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“A cooperative is a voluntary contractual organization of persons having a mutual ownership interest in providing themselves needed services. It is usually organized as a legal entity to accomplish an economic objective through joint participation of its members. In a cooperative, the investment of time and money risks, benefits gained or losses incurred are shared equitably by its members in proportion to their use of the cooperative services. A cooperative is democratically controlled by its members on the basis of their status as member-users and not as investors in the capital structure of the cooperatives.”
(Savage & Volkin)