The philosophy underpinning the ethos behind the creation of cooperatives can be found in the writings and activities of Robert Owen, Louis Blanc, and Charles Fourier, among others. After some early 19th-century experiments, consumers’ cooperation took permanent form with the establishment in 1844 of the Rochedale Society of Equitable Pioneers in England. The cooperative movement has since had considerable growth throughout Great Britain and the Commonwealth, where local cooperatives have been federated into national wholesale and retail distributive enterprises and where a large proportion of the population has membership. In the United States, the cooperative movement also began in the 19th century, first among workers and then among farmers. Other examples of cooperative organizations can also be found in the Scandinavian countries, Israel, ...

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