7 Cooperative Principles

Cooperatives have been around for hundreds of years, since Benjamin Franklin formed the first mutual insurance company in Philadelphia. We believe in seven basic principles and these principles are the foundation for Rising Tide Co-op.

1 Open & Voluntary Membership
Membership in a cooperative is open to all persons who can reasonably use its services and stand willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, regardless of race, religion, gender, or economic circumstances.

2 Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. electing representatives (directors/trustees) and are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote).

3 Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control the capital of their cooperative. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative; setting up reserves; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities. 

4 Autonomy & Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control as well as their unique identity.

5 Education, Training & Information
Education and training for members, elected representatives (directors/trustees) CEO’s, and employees help to effectively contribute to the development of cooperatives. Communications about the nature and benefits of cooperatives particularly with the general public and opinion leaders help boost cooperatives.

6 Cooperation among cooperatives
By working together through local, national, regional, and international structures, cooperatives improve services, bolster local economies, and deal more effectively with social and community needs.

7 Concern for Community
Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies supported by their membership.