GreenStar Natural Foods Marker

The 7 Cooperative Principles

All Co-ops use these principles to guide their decisions and operations, and put their values into practice.

  1. Voluntary and Open Membership – Co-operatives are voluntary organizations open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibility of membership without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
  2. Democratic Member Control — Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Those serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership.
  3. Member Economic Participation — Members contribute equitably to and democratically control the capital of their co-operative.
  4. Autonomy and Independence — Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If co-operatives enter into agreements with other organizations, or raise capital from external
    sources, they do so in ways to ensure democratic control by the members and maintain their co-operative independence.
  5. Education, Training and Information — Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives.
  6. Co-operation Among Co-operatives — Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, regional, national and international structures.
  7. Concern for Community — While focusing on member needs, co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.

GreenStar’s Ends Statements:

  • Community: to Nurture a constructive, dynamic, and supportive cooperative community, and a culture of shared purpose and respect among people of diverse backgrounds.
  • Cooperation: to Foster cooperative attitudes, cooperative ownership as an alternative economic model, collaboration among cooperatives and like-minded businesses, and engagement with the larger co-op movement.
  • Local, Democratic Control: to Ensure local, democratic control of the cooperative through open participation in and transparent governance of a member-owned retail food store.
  • Good Food, Plus: to Provide wholesome, healthy, affordable and ethical food choices, as well as quality goods and services to support a healthy lifestyle.
  • Sustainability: to Make a meaningful contribution toward ecological sustainability, including a zero-carbon footprint and increased local and regional food self-reliance.
  • Education: to Ensure that its members and shoppers can learn about cooperatives, food, regional and community-based food systems, health, sustainability and social justice.
  • Fairness: to Show by example that a successful business can be an empowering and safe work environment, committed to fair treatment of both people and animals, and dignity and non-discrimination for all, including those whose labor produces and provides the goods carried by the Co-op.