Inspired by the monthly periodical The Cooperator circa 1827, we shall be soon publishing our fortnightly electronic newsletter The New Co-operator to inspire cooperative innovation today. Subscribe now!
Seven Cooperative Principles
Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, cultural, political or religious discrimination.
Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations that are controlled by their members who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives, directors or officers are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights of one-member, one-vote. Cooperatives at other levels are organized in the same democratic manner.
Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperatives. At least part of that capital is the common property of the cooperative. They shall receive limited compensation or limited interest, if any, on capital subscribed and paid as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative by setting up reserves, part of which should at least be indivisible; benefitting members in proportion to their partonage of the cooperative’s bubsiness; and, supporting other activities approved by the membership.
Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into aggreements with other organizations, including government, or raise capital from external sources, they shall do so on terms that ensure democratic control of their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
Education, Training and Information
Cooperatives shall provide education and training for their members, elected and appointed representatives, managers, and employees, so that they can contribute effectively and efficiently to the development of their cooperatives.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
Concern for Community
Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.