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Co-operative Stories

These are some of the stories we have discovered.  Please be sure to let us know if you might like to share yours.

Latest Stories: Platform Co-operatives

The sharing economy held great promise when it first emerged. It was seen as a way to help people build community, reduce unnecessary consumption, and generate extra income. It was based on the brilliantly simple notion that when we share, everybody has more.

But this vision quickly vanished. Tightly controlled, profit-driven corporate platforms corrupted that promise with their brand of transactional “sharing” that all too often depends on externalizing the costs and risks to users and individual service providers — Airbnb hosts and Uber drivers, for example. In addition, those that create most of the value on these platforms usually have no say in how the businesses are operated. Such practices are part and parcel of an effort to grow quickly at all costs, and sometimes with the ambition to establish a global monopoly.

The good news is that there is an alternative — one that places control and ownership of digital services into the hands of its users. It’s called a platform cooperative, or platform co-op.

You can read an excellent story written by Maira Sutton, Cat Johnson and Neal Gorenflo regarding the history and growth of platform co-operatives by clicking on this SHAREABLE link  Platform Co-op

Co-operative Breweries - Why Not Enjoy Helping Yourself! 

We've just came across a new story about a co-operative brewery in Seattle, Washington that not only brews beer, but also teaches home brewing to members. Check out their story and website here: About Flyingbike Brewery Video

We also know of another very successful beer brewing co-operative in Austin, Texas that you may find interesting.  They claim to be the world's first cooperatively owned and worker self-managed brewery.  Check out their story website and story here: Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery.

Feature Story: Co-operative Democratic Workers of the West (TRADOC)  

Adjacent to a small Mexican town called El Salto which is located less than 30 kilometers south of the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco you will discover one of the newest and most successful worker co-operatives in the world.  The worker co-operative is called TRADOC, which is short for Trabajadores Democráticos de Occidente Co-operative, which in English would be called the Cooperative Democratic Workers of the West.  This co-operative is now just over 10 years old and makes all kinds of vehicle tires - actually thousands each day!  

As in other worker co-operatives, not everyone working in the plant becomes an immediate owner member in TRADOC.  At this time, there are some 1,250 persons working at the plant, all of which are partners in a co-operative called Producción Empresarial Profesional, SC (PROEM).  Approximately one-half of all PROEM partners are owners of TRADOC.  After five years as a partner in PROEM, persons become eligible to join TRADOC.   The cost to become a member of TRADOC is small.  PROEM was created in an agreement with TRADOC and Corporación de Occidente SA (COOCSA), which is a shared ownership management company described in more detail later in this report.

This is one story of how the TRADOC came into existence and of their success as a co-operative business enterprise.

Click here for the story in English and here for the Spanish version.  

Hundreds of Stories About Co-operatives from Around the World

The following link lists hundreds of stories submitted to the International Co-operative Alliance. Co-operative Stories

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