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Definition of a Cooperative

A cooperative (or co-op) is a business operated and democratically controlled by its membership of Owners to meet their common needs and aspirations. Co-ops are guided by the seven principles. 

1.  Voluntary, Open Ownership
     Open to all without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination. You may shop, you may join, and you may             leave the co-op at any time.

2. Democratic Owner Control
    One Member-Owner, one vote. Your voice will be heard.

3.  Owner Economic Participation
     Member-Owners contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. The economic benefits of a       cooperative operation are returned to the Member-Owners, reinvested in the co-op,

     or used to provide Member-Owner services.

 

4.  Autonomy And Independence
    Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their Member-Owners.

5.  Education, Training And Information
     Cooperatives provide education and training for Member-Owners so they can contribute effectively to the development of their       cooperatives. They inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperation. You can develop yourself into the         consumer you want to be. 

 

6.  Cooperation Among Cooperatives
     Cooperatives serve their Member-Owner most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together                 through local, regional, national structures. You are more successful when you cooperate with others who know how                     to cooperate. 

7.  Concern For The Community
     While focusing on Member-Owner needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through             policies accepted by their Member-Owners.