Rogue Co-ops, a unique partnership of four Southern Oregon cooperatives, has been honored for its successful teamwork and dedication to the community with the annual Collaboration Award presented by Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. (SOREDI). Comprised of Ashland Food Co-op, Medford Food Co-op, Rogue Federal Credit Union, and Grange Co-op, Rogue Co-ops provides Southern Oregon and Northern California residents everything from high-quality groceries and garden supplies, to farm and pet supplies, home, auto and business loans, and much more. The group collectively employs approximately 600 people and provides products and services to a combined 90,000 members, in addition to thousands more non-members. Rogue Co-ops also donated nearly $250,000 to community service organizations, charities, and events during 2011. SOREDI's Collaboration Award honors a group of businesses setting aside competitive concerns for the good of one or more businesses and the community. In line with that standard, Rogue Co-ops' four companies vow to put people ahead of profits and challenge each other to operate by ethical standards. "At SOREDI, we understand the importance of a collective of people all working together in the same direction," said Michael Smith, SOREDI Business Development Manager. "Our efforts with regional economic development are based on good collaboration, so for companies as diverse as these four to come together and create a concerted effort, we recognize that it's a phenomenal thing. It's a really unique thing in our area. We have lots of companies that come together in concerted efforts, but nothing quite as unique as Rogue Co-ops." Rogue Co-ops, formed in January to celebrate 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) with a theme “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World." Throughout the year, the four businesses are focusing on the concept of cooperatives putting people first, innovating to meet member's needs, and providing local service while being part of a global network.