The Nature of a Co-operative: A Reflective Piece

04 Jun 2024
Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

The article below discusses how exactly a cooperative differs from a company or corporation, particularly within a UK framework. The article explores the historical development of contract law and its role in giving security to businesses throughout the Industrial Revolution. It addresses how the ideas of enforceability and contract freedom provided the foundation for a competitive economy and free-market philosophy.


This article provides an examination of the contrast between transactions under co-operative rules and traditional contracts, with a focus on the implications of contract law prevailing in modern business practices. All transactions between producer and consumer fall under implied contract law, but these social contracts are limited in redress and enforcement in a competitive market. Cooperatives provide an alternative to this traditional and transactional relationship that suits private interests. 


Furthermore, the document delves into the legislative confirmation of a company's purpose for private benefit, contrasting it with the purpose of a co-operative, which aims to provide goods and services for the common good. A cooperative’s primary goal is to facilitate benefits and enterprise for the common good while a company seeks more private benefits. 


For an interesting read about the history, background, and nature of cooperatives in the UK, look at the file attached below.


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United Kingdom