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  • Cooperative principles and cooperative values defined

    The cooperative principles are a set of guidelines that govern cooperative operations. Originally drawn up by Charles Howarth, one of 28 weavers and other artisans who founded the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers in Rochdale, England, on December 21, 1844, these principles were introduced into the United States in 1874 by the National Grange, and formally written down by the International Cooperative Alliance in 1937 (last updated in 1995). The cooperative principles are:

    1. Open and Voluntary Membership

    2. Democratic Member Control

    3. Members’ Economic Participation

    4. Autonomy and Independence

    5. Education, Training, and Information

    6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives

    7. Concern for Community

    Cooperative values are a set of six ideals that underpin the seven cooperative principles, which form the basis for every cooperative enterprise in the world today. The cooperative values are:

    1. Equity

    2. Equality

    3. Self-Help

    4. Self-Responsibility

    5. Democracy, and

    6. Solidarity

    The International Cooperative Alliance also separately lists cooperative “ethical values” of Honesty, Openness, Social Responsibility, and Caring for

    Others.

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