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Principles & Values

The Values and Principles embraced by today’s worldwide co-operative movement have evolved from the ideals of the pioneers of the 18th & 19th centuries. These are embodied in the Statement on the Co-operative Identity published by the International Co-operative Alliance.

Cooperatives share a set of values that give them their distinctive character:

  1. Self-help
  2. Self-responsibility
  3. Democracy
  4. Equality
  5. Equity
  6. Solidarity

In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of:

  1. Honesty
  2. Openness
  3. Social responsibility
  4. Caring for others

These values are put into practice by seven guiding principles:

  1. Voluntary and open membership
  2. Democratic member control
  3. Member economic participation
  4. Autonomy and independence
  5. Education, training and information
  6. Co-operation among co-operatives
  7. Concern for community