From the website of the Federation of Funeral Cooperatives of Québec:
Cooperative funeral homes have proven a highly successful model in Canada, and especially Quebec. The cooperative movement is growing, with 9,600 deaths treated by funeral cooperatives in 2011 in Canada, up more than 5 percent from 2010.
The Fédération des Coopératives Funéraires du Québec (Federation of Funeral Cooperatives of Québec) is the umbrella structure for all funeral cooperatives in Quebec. Founded in 1987, it has grown to include 35 member cooperatives, 23 across the province, 10 in other provinces in Canada plus funeral cooperatives in Lima in Peru and Seattle in the United States.
Collectively owned by over 170,000 members in Quebec, the cooperatives operate within communities, for communities, following a philosophy of meeting the needs of bereaved families, whatever their budget, taking a humane approach and respecting values of solidarity, mutual assistance and integrity. The cooperatives offer many advantages to consumers, not least of which is their lower costs: the average cost of a funeral in Canada in 2004 was CAD$6,325, while the average cost of a cooperative funeral was $3,677.
ED’S NOTE: There’s a big international summit of funeral co-operatives in Quebec in October this year which we’d love to attend but can’t because we’re skint. We’ve heard good things about Canada’s funeral co-ops. We know that our friend Josh Slocum of the US Funeral Consumers Alliance will be there, so we hope he’ll tell us all about it.