A cooperative is a business that is owned and democratically controlled by its members. Cooperatives around the world generally operate according to the same core principles and values, adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance in 1995. Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844.
All cooperatives follow seven cooperative principles listed below.
Voluntary & 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.
Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.
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.
Autonomy & 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.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.
Education, Training & 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.
Formed May 20, 2014, the Barbados Cooperative Business Association Ltd is a cooperative business that is owned and democratically controlled by its member cooperatives. We are a member of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) a body based in Brussels that represents all cooperatives worldwide.
Barbados Coop is led by a volunteer group of persons devoted to the development of cooperatives in Barbados and the wider Caribbean region.
We are working on a number of projects at this time. The major emphasis is to resuscitate those cooperatives that appear to be dormant and, to expand our membership to include the new cooperative businesses now emerging.
MEET THE TEAM
Our mission is to empower and improve the lives of Barbadians by supporting democratically organized businesses, promoting the principles of the international cooperative movement, and growing the cooperative economy.
We envision a vibrant and growing network of cooperative enterprises that operate in all sectors of the economy to build a better Barbados —providing essential services, strengthening democratic organizations, creating quality jobs, building community wealth, reducing poverty, strengthening our local economy, protecting the environment and increasing community engagement.
Our current membership includes the following cooperatives.
Prudential Cooperative Credit Union Ltd
Barbados Pig Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd.
St. George Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd
Addis Alem Cooperative Society Ltd
Women Entrepreneurs Cooperative Society Ltd
The Cooperative Investment Fund Ltd
BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP
Developing Cooperative Initiatives:
The Cooperative Investment Fund- accepting deposits and investing in the entire cooperative sector.
The Cooperative Technology Fund - Financing the use of modern technology within the sector.
The Cooperative Property Development Fund- expanding the ownership structure in Barbados.
Accounting and Auditing Services.
Importing of equipment and products for cooperatives and their members.
Establishing relationships with regional and international cooperatives.
Market and promote the cooperative sector.
Pursue joint ventures in an effort to further the cause of the cooperative movement.
Training and education in all aspects of Co-operative development.
Providing financial advice towards improving the income generation capacity of the co-operative sector.
Representation at the national, regional, and international level.
The Cooperative Members Assistance Program (CMAP), providing assistance to the family of deceased members.