In 1950, the Roaring Fork Valley Co-op was founded in Basalt, Colorado, by a group of local ranchers and farmers. It was formed as an organization to serve the needs of the local agriculture producer. A membership of $25.00 par value was issued to provide capital to build the business. As the business grew in size, it was relocated to Carbondale, Colorado. In the early 1970s, the co-op moved to its current location and continues to serve the needs of farmers/ranchers, construction companies and residential home owners.
What is a co-op?
All cooperatives are based on Seven Principles of Cooperation, which are:
- Voluntary and open membership. Roaring Fork Valley Co-op is open to anyone who wishes to purchase our products and services.
- Democratic member control. Our member owners control the organization through an elected board of directors. The board is responsible for setting the business direction, ensuring the cooperative has adequate financial and people resources, and monitoring the cooperative’s performance.
- Member economic participation. Roaring Fork Valley Co-op’s net earnings are returned to our member owners based on their purchase of the cooperative’s products and services. These payments are called patronage refunds. The law requires a percentage to be paid in cash and the remaining amount in stock.
- Autonomy and independence. We are an independent organization controlled by our member owners.
- Education, training and information. To ensure our long-term success, Roaring Fork Valley Co-op must provide cooperative education and training for our members, directors, managers and employees.
- Cooperation among cooperatives. In order to serve our members most effectively, we need to work together with other local, regional and international cooperatives. This cooperation helps reduce duplication of efforts and can enhance benefits to members.
- Concern for community. While focusing on member needs, Roaring Fork Valley Co-op strives to support overall community development. Cooperatives usually contribute greatly to their communities’ economy.