Cooperativism or cooperative movement refers to a social movement or doctrine that tries to enable people to organize themselves through societies called "Cooperatives"to be able, together, to achieve common objectives. This term has gained increasing importance in recent times thanks to the creation of partnerships with common purposes among its partners.
The actions undertaken jointly are those that allow cooperative members to obtain certain reductions in the final prices of the products, in the purchase of materials, create synergies between producers from different sectors, etc ...
However, this concept also has a social aspect, as it is not only trying to achieve a certain dynamism within the cooperative for its own benefit, but also for society. There are certain cooperatives of a social nature whose main objective is the satisfaction of the common needs of society rather than profit.
Regarding the main cooperative values, we find:
- Mutual support between the members of the cooperative is perhaps one of the most visible values. The general objective is association as a means to get things done.
- Direct democracy: it is the members themselves (the cooperative members) who are going to make the decisions.
- Self-effort through mutual motivation will be a fundamental pillar for the partners.
- The existence of equity and equality. Equity refers to the fair distribution of benefits among those who are members of the cooperative or who have helped to obtain them. As for equality, it refers to the equal rights and duties of the members of the cooperative.
- Another fundamental value is solidarity. Cooperative members help each other to successfully achieve the goals raised, and among them they should feel like one more community or family to turn to (at the level of decision-making, mutual support, etc.).