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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

The Cooperative That Could

“The interesting thing about S Group is that it’s boring,” Evan Carr told me. We were standing in an S Market, a midsized grocery store chain, in the middle of downtown, near the train station...

Carr, a tech worker who was born in America but has lived in Finland for more than 20 years, pointed to various labels on the shelves for vegetarian, vegan, or organic items. “You can request items and get them stocked,” he said. “I’ve done it myself.”

The interesting thing about S Market, and what brought me all the way to Finland, is not this bog-standard grocery store. It’s the parent entity S Group, a cooperative network owned by its members—and one of the biggest and most successful companies in Finland. S Group has about 2.5 million members—in a country of just 5.6 million inhabitants—representing 78 percent of Finnish households, along with 41,000 employees, 1,984 business locations, and an annual revenue of €13.5 billion last year. S Group accounts for fully 47 percent of the Finnish grocery market.

Read the rest at The American Prospect

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