Nearly one-third of Americans (29 percent) say they belong to a consumer cooperative and 72 percent of Americans think cooperatives such as credit unions and rural electric co-ops are “helpful to consumers” with only 11 percent saying they are “unhelpful,” according to a new national survey. The survey was developed by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) and Consumer Federation of America (CFA), and was administered to a representative sample of 1,008 adult Americans by Opinion Research Corp International (ORC) on the weekend of April 19, 2012.
“This survey illustrates that the 29,000 cooperatives in this country offer a much-needed alternative that consumers appreciate,” said Liz Bailey, interim president and chief executive officer of the NCBA. “At a time when the entire business community is focused on demonstrating shared value and social responsibility, it’s gratifying to know that Americans continue to place their trust in member-owned, democratically governed cooperative business enterprises.”
Further, survey respondents rated consumer cooperatives more highly than for-profit businesses on measures of quality and service. Cooperatives outranked for-profits in several areas.