than those charged by commercial banks. Members of credit cooperative societies contribute to the capital of the society, and the funds are then used to provide loans to members. Credit cooperative societies are also known as credit unions, and they provide various financial services to their members such as savings accounts, checking accounts, and debit cards.
Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society
Multi-purpose cooperative society combine several types of cooperative societies to meet the diverse needs of their members. These societies provide a range of services, including credit facilities, marketing support, and housing facilities. Examples of multi-purpose cooperative societies include agricultural and rural development cooperatives, community development cooperatives, and consumer-cum-producer cooperatives.
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Benefits Of Staying In Cooperative Society
Cooperative societies are organizations formed by individuals with similar interests to pool their resources and work together to achieve common goals. There are several benefits of staying in cooperative society, including:
- Collective bargaining power: Being part of a cooperative society gives members the advantage of collective bargaining power. This means that they can negotiate better prices for goods and services, access loans at lower interest rates, and enjoy other benefits that would be difficult to attain individually.
- Shared resources and knowledge: Cooperative society enable members to share resources and knowledge, which can lead to better productivity and efficiency. Members can also learn from one another and collaborate on projects that benefit the community.
- Democratic decision-making: Cooperative societies are democratically run, with members having equal voting rights. This ensures that decisions are made collectively, with everyone having a say in the direction the organization takes.
- Risk sharing: Members of cooperative society share both the risks and benefits of their activities. This means that if one member suffers a loss, the others can step in and help, reducing the impact of the loss on the individual.
- Social support: Cooperative society provide a sense of community and social support. Members can form relationships and bonds with others who share their interests and values, which can lead to improved mental health and wellbeing.
Overall, staying in cooperative societies can provide many benefits, including greater bargaining power, access to shared resources and knowledge, democratic decision-making, risk sharing, and social support.
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Cooperative societies have a rich history and continue to play an important role in economic and social development worldwide. The different types of cooperative societies cater to various needs and aspirations of their members, providing them with economic benefits and opportunities for growth.