What is a Co-operative?

Co-operatives are owned and run by their members, for their members. As well as giving members an equal say and share of ownership, a co-operative works together to meet their common needs and goals.

Being a co-operative is what makes us different from other businesses. Instead of making profits for shareholders, we aim to provide the best possible services for our members and to invest in the communities where they live. This is the co-operative difference and it is part of our values and principles.


There are many co-operatives around the world in lots of different industries – from film production to farming, banking to building, and everywhere in between. Over 35 million people in the UK and 1 billion people worldwide are members of co-operatives like Lakes & Dales, part of Scotmid Co-operative.

Visit Co-operatives UK for more information on the co-operative movement in the UK.

Visit the International Co-operative Alliance for more information on the international co-operative movement.