Co-op's help build a better world
We are a proud part of the international co-operative movement, a powerful global force of over one billion co-operative and credit union members creating lasting prosperity in their communities.
Co-operatives operate based on the values of self-help, democracy, equality, self-responsibility, equity and solidarity. Co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
Regardless of the services provided, cooperatives follow the same seven guiding principles. It is these principles that differentiate co-ops from other forms of business.
- 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, political or religious discrimination.
- Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.
- Members’ Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.
- Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.
- Education, Training, and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative.
- 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
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.