The Statement on the Cooperative Identity defines cooperative as 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.”
The International Co-operative Alliance is the global steward of the Statement on the Cooperative Identity – the Values and Principles of the cooperative movement.
In 1995, the ICA adopted the revised Statement on the Cooperative Identity which contains the definition of acooperative, the values of cooperatives, and the seven cooperative principles as described below.
Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.