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P6 - Cooperative Trade Movement:

To build a solidarity economy that transforms the marketplace in deeper alignment with our mutual values

Around the world, cooperatives are organized according to seven international cooperative principles. Principle Six: Cooperation amongst Cooperatives emphasizes the importance of cooperatives doing business with each other.

We chose to name our new initiative Principle Six, because we believe that it is only through purposeful cooperation that we will be able to build an alternative economy that reflects our mutual values. Given today’s financial and environmental crises, it is clearly time to build a cooperative economy where the importance of multiple bottom lines (financial, social, and environmental) out-weigh conventional emphasis on more profits.

Every time we purchase a product, we are engaging in trade. Behind every transaction, money changes hands and there is a potential to add value in the supply chain. But who gains, how much profit is made and how the profits are used, are generally hidden from the consumer.

We aim to clarify and de-mystify all that goes on behind the scenes and in the process highlight, educate about, and promote those products where cooperative value is added through consumers’ purchases. These informed and engaged consumer members will for a new cooperative trade movement which will change the way in which we have allowed conventional trade to occur.

We will accomplish our goals through: promoting the products and companies that meet our highest values; educating and engaging consumers about our food system and ways we can make it more just and sustainable; and building stronger cooperative relationships between farmers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers

P6 Products

Products at Willy Street Co-op will be considered "P6 products" if they represent at least two of the three following criteria:

  1. small farmer/producer
  2. local
  3. cooperative or non-profit organization

At Willy Street Co-op, small farmer/producer is defined using these guidelines: a.) Independently owned and operated, and b.) Selling direct to store or through a local distributor with a regional distribution area. “Local” is defined as a product grown or produced within a 150-mile radius of the Capitol in Wisconsin. “Co-op” is defined by cooperative ownership of the business or non-profit organization that benefits our community (e.g., Troy Farm, Porchlight, Seed Savers).

To read more about the P6 Cooperative Trade Movement and our P6 vendors and products, please see the two articles printed in our October Reader at: http://www.willystreet.coop/article/7955 To view the national P6 website, you can find that at: www.P6.coop