Seven Cooperative Principles
Co-ops are rooted in values similar to those many of us subscribe to personally, including self-responsibility, democracy, equality, honesty, and social responsibility. In addition to these values, co-ops around the world look to seven internationally recognized principles to guide them.
One: Voluntary & Open Membership
Co-ops are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept responsibilities of ownership, without discrimination.
Two: Democratic Member Control
Co-ops are democratic organizations controlled by their owners, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Every owner account receives one vote in co-op elections.
Three: Members' Economic Participation
Owners contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-op.
Four: Autonomy & Independence
Co-ops are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their owners.
Five: Education, Training, & Information
Co-ops provide education and training for their owners, board members, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-op.
Six: Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Co-ops serve their owners most effectively and strengthen the Cooperative Movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
Seven: Concern for Community
Co-ops work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their owners.