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An association or corporation established for the purpose of providing services on a nonprofit basis to its shareholders or members who own and control it.

The nature and functions of cooperatives differ considerably—such as purchasing cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, and marketing cooperatives.

In the context of agriculture, a farmers' cooperative refers to an organization of farmers residing in the same locale that is established for their mutual benefit in regard to the cultivation and harvest of their products, the purchase of farm equipment and supplies at the lowest possible cost, and the sale of their products at the maximum possible price.

The term cooperative also signifies the ownership of an apartment building by a nonprofit corporation that holds title to it and the property upon which it is situated. Stock in the corporation is allotted among the apartment units on the basis of their relative value or size. The right of occupancy to a particular apartment is granted to each cooperative member, who purchases the shares assigned to the desired unit. The member subsequently receives a long-term proprietary lease to that unit. The rent payable pursuant to the lease is that member's proportionate share of the expenses the corporation incurs in operating the cooperative—such as insurance, taxes, maintenance, management, and debt service. The cooperative concept evolved in New York City during the early 1900s as a mode of accommodating the public's desire for home ownership; it subsequently expanded to other large urban centers.

In order to finance the purchase or construction of the cooperative building, the cooperative places a blanket mortgage on the property, which is pledged to support the given debt. Lenders usually are hesitant to accept an individual member's stock and proprietary lease as security for a long-term loan. The members' lien (a claim on property to satisfy a debt) on the lease would be subordinate to the blanket mortgage on the property. The purchaser of a cooperative apartment usually must have sufficient cash available to pay for the stock allotted to the unit he or she wishes to obtain. The initial price of the stock generally does not exceed the amount required for a down payment on a single-family residence. As cooperative members accumulate Equity (the value of property exceeding the total debts on it) in their stock, subsequent purchasers must either have a substantial amount of cash available or locate a seller who is willing to recoup the equity in installments over several years.

Cooperative members are also financially dependent on each other. The existence of a single blanket mortgage paid by rent receipts means that if several members default in their rent payments, the corporation might not have sufficient funds to pay a mortgage loan installment. Foreclosure will ensue in regard to the entire membership unless it acts to satisfy the default. Although special reserves and assessments are generally employed to cover such a contingency, the available funds might be inadequate to prevent default.


n. an association of individual businesses, farmers, ranchers, or manufacturers with similar interests, intending to cooperate in marketing, shipping and related activities (sometimes under a single brand name) to sell their products efficiently, and then share the profits based on the production, capital or effort of each. "Sunkist" oranges is an example of a large cooperative. Cooperatives include dairy milk producers, cotton gins, and thousands of other enterprises of all sizes. There are also cooperatives in which consumers form retail outlets like grocery stores and share the profits based on the amount of patronage of each member, but they have found it difficult to compete with the giant supermarket chains.


noun alliance, association, collective, communal business establishment, communal society, commune, concurrent effort, federation, guild, joint action, joint operation, joint possession, partnership, teamwork, union
See also: ancillary, associated, beneficial, benevolent, coadunate, collective, common, concerted, concurrent, consensual, constructive, favorable, harmonious, joint, mutual, synergetic, united
References in periodicals archive ?
Las cooperativas deberian tener menos riesgo que las empresas, por la combinacion de cuatro factores que suelen estar presentes en la vida institucional de las cooperativas: a) los procesos de integracion mediante los cuales se constituyen federaciones y confederaciones de cooperativas, b) el capital social que resulta de la construccion de confianza reciproca a traves de la cohesion social o la vinculacion entre actores, c) la solidaridad que implica la construccion de un todo compuesto internamente por elementos firmemente cohesionados y d) la existencia del sujeto cooperativo, colectivo e indiviso, que refleja y condensa la accion del grupo humano que integra una cooperativa.
A principios de los anos cincuenta, John Nash rompio con el paradigma propuesto por von Neumann y Morgensten en cuanto a la nocion de los juegos de suma-cero o no cooperativos.
Como observa Kleiman (1997), o texto nao e um produto acabado, recebido de modo passivo, mas depende da participacao do leitor, que preenche as indeterminacoes por meio de movimentos cooperativos.
Credito cooperativo, finanziamento alle piccole imprese e sviluppo economico decentrato: valutazioni teoriche e primi riscontri empirici", Cooperazione di Credito, 55 (4), 309-369
Alternativamente, a hierarquia apresenta vantagem na emergência de problemas cooperativos, em que há dependência multilateral.
Programa cooperativo inter-americano," Boletim do SESP, 24 (July 1945): 7.
10) Singer (2007) destaca la contraposicion entre el comportamiento cooperativo hacia adentro del grupo y el comportamiento egoista hacia terceros extranos.
Assim, podemos afirmar que o comportamento cooperativo, de uniao e de boa receptividade dos medicos pioneiros influenciou o desenvolvimento dessa cultura na Associacao Medica de Ceres, contribuindo de forma relevante para a expansao do cluster de saude da cidade.
Nesse sentido, no processo deliberativo, ao inves de partir de um ponto de vista estrategico e maximizador dos objetivos privados, os sujeitos transformam, por meio da justificacao publica, suas preferencias e interesses, refletindo de modo cooperativo acerca de uma questao que afeta a todos os participantes (Bohman, 2009).
Na interacao analisada, observamos que a sobreposicao de falas, ao contrario da hipotese inicial de que a sobreposicao evidenciaria disputa pela palavra, ocorreu de modo cooperativo.
Aprendizaje cooperativo, competitivo e individualista.
Against this background of Spanish history and Catalan culture, WOCCU is holding its Annual Conference along with Banco Cooperativo Espanol and Union Nacional de Cooperativas de Credito.