What is a Producer Co-op? What are the Advantages to Ohio Enterprises?

Producer cooperatives, sometimes known as marketing coops, are owned by people who offer similar types of goods or services.  Producer cooperatives are popular in Ohio among agricultural (i.e., farms) businesses, where it makes good business sense to pool resources to market products and get perishable goods to consumers efficiently.  Like purchasing coops, the owner-members of these coops tend to be like businesses, who have a common need to share the cost of marketing, processing, testing, or delivering their product or service.  A large notable producer cooperative is Organic Valley, which is owned by 1800 organic family farms, and whose mission is to save family farms, which translates into paying family farms as much as possible.  Agricultural cooperative models often include both producer and purchasing coop aspects, which is allowed under Ohio’s flexible cooperative law.

Other producer cooperatives have been formed to produce things Art. See Q Artist Cooperative in Wisconsin, where individual artists are member-owners of the coop. 

Benefits of Forming as a Producer Coop in Ohio?

Better Marketing of Products of Services.  Producer coop members pool their resources to generate more and better-quality marketing Cooperatively they may qualify for pricing options that individually they would not.  Sharing of marketing resources also brings a collective awareness about resources and opportunities that may have been unknown to individuals. Further, collectively they can access opportunities that may not have been available or prohibitive as individuals due to cost or volume.  Marketing cooperatively allows for better, more effective and efficient marketing systems to develop. 

Increased Income.  The benefit of the increased cooperative marketing translates to increased sales for individual members.  Also, if individual businesses spend less to process or deliver their goods or services, this results in increased profits to those members.