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Consumer Cooperatives

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Chapter Summary

Consumer cooperatives are based on budget pooling: several individuals or households pay into a joint fund, used to purchase goods for subsequent distribution among these individuals or households. The well-developed team spirit can bring about solid organizations, as revealed by the success of consumer cooperatives of civil servants or the military. Consumer cooperatives purchase products from commercial wholesalers, from state and municipal companies, or from producer cooperatives. The purchasing federations existed in various types of organizations, listed in this chapter in order of ascending power: commercial information bureaus, which passed on the prices charged by suppliers to the consumer cooperatives, and reported the resulting orders back to the vendors; syndicates, which operated independently as buyers for affiliated consumer cooperatives, and were consequently able to trade on their own consumer cooperative account; and wholesale societies, which actually functioned as consumer cooperatives for other consumer cooperatives.

Keywords: civil servants; commercial information bureaus; commercial wholesalers; consumer cooperatives; fund; purchasing organizations; syndicates; wholesale societies



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