Co-op Values & Principles

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.

Wolfeboro Community Food Cooperative is committed to the 7 Cooperative Principles that guide cooperatives around the world. The International Cooperative Alliance founded these principles based on over a hundred years of written co-op history. The following is our interpretation of these principles:

1: Voluntary and Open Membership
Wolfeboro Community Food Cooperative is a voluntary organization, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

2: Democratic Member Control
Wolfeboro Community Food Cooperative is a democratic business. The Co-op is controlled by members according to the one-owner=one-vote guidelines. Members vote on bylaw changes when needed and elect the Board of Directors who govern the Co-op on their behalf. 

3: Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of the Co-op through their investment. Each year that the Co-op makes a profit, the Board of Directors determines how that profit will be allocated and dispersed. Profit may be used to fund large Co-op projects, build our financial reserves, and/or distribute patronage rewards back to members in proportion to their purchases at the store.


4: Autonomy and Independence
Wolfeboro Community Food Cooperative is an autonomous organization controlled by our Members. 

5: Education, Training and Information
Wolfeboro Community Food Cooperative will provide education and training for members, Board members, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to co-op development. We will also educate the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

6: Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Wolfeboro Community Food Cooperative serves members most effectively and strengthens the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures. Wolfeboro Community Food Coop will network with other co-ops to create a successful business.  

7: Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, Wolfeboro Community Food Cooperative will work to support the sustainable development of our community

Photo by Donna Cleaves