PEOPLE MEETING COMMON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL NEEDS TOGETHER
Co-operatives and mutuals operate across much of the Australian economy. From farming to finance, health to housing, motoring to manufacturing, they deliver trusted products and services in some of the most competitive domestic and international markets.
Co-operatives and mutuals are important to the prosperity of Australia. They help to create an economy and society that works in the interests of the widest number of people by sharing power in, and the rewards of, business.
Each type of co-operative and mutual is defined by its own history, legal framework and market experience. Each has responded differently to changes in the size and impact of the sector but many share common challenges.
Their purpose is to serve their members, who are also their customers, suppliers, their employees or a mixture. They do not exist to serve external capital investors, which means that they can concentrate directly on the products or services that they exist to provide, instead of the economic reward for shareholders. It is a different way of doing business – with a different purpose.
Where there is a proper alignment between the products and services and the interests of the member-owners of the co-operative or mutual, this way of doing business works well. With good management it is efficient, with no leakage of value from the business, and provides a systemic advantage over investor owned firms.
Co-operatives and mutuals are owned by Australians, pay their taxes in Australia and contribute to our nation’s prosperity.
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