The New Leaf Co-op is a workers’ co-operative, meaning that it is owned and democratically managed by the people who work in the shop. As employees, we have responsibility over our own working lives, and for building a workplace we want to be a part of. Without an overall business owner, we aim to pay ourselves a living wage whilst also being able to provide our customers with more affordable products. We plan to channel a proportion of our profits into seeding other projects with positive, co-operative aims.
Seven Founding Principles
Rather than simply being a profit-making entity, the co-operative model allows more space than traditional company structures for achieving wider social and environmental aims, which are enshrined in the 7 co-operative principles. In 1844, in the midst of the Industrial Revolution, The Rochdale Pioneers laid out a set of principles for their co-operative shop in the North West of England. The principles have evolved a little over the years, but even today co-operatives subscribe to a similar set of principles and the pioneering spirit lives on!
1. Co-op membership is open and voluntary.
2. Co-ops are controlled only by their members, who each have equal control.
3. All members have a fair stake in the co-op. Investment does not give control and only gives a small return.
4. Co-ops are autonomous and independent self help organisations.
5. Co-ops educate and train their members so they can contribute to the co-op. We also inform the public about the benefits of co-operation.
6. Co-operation among co-ops benefits members and the wider co-op movement.
7. Co-ops act with concern for the community.
This poster can be bought online here