A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
All cooperatives worldwide are based on specific values:
People take together control of their own destiny and not mainly depend on external help
Cooperative members are supposed to think not only on their individual tasks or needs, but to involve themselves for the whole group
Cooperatives are controlled, managed and run by their members in a democratic way
Within a cooperative, each member is granted the same rights and duties and can access the same opportunities
Equity means being fair and acknowledging differences in people’s situations and needs, providing a treatment and conditions that allow to level the playing field
The improvement of individuals’ immediate and long term goals depends upon the agreement and support of the members of the cooperative as a whole.