Attention: This is not a story pitch about credit unions!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2012

Contact:   Lynn Heider
               503.350.2225
               503.358.0773 (mobile)

Contact:   David Bennett
               206.340.4828
               425.221.1237 (mobile)

FEDERAL WAY, WA; BEAVERTON, OR:–Thank you for your insightful news coverage of the economic crisis and the call to action that sent consumers to credit unions in the past several months. By joining cooperative financial institutions, over 4 million members in the Northwest received a combined $170 million in financial benefits, a savings of nearly $200 per family.

Today we’re writing to pitch stories not about ourselves, but about other cooperatives that offer consumers better prices, better service and local control. Oregon and Washington residents save money by joining food and farm co-ops, health and housing co-ops, marketing and manufacturing co-ops—even utility and funeral co-ops. Where there is a demand for a product or service range that would support the cooperative concept of people pooling their resources, then there is probably a cooperative that offers it.

The United Nations has proclaimed 2012 the International Year of the Cooperative, with the theme, “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.” We encourage you to report on some of the amazing local cooperatives that are saving money and making a difference in our community. There are more than 29,000 co-ops in the United States, providing over 850,000 jobs and paying over $74 billion in annual wages.

Industries that boast cooperatives are limitless. They include:

  • Consumer – The most common form of co-op, consumer co-ops are organized by individuals who seek to purchase goods and services. A great Northwest example: REI stores.
  • Utility – Northwest utility co-ops supply cost saving energy to nearly 350,000 Northwest customers! Rural Electric co-ops account for 42% of the nation’s electric distribution lines.
  • Worker – Businesses that are owned and democratically governed by their employees.
  • Producer – Most common in agriculture, where businesses band together to survive in an industry that is increasingly industrial and centralized.
  • Purchasing/Shared Service – Businesses join to improve their performance and competitiveness. Training, consulting, marketing, office supplies and insurance cooperatives are all examples.

There are dozens of cooperatives in the Northwest. In their own unique way, each is making the world a better place to live for the people who use them. The Northwest Credit Union Association this year, in the spirit of cooperation among cooperatives, will spotlight a variety of cooperatives serving Washington and Oregon.

“From the oil spill mitigation to a newly formed brewery, the cooperative business model works,” says NWCUA CEO John Annaloro. “The sectors served by Northwest cooperatives reach into nearly aspect of life one could imagine.”

Northwest Cooperatives

NAME CITY STATE WEBSITE
TILLAMOOK COUNTY CREAMERY ASSOCIATION TILLAMOOK OR http://www.tillamook.com/
PCC NATURAL MARKETS SEATTLE WA http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/
WASHINGTON RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION OLYMPIA WA http://www.wreca.coop/
OREGON RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION SALEM OR http://www.oreca.org/
GROUP HEALTH COOPERATIVE SEATTLE WA http://www.ghc.org/
REI KENT WA http://www.rei.com/
OCEAN SPRAY CRANBERRIES, INC. ABERDEEN WA http://www.oceanspray.com/
BIG BEND ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE RITZVILLE WA http://www.bbec.org/
INLAND POWER & LIGHT SPOKANE WA http://www.inlandpower.com/
PEOPLES MEMORIAL FUNERAL COOPERATIVE SEATTLE WA http://www.funerals.coop/
TREE TOP, INC. SELAH WA http://www.treetop.com/
ASTORIA COOPERATIVE ASTORIA OR http://www.astoriacoop.org/
SUNSHINE PROPANE PORT HADLOCK WA http://www.sunshinepropane.com/
GRANGE COOPERATIVE SUPPLY ASSOCIATION CENTRAL POINT OR http://www.grangecoop.com/
COWICHE GROWERS INC. COWICHE WA http://www.cowichegrowers.com/
HOOD RIVER SUPPLY ASSOCIATION HOOD RIVER OR http://hrsupply.com/
PEOPLES FOOD COOPERATIVE PORTLAND OR http://www.peoples.coop/
ASHLAND FOOD COOPERATIVE ASHLAND OR http://www.ashlandfood.coop/
FIRST ALTERNATIVE CORVALLIS OR http://firstalt.coop/
FOOD FRONT COOPERATIVE GROCERY PORTLAND OR http://www.foodfront.coop/
OLYMPIA FOOD CO-OP OLYMPIA WA http://www.olympiafood.coop/
THE FOOD CO-OP PORT TOWNSEND WA http://www.foodcoop.coop/
PORT TOWNSEND SHIPWRIGHTS CO-OP PORT TOWNSEND WA http://www.ptshipwrights.com/
SEAFOOD PRODUCERS COOPERATIVE BELLINGHAM WA http://www.spcsales.com/
THE COMMUNITY FOOD CO-OP BELLINGHAM WA http://www.communityfood.coop/
CITYBIKES WORKERS’ COOPERATIVE PORTLAND OR http://www.citybikes.coop/
NEW SEATTLE MASSAGE, INC. SEATTLE WA http://www.newseattlemassage.com/
SEQUIM GROWERS COOPERATIVE SEQUIM WA http://www.sequimgrowers.com/
WPUDA OLYMPIA WA http://www.wpuda.org/
WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL OF FARMER CO-OPS OLYMPIA WA http://www.wscfc.org/
AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE COUNCIL OF OREGON SALEM OR http://www.acco.coop/
PNGC POWER PORTLAND OR http://www.pngc.com/
STRENGTHENING LOCAL INDEPENDENT CO-OPS EVERYWHERE SEATTLE WA http://www.slice.coop/
WEB COLLECTIVE SEATTLE WA http://www.webcollective.coop/
PANGEA CO-OP SEATTLE WA http://www.pangaea.coop/
WASHINGTON STATE GRANGE OLYMPIA WA http://www.wa-grange.org/
OREGON STATE GRANGE SALEM OR http://www.orgrange.org/

-END-

The Northwest Credit Union Association is the not-for-profit trade association serving 168 of Oregon and Washington’s credit unions and their 4.2 million members. The NWCUA is the voice of the Northwest credit union movement, providing legislative, regulatory and public advocacy in addition to education, compliance, networking support and business solutions to its members. For information on how to join a credit union, please visit http://www.asmarterchoice.org.

Click here to download a copy of the press release.

Posted in CUNA, Events.