Owned by our farm families in New York & New England — Since 1919
Cabot, VT – (October 10, 2007) “Cooperatives represent the very essence of community and neighborliness,” says Dr. Richard Stammer, President and CEO of Cabot Creamery, which is joining the nation’s more than 21,000 cooperative businesses in celebrating National Cooperative Month this October.
Cooperatives are businesses owned and operated by the very people who produce its goods and use its services – its member-owners. Cabot Creamery Cooperative of Vermont is one of the best-known and most successful of American co-ops, as witnessed by twice being honored at World Championship Cheese Contests as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar.”
Co-ops and Communities
Co-ops are most often formed in existing communities, so commitment to community is almost always a part of any co-op business philosophy – service to and for the communities in which their members live, work and shop.
“A co-op represents an investment of a lot more than just money,” Dr. Stammer says. “Hard work, passion, and ownership by our farmers are the secret behind Cabot’s success. These same values and benefits are universal to the cooperative structure.”
One hundred and thirty million Americans – more than a third of the country – are members of a co-op. Cabot’s goal is to educate the remaining two-thirds on the virtues of the cooperative business model and its positive effects on business, family, the community and the environment.
While co-ops may be community-oriented, they certainly are big business. Currently, co-ops employ more than 600,000 Americans, and generate annual revenues in excess of $273 billion. Agriculture alone, arguably America’s most fundamental industry, is home to more than 3,000 cooperatives, with 2.8 million members, accounting for one-third of all U.S. farm products.
But how do cooperatives differ from traditional big business structure?
First and foremost, co-ops exemplify the American ownership society – surplus co-op revenue is distributed to its grassroots member-owners rather than to outside investors whose only concern may be the quarterly bottom line. And while the governance of most stock companies is closed to all but the largest shareholders, cooperative governance is open and democratic.
Consumers Trust Co-ops
What’s more, cooperatives have multiple bottom lines, with social as well as economic goals. As impressive as their economic prowess may be, co-ops also represent in their very structure some of the attributes Americans value most – self-help, individual responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others are all fundamental qualities that co-op members proudly exemplify.
“By celebrating National Cooperative Month we are saying to America that we are proud to be a cooperative business,” Dr. Stammer says. “We want to share the success we enjoy as a cooperative by teaching people about the cooperative business model.
“A recent survey by the National Cooperative Business Association and the Consumer Federation of America,” he continued, “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 are not. In a nutshell, co-op is a better way to do business.”
For more information on cooperatives and how you can be a part of a cooperative business or cooperative program, visit: www.go.coop
Note To Editors and Producers: For additional information, or to interview a co-op business leader, contact Art Jaeger at 703.553.8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Roberta MacDonald, Cabot Sr. V.P. of Marketing, Board Member of the National Cooperative Business Association and Chair of the Board’s Marketing Committee, at 802.839.0529 or email@example.com
ABOUT CABOT CHEESE
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919 and is best known as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar” – honored twice at World Championship Cheese Contests. Cabot is owned by the dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast’s premier dairy cooperative. For additional information on Cabot Creamery, you are invited to visit www.cabotcheese.coop
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