New Internationalist

What Is A Co-op?

Issue 368

Co-ops around the world have agreed on some basic principles they use to define themselves.

Illustration by Jai / UHC Collective
Illustration by Jai / UHC Collective


Without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.


Controlled by its members.


Members control the capital of their co-op.


Agreements with other organizations ensure democratic control is retained.

Edited extract from Statement On Co-operative Identity, adopted by the General Assembly of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in 1995. The full text is available on the ICA website:


So that members can contribute effectively and inform the general public.


With other co-ops locally, nationally and internationally.


For the sustainable development of their communities.

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