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Cooperative Principles

Cooperatives are member-owned businesses organized and operated for the benefit of those they serve. The following Cooperative Principles guide the activities of cooperatives across the country.
 

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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.

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 cooperatives.

Cooperation Among Cooperatives

Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together.

Concern for Community

While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities.