Co-operative Principles

Voluntary Association and Open Membership

1. Membership of a co-operative society shall be voluntary and available without artificial restriction or any social, political, racial or religious discrimination, to all persons who can make use of its services and are willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.


Democratic Control

2. Co-operative societies are democratic organisations. Their affair shall be administered by persons elected or appointed in a manner agreed by the members and accountable to them. Members of primary societies should enjoy equal rights of voting (one member, one vote) and participation in decisions affecting their societies.

Limited Interest on Capital

3. Share capital shall only receive a strictly limited rate of interest, if any.

Equitable division of surplus


The economic results arising out of the operations of the society belong to the members of that society and shall be distributed in such a manner as would avoid one member gaining at the expense of others.

This may be done by decision of the members as follows:

(a) By provision for development of the business of the Co-operative;

(b) By provision of common services; or.

(c) By distribution among the members in proportion to their transactions with the society.

Co-operative Education

5. All co-operative societies shall make provision for the education of their members, officers, and employees and of the general public, in the principles and technique of Co-operation, both economic and democratic.

Co-operation among Co-operatives

6. All co-operative organizations, in order to best serve the interests of their members and communities shall actively co-operate in every practical way with other co-operatives at local, national and international levels.