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Market intervention strategies

CO-OPS THAT WORK

Market intervention

Co-ops intervene in the market in the best interest of their members, this can be in their role as consumers, as producers, as workers, or as members of a specific community.  Groups of people decide to work together with the objective of improving their position within a market.  The primary aim of their joint action is to secure a ‘better deal’ for members.  The alternative to taking mutual action is usually to remain at the mercy of those who dominate, manipulate or fail to serve specific markets.

Making markets work for people

Many of the factors that prevent us from living more fulfilling lives arise because we are unable to exercise enough power in the markets we rely upon for our economic well-being.  Our vulnerability to the market forces working against us becomes apparent when we cannot access the goods or services we need, where and when we need them, or on terms that are neither fair nor reasonable. The same challenge applies when we cannot achieve a fair price for our labour, knowledge, and skills and for the things we produce, grow, or supply. Co-ops provide the mechanism to challenge injustices within the market.

Many people are often disadvantaged in a market because they are unable to exercise enough power in the market. People lack power for a variety of reasons, though most often this is because they do not control enough resources to compete effectively, for example, when they lack enough finance to run the production or processing facilities needed to add value to commodities such as food crops and livestock. In other cases, they are exploited when cartels, criminals, cheats or dominant participants, distort or control a market. In some cases, ‘sellers’ may dominate markets, while in others ‘buyers’ exercise disproportionate power, but in either case, some people are at a disadvantage because of their lack of power in a specific market.

Market intervention strategies

All co-ops need a viable market intervention strategy that delivers the purpose of the enterprise. Merely copying what current players in the market already do will often be unlikely to provide the basis for a viable strategy. The strategy selected should set out how, in practice, the enterprise will intervene within a market to secure a better deal for their members. The chosen strategy becomes the primary driver in founding and sustaining the enterprise. The strategy must be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that it continues to be the right approach in current and future conditions. Also, to maintain the enterprise's continuing relevance in the lives of members.

To learn more about: Developing Market Intervention Strategies
To watch this 15 minute video now or see later
a street market
Market intervention in the best interest of members
marketing co-ops
Making markets work for people
Resilience words
Improving members' resilience in markets
Link to Video

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Updated: April 2021 © Edgar Parnell 2021
Cooperatives and all other types of self-help enterprise
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