Our Principles


THE CO-OP DIFFERENCE

Co-op's are different, and we're proud of it. We follow seven principles that help us stand out of a crowd. Cooperation isn't a fad, it's a lifestyle.
Learn them, love them, live them.


 

VOLUNTARY & OPEN MEMBERSHIP

 

 

 

DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL

 

 

 

MEMBER ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION

 

 

AUTONOMY & INDEPENDENCE

 


EDUCATION, TRAINING & INFORMATION

 

 



COOPERATION AMONG COOPERATIVES

 


 


CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY


Anyone is welcome to join the co-op! Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, with open membership enrollment free of gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination. With a one-time investment you unlock a lifetime of benefits while also supporting your local community and healthy food systems.

Our members are our owners. They vote who becomes a part of our Board of Directors and help decide other policies and business decisions as they arise. The Elk River Area Food Co-op has equal voting rights meaning one member, one vote.
 

Members contribute equitably to the capital of their co-op. Members are what make the co-op possible, it is their investment and commitment that provide the business with buying power. When the ERA Food Co-op becomes profitable, it’s members get to decide whether they reinvest in the co-op or take their dividends home.


Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by their members.

 

Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.
 

Co-op Principle Six is Cooperation Among Cooperatives. Cooperatives serve their Owners most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, regional, national and international structures. You are more successful when you cooperate with others who know how to cooperate.


Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members-putting people in front of profit!


[Image from: Willy Street Cooperative]