A co-operative is a business owned by its members. It is created to provide services and products members need. A co-operative is a democratic organization – each member has a single vote, regardless of his/her investment in the co-operative, or his/her purchases from the co-operative.
Members elect a board of directors from among themselves to govern the co-operative. The board sets policies and hires a general manager to run the day to day activities of the co-operative. The board meets regularly to review operations and management reports.
Co-operatives uphold certain other principles including concern for community, educating the public and youth about co-operative values, voluntary and open membership, and autonomy.