Firstly, having been established in 1957, Euro Coop is one of the oldest organisations on EU level for which consumer concerns are at the core of its mission. Our national member organisations were among the first consumer organisations in their respective countries. Together, Euro Coop and its members boast a long tradition and decades of experience in dealing with consumers and their concerns.
Secondly, our member organisations (and all co-operatives by default) are unique in that they are democratically structured and managed by their members through the co-operative principle of "one member-one vote", which guarantees every member a role in setting the objectives of their consumer co-operative and, in turn, in its management via local, regional, and national assemblies.
Thirdly, the unique "grassroots" structure of co-operatives means that consumer co-operatives are directly in contact and fully aware of the views of their consumer-members at the local level, be it a village consumer co-operative on the Portuguese Algarve, in the frozen Finnish tundra north of the Artic Circle, in a mountain village in Cyprus, or on the remote Highlands and Islands of Scotland. This guarantees a mechanism of daily contact with millions of consumers across Europe. Thanks to this rich contact, they are aware of their consumers' concerns and respond to them with pragmatic, realistic solutions. In order words, consumer co-operatives not only identify consumer concerns, but unlike other consumer organisations, they also actively intervene to resolve these consumer concerns. In this way, consumer co-operatives truly empower consumers, who are usually their members, thus - owners!
Moreover, today's consumer co-operatives offer a range of dynamic services that responds to consumers' needs - such as elaborating food quality policies in their own laboratories, carrying out extensive awareness-raising, information, and education campaigns on specific issues like healthy lifestyles, publishing consumer magazines and information brochures, organising and funding training courses, and others. For the purpose, most national co-operative organisations have developed strong co-operative media (newspapers, magazines, journals, website) to reinforce and extend the consumer co-operatives mission online and offline.