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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 ?
Certification of Cooperativa Ceramica d'Imola under the Green Squared program is a significant accomplishment," said Stowe Hartridge-Beam, Managing Director of Environmental Certification Services for SCS.
As the first Italian tile manufacturer to be recognized under the Green Squared program, Cooperativa Ceramica d'Imola has shown that its products are designed and manufactured in a manner which supports environmental sustainability and ethical responsibility.
Contudo, foi apenas em 1891 que surgiu a primeira cooperativa, em Limeira-SP: a Cooperativa dos Empregados da Companhia Telefonica.
Na visao de Culti (2002), esse tipo de cooperativa e, ate hoje, uma realidade acessivel a trabalhadores qualificados ou nao que, mediante a associacao, desejam encontrar uma forma de trabalho tanto para gerar renda e fonte de subsistencia quanto para se emancipar do sistema de salarios.
La idea de una cooperativa femenina se le ocurrio a la sociologa Maria Teresa Leal en 1981.
las mujeres inscribieron su cooperativa en 1987 y recibieron donaciones del Programa de Desarrollo de Naciones Unidas y una linea de credito del gobierno que les permitieron comprar la choza en la colina que convirtieron en una sede de tres pisos.
has downgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to A- (Excellent) from A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) to "a-" from "a" of Cooperativa Seguros Group (Cooperativa) and its operating member, Cooperativa de Seguros Multiples de Puerto Rico (CSM) (San Juan, PR).
The company Florida Bebidas has signed a strategic partnership with la Cooperativa Agropecuaria Regional de Productores de Leche (Coopeleche RL) located in San Ramon de Alajuela, reports Elfinanciereocr.
Escala Mina I, a Franklin Mining Bolivia joint-venture with Cooperativa Minera "INTI" Ltda and COMIBOL (the National Mining Company of Bolivia) has begun the delivery of silver, lead and zinc to processors in Potosi.
Through an alliance with United Nations Federal Credit Union, members of the Cooperativa San Jose Credit Union in the Dominican Republic will have access to investment services.
SAO PAULO -- Cooperativa Regional de Cafeicultores em Guaxupe (Cooxupe) confirmed yield losses in coffee processing, in view of weather problems along the crop development, demanding more coffee beans to produce a bag of processed coffee.

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