What is 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.

Co-operatives are businesses owned and run by and for their members. Whether the members are the customers, employees or residents they have an equal say in what the business does and a share in the profits.

As businesses driven by values not just profit, co-operatives share internationally agreed principles and act together to build a better world through co-operation.

In 1995, the Alliance adopted the revised Statement on the Co-operative Identity which contains the definition of a co-operative, the values of co-operatives, and the seven co-operative principles as described below.

Members