Welcome to CDI

We make democratic ownership work for everyone.

Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) is the source for cooperative business development in the Northeast. CDI’s mission is to build a cooperative economy through the creation and development of successful cooperative enterprises and networks in diverse communities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and New York.

Cooperative Development Institute staff specialize in helping people work together to plan and launch a cooperatively owned business. We help existing privately held businesses convert to ones owned by their employees or the consumers of their products and services, we help start-up cooperatives, and we support existing cooperative businesses.

Our organization provides education, training and technical assistance to cooperatively-structured enterprises in all business sectors: food, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, housing, energy, arts, retail, service, health, and more. Find out more about CDI’s consultation services and our educational and training programs.

CDI fully supports the statement of values and principles adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA). CDI’s work is also guided by the Madison Principles, professional standards set by cooperative development leaders in Madison, Wisconsin in 1994.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA’s TARGET Center at 202/720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

How Cooperative Grocery Stores are Bringing Food Access to Low-Income Neighborhoods

Meet Cathy, the Cooperative Development Institute’s new answerwoman! She can take on any co-op questions you might have, big or small. Today we address the submitted question: “What are examples of cooperatively owned grocery stores in food desert or low-income neighborhoods in the US?” See all of Cathy’s answers and ask your own on her…

Earth Day, 2015: The Cooperative Model and the Sea

Happy Earth Day! This year, CDI thought we’d reflect on something that can sometimes receive less attention on this annual celebration: what’s happening in our oceans. In 2012, a BBC article warned, “Global fish stocks are exploited or depleted to such an extent that without urgent measures we may be the last generation to catch…

Ask Co-op Cathy: How can I find listings for housing co-ops and shared living spaces open to new members?

Meet Cathy, the Cooperative Development Institute’s new answerwoman! She can take on any co-op questions you might have, big or small. Today we address the submitted question: “How can I find listings for housing co-ops and shared living spaces open to new members?” See all of Cathy’s answers and ask your own on her home…