Values and Principles of a Co-operative
Voluntary and open membership
Anybody can join a Co-operative if she/he is able to use the Co-operative’s services and are willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.
Democratic member control
One member, one vote. Each member participates in making decisions for their Co-operative.
Member economic participation
Members contribute equally towards the capital of their Co-operative (e.g. all members may be required to pay an equal membership fee, including a monthly subscription fee).
Autonomy and independence
Co-operatives are controlled by their members. Even if they enter into agreements with other organisations, they must make sure that their members keep control.
Education, training and information
Co-operatives must provide education and training for their members to help to develop their skills (e.g all members could receive business skills training).
Co-operation amongst Co-operatives
The spirit of co-operation should be applied to other Co-operatives by willingly sharing ideas, knowledge and experience.
Concern for community
Co-operatives should contribute to the sustainable development of their communities for a better life for all.
The Values of a Co-operative
Co-operative is expected to include the following values in all the work that it undertakes.
For the democratic functioning of a Co-operative, every member must have an equal chance to participate.
Co-operative members should not rely on others to get the job done, they should work together to do it themselves.
Co-operative members should not rely on others to solve their problems, they should work together to find solutions themselves.
Co-operative members should not allow others to take charge of their business or blame others in the case of obstacles, they themselves are responsible for making their Co-operative work.
Co-operatives have a duty to help the community in which they live and work.