Cooperatives (or “co-ops”) are legally incorporated organizations owned by their members who use their services or purchase their products. Co-ops can provide virtually any product or service, and can be either non-profit or for-profit enterprises.
As its name implies, a cooperative is people coming together to meet a common need. The cooperative business enterprise model is inherently ethical in its treatment of its members, employees, suppliers and the environment. Co-ops serve a range of sectors, including housing, food, worker, agriculture, service, financial,youth, aboriginal and community.
Co-ops are democratic,member-owned organizations. They are responsible to their own members. The members determine how the co-op will be run, elect the Board of Directors and allocate the profits of the co-operative among its member-owners.
As businesses driven by values not just profit, cooperatives share internationally agreed values and principles and act together to build a better world through co-operation. For more information on the internationally agreed values and principles, click here.
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