The 7 cooperative principles in action

graphic of 7 cooperative principles

Cooperatives around the world operate according to the same set of core principles and values, adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance. Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844. Since our beginnings in 1937, the Swarthmore CO-OP has been guided by these principles and continues to operate according to them each and every day.

In 2018, we welcomed 60 new owners and brought in $27,000 of new equity.

Owners elected 4 new board members to open seats in April of 2018. The board then freely chose the officer positions among themselves. The owners of the CO-OP also voted on changes to the new by-laws.

In 2018, owners spent $2.7 million at the CO-OP equating to 52.7% of our total sales. Owners received $22,000 in discounts through Owner Appreciation Day and Owner Monthly Specials.

The Swarthmore CO-OP is owned by and accountable to our local community, not outside investors.

We have revamped the owners engagement committee and have hosted multiple community events. We are looking for more volunteers to help with events, educational talks, and other community centric activities.

We collaboratively work with other local Co-ops thru the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA) as well as the Mid Atlantic Food Cooperative Alliance (MAFCA). We are also proud partners of CDS, a Cooperative consulting firm.

In 2018, we worked with over 100+ local vendors allowing us to put $1,837,943.76 back in to pockets of folks close to home. We have made donations to numerous community organizations and participated in or hosted dozens of community programs including sponsoring Truck-a-Thon which drew over 9,000 people to Swarthmore last April.

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