The Harbour Co-op runs according to the 7 cooperative principles. This page will details the ways in which the Harbour Co-op acts within each of these cooperative principles.
- Voluntary and open membership
Anyone who is willing to purchase a share and who is willing and able to be an active participant in the co-op (by shopping at the co-op) can choose to be an owner.
- Democratic member control
Owners will elect the board, with each owner having an equal say (one member/owner = one vote). In addition, members will be consulted about major co-op initiatives.
- Member economic participation
The capital of the business is provided by the owners; members contribute a one-off investment of $365 to purchase a share of the business. Members may receive financial benefits in proportion to the amount they spend at the co-op, in the form of discounts or rebates.
- Autonomy and independence
We aim to raise all of the capital for the business from equitable owner contributions. Attention will be given to ensuring that any donations or investments taken do not come with any "strings attached", to ensure that democratic control of the business is maintained by the members, according to the one member = one vote principle.
- Education, training and information
We will provide educational materials about cooperatives, for our members and prospective members. For example, the information included on this website. We will publish a regular newsletter for members, to keep everyone informed about matters relating to the running of the co-op, as well as other events or information related to organic food and other issues relevant to our general mission.
- Cooperation among cooperatives
We will look for inspiration and information from other cooperatives. Where feasible, we will use other cooperatives as the source of goods and services. We will provide information about our experiences in setting up the co-op for other people wishing to do something similar.
- Concern for community
A concern for the community is integral to the Harbour Co-op's mission and values and all potential co-op initiatives will be evaluated according to the effect they will have on the community.