Rochdale Principles

Rochdale Principles

Rochdale Principles

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The Rochdale Principles are a set of ideals for the operation of cooperatives. They were first set out by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers in Rochdale, England, in 1844, and have formed the basis for the principles on which co-operatives around the world operate to this day. The implications of the Rochdale Principles are a focus of study in co-operative economics. The original Rochdale Principles were officially adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in 1937 as the Rochdale Principles of Co-operation. Updated versions of the principles were adopted by the ICA in 1966 as the Co-operative Principles and in 1995 as part of the Statement on the Co-operative Identity.



Current ICA version of co-operative principles (1995)

The Rochdale Principles according to the 1995 ICA revision are detailed below.

NOTE: The subcategories listed below are of an editorial nature, in that they are an explanation of the author's understanding of these principles. They are not expounded upon in that much detail in the actual ICA principles. See: http://www.ica.coop/coop/principles.html .

Voluntary and open membership

The first of the Rochdale Principles states that co-operative societies must have an open and voluntary membership. According to the ICA's Statement on the Co-operative Identity, "Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to all...
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