The Culture of Co-ops

self-help • self-responsibility • democracy • equality • equity •
solidarity • honesty • openness • social responsibility • caring for others

*info from Ontario Co-operative Association

What's our goal?

The Many Feathers vision is that of a community-based movement towards sustainability. We hope to achieve this through small, grassroots actions that have a big impact. These actions can take any number of forms: from a market that showcases the best of local food and locally produced goods, to a garden where our community can grow and learn the basics of home agriculture, to education programs that instil in children the values of respect and stewardship of our environment.

Ultimately, Many Feathers hopes to develop a network of urban agriculture in communities that lack local food infrastructure. At Many Feathers, we believe that lasting, positive change can and should begin at the individual and community level. All of our actions as an organization are guided by the three pillars of sustainability, community and empowerment. 
 

What is a Co-op?

A co-operative 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.

 

7 co-operative principles

1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able to use its services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

2. Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.

3. Members' Economic Participation
Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.

4. Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the cooperative's autonomy.

5. Education, Training, and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

7. Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.