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Co-operative Values and Principles

Definition of a Co-operative

“A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.”

International Cooperative Alliance


Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.

In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

For those interested in finding out more about the Co-operative Values and principles and how they are applied, we recommend visiting the website of the International Co-operative Alliance.

Click here to download the ICA guidance on these.