The 7 Cooperative Principles
All Co-ops use these principles to guide their decisions and operations, and put their values into practice.
- 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.
- 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.
- Member Economic Participation — Members contribute equitably to and democratically control the capital of their co-operative.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.