Cooperatives around the world operate according to the same set of core principles and values. These principles are a key reason why we operate differently from other business models. We believe in putting the needs of our members first.
1. VOLUNTARY & OPEN MEMBERSHIP
Membership in our cooperative is open to all people who can reasonably use our services and stand willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, regardless of race, religion, gender, gender expression, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or economic circumstances.
2. DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Representatives (directors) are elected among members and are accountable to them. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member = one vote).
3. MEMBERS’ ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of our cooperative. At least part of that capital remains the common property of our co-op. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the co-op; setting up reserves; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-op; and supporting other activities approved by our membership.
4. AUTONOMY & INDEPENDENCE Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If we enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, we do so on terms that ensure democratic control as well as our own unique identity.
5. EDUCATION, TRAINING & INFORMATION
Education and training for members, elected representatives (directors), CEOs and employees help them effectively contribute to the development of our cooperative. Communications about the nature and benefits of co-ops, particularly with the public and opinion leaders, help boost cooperative understanding.
6. COOPERATION AMONG COOPERATIVES
By working together through local, regional, national and international structures, cooperatives improve services, bolster local economies, and deal more effectively with the needs of our communities.
7. CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY
Our cooperative works for the sustainable development of our communities through policies supported by the membership.
Learn about the cooperative difference online at www.pvrea.coop/gocoop