Principle 3: Member Economic Participation

The Rooted Carrot is a start-up food co-op continually establishing and growing itself in membership and benefit to Cedar Falls, Waterloo, and the surrounding communities. And, like all cooperative businesses, we are governed by seven co-op principles that make us distinct from most other organizations.

In previous editions of the Garlic Press, you read about the first and second principles. The third principle is Member Economic Participation. Each member owns an equal share in the cooperative thereby investing in the business. Co-ops are based on the idea of social enterprise, meaning that the Co-op re-invests any profits into its store or into other activities approved by the membership who are all co-owners. A key goal of cooperatives is to ultimately become self-reliant.

The Rooted Carrot’s structure is designed around the concept of capital serving people and labor, not labor and people being in servitude to capital. This third principle is the financial translation of the definition of a co-op, and of the financial implications of Democratic Governance, which is principle two.

For a co-op, it is crucial for members to control the capital in their organization. This allows for a market return on capital otherwise invested by members. The future of the organization is discussed and decided by the membership, often via proxy through an elected board.

The Rooted Carrot exists to improve the lives of all by providing goods and services that its members and others in the community need.  When all member-owners pool their funds together, they participate in an association that exists for the good of the whole.

Please consider joining the Rooted Carrot as a member today.

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