Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers

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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 OwenOwen, Robert,
1771–1858, British social reformer and socialist, pioneer in the cooperative movement. The son of a saddler, he had little formal education but was a zealous reader.
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, they opened a grocery store that was so successful that they were able to establish a cooperative factory and textile mill (see cooperative movementscooperative movement,
series of organized activities that began in the 19th cent. in Great Britain and later spread to most countries of the world, whereby people organize themselves around a common goal, usually economic.
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). 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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
1844: The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers go into business, marking the start of the Cooperative movement.
CO-OP: It's generally accepted that the first successful Co-op was the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers in 1844, but Skelmanthorpe Industrial Co-operative Provident Society predates that by 10 years.
Seen as a "stroke of genius" when it was first introduced by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers in 1844, the scheme was a way of lfe for many families.