Cooperative Principles

Cooperatives worldwide generally operate using the same principles as adopted in 1995 by the International Cooperative Alliance. The Principles are part of a cooperative statement of identity which includes a definition of a cooperative, a list of cooperative values and the cooperative principles.

Definition

A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

Values

Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Principles

  • Voluntary and Open Membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Member Economic Participation
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Education, Training and Information
  • Cooperation among Cooperatives
  • Concern for Community

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