A cooperative is an independent organization of people who have voluntarily joined the principle of mutual aid to optimize the needs and economic, social, and cultural desires of their members through a company. It is a democratic association where the administration is determined by the decisions of the members themselves.
Although there are many classifications, some types of cooperatives can be named according to:
- Specialized: they focus on a particular item of economic activity.
- Multiactive: they use activities of different styles in the same period of time such as education, savings, loans, among others.
- Comprehensive: they develop more than two related and complementary jobs, such as production, consumption, the provision of different services, etc.
- Closed: they only admit associates from a particular sector. For example a group of construction workers.
- Open: they accept any type of partner.
Level of development :
- Small Traditional: they have a small extension, simple organization, and where the associates know each other.
- Market: There is a greater number of cooperated than small companies, contact between collaborators is difficult, their administration is more complex, which causes each partner to have a specific function.
- Economically Integrated: it is very powerful to compete in the market, it has very solvent management and audits the decisions of its associates so that the economic and social objectives are not confused.
- Multi-assets: they carry out service and production actions through non-complex activities that society needs. Examples: veterinary drugstore, banks, among others.
- Of Production: they are those that carry out work of extraction and export of non-renewable resources or the manufacture of the same in elements, such as agribusiness, fishing, mining, among other activities.
- Of Services: it is the type of cooperatives that focus on the common well-being of the members of the association or society, in the transport, financial, cultural, etc. sectors.
From this classification, it can be said that the cooperations stand out in different areas:
- Labor: they are exclusive organizations for workers of the same trade that aim to transform or produce goods or be carriers of services to third parties, such as industrial production, production of services for the home, among others. All members share the profits with each other.
- Services: they have the function of distributing income and providing services of all kinds, but it is only intended for associates since they excel in optimizing their environmental conditions and needs.
- Electricity: they consist of being companies of supply and distribution of electrical energy. They may be the same as the cooperatives for the accumulation and distribution of drinking water that meet this objective.
- Education: they are student societies that are constituted in any type of educational institution, in order to project the improvement of schools and the communities where the establishments are located.
- Housing: their purpose is to shape the housing needs of their associates and provide services related to this objective.
- Savings and Credit: they are service cooperatives that offer financial intermediation assistance in favor of their members. They also encourage savings and provide loans to members of the organization with their own funds at low interest to eliminate the high costs of credits provided by commercial banks.
- Agriculture: it is made up of multiple affiliates who work the land, promote the commercialization of their products and transform goods and services related to agricultural activities. Their function is to increase the performance of this work and encourage work in rural areas to promote economic, social, cultural and associate development.
- Fishing: they are in charge of the distribution, commercialization, production of products and services that are related to the exploitation of marine resources. All the industrial potential of these cooperatives can be developed thanks to all the products from the oceans.