SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF A COOPERATIVE
1) Voluntary and Open Membership: Cooperatives are open to anyone able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership
2) Democratic Member Control: Cooperative Member Owners control the organization through an elected board of directors. The board is responsible for setting the business direction, ensuring the cooperative has adequate financial and people resources and monitoring the cooperatives perfomance.
3) Member Economic Participation: Cooperative net earning are returned to member owners based upon their use of the cooperative's products and services. These payments are called patronage refunds. The law requires a percentage to be paid in cash and the remaining amount in stock.
4) Autonomy and Independence: Cooperatives are independent organizations controlled by their member owners.
5) Education, Training, and Information: Cooperatives, to ensure their long term success, must provide cooperative education and training for their members, directors, managers, and employees.
6) Cooperation among Cooperatives: Cooperatives, in order to serve their members must effectively, should work together with other local, regional, and international cooperatives. This cooperation helps reduce duplication of efforts and can enhance benefits to members.
7) Concern for Community: While focusing on member needs, cooperatives should work to support overall community development. Cooperatives generally contribute greatly to the communities economy.