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Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers

Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, one of the first consumers' cooperatives, founded in 1844 in Rochdale, England, by 28 Lancashire weavers. Influenced by the theories of Robert Owen, they opened a grocery store that was so successful that they were able to establish a cooperative factory and textile mill (see cooperative movements). Their rules combined a fixed interest on capital with a distribution of profits in proportion to purchases. This has remained the basic structure of consumers' cooperatives.

See J. Reeves, A Century of Rochdale Co-operation, 1844–1944 (1944).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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