Responsible and sustainable enterprises
Consumer co-operatives have adopted modern techniques in order to create undertakings which are the most suitable to render a high quality service.
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 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.
Stemming from their values, consumer cooperatives have a strong focus on Social Responsibility. Hence, while emphasis is placed on satisfying the needs and expectations of the members, consumer co-operatives favour a sustainable approach towards the activities of production and distribution taking into account the sustainable development of local communities, environmental concerns and the health and safety of consumers.
The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice:
- 1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership
- 2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control
- 3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation
- 4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence
- 5th Principle: Education, training and information
- 6th Principle: Co-operation among co-operatives
- 7th Principle: concern for the community
Read more about these principles and the co-operative identity of the International Co-operative Alliance