When we think of co-ops, it’s usually food or grocery cooperatives like Chicago Market that come to mind. But cooperatives can be any type of business, really—the key characteristics are adherence to the seven international cooperative principles centered around common values pursued through jointly-owned, democratically-controlled enterprises.
Behold, the Chicago area’s newest co-op: Collective Resource Compost Cooperative! A familiar name, Collective Resource has been around for thirteen years and an active Chicago Market Business Owner for much of that time. On July 1st, the company became a hybrid co-op owned by its workers, customers, and supporters.
Picture this—you can buy food grown by cooperative networks of local farmers from a cooperatively-owned grocery store and compost your leftovers with a cooperative entity. That is what we call a cooperative foodcycle!
“This is exciting news for the co-op community,” says Dan Arnett, Chicago Market’s General Manager, who helped advise Collective Resource on its transition. “Bringing the cooperative model to an additional part of the food system means we can grow, consume, and recycle foods through community-owned options that support our values.”
Dan’s assistance to Collective Resource reflects Chicago Market’s commitment to cooperative principle #6, “Cooperation among Cooperatives.” This means that co-ops work together and help each other to strengthen the overall cooperative movement. Just as we at Chicago Market have benefited tremendously from the help and advice of other co-ops across the country, we welcome the opportunity to grow and expand cooperative entities wherever we can.
Chicago Market and Collective Resource look forward to continuing our partnership and supporting each other as fellow co-ops to bring sustainable, community-owned foodcycle options to our communities. Congratulations, Collective Resource Compost Cooperative!
To learn more about how you can get involved as an Owner of Chicago Market and Collective Resource Compost Cooperative, see here: