Cooperative Governance

Governance in cooperatives is as important as in any other institutions, probably more.

Values of Cooperation

    • Self-help means that persons should help themselves by coming together and should not depend on others beyond the co-operative.  Co-operators believe that the development of a person can best take place in association with others.  
    • Self-responsibility means that the members themselves assume responsibility for their co-operatives -- for its formation, continuation and future success.
    • Democracy means that each member has an equal opportunity to decide how the co-operative should be run and to frame policies to achieve its objectives.  This is the principle of one-member with one-vote.
    • Equality means that everyone in a co-operative has an equal opportunity with respect to the right to participate, the right to information, the right to be heard and the right to be involved in decision-making. 
    • Equity means a member is rewarded for her/his participation in the co-operative.  The more s/he uses the services of the co-operative, the higher the return s/he will get.
    • Solidarity means that a co-operative is not merely an association of members.  Members should be treated as fairly as possible.  The each member of the co-operative is responsible for the collective interest of all its members.  This value also means that co-operators and co-operatives stand together for the development of the co-operative movement. 

The values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others are fundamental ethical values.  These are values, which members of any community should practice.  They have been practiced for ages and thus find a central place in the co-operative movement. 

Principles of Cooperation

Voluntary and open membership:

  • Co-operatives are voluntary organisations
  • Open to all persons who are: 
    1. Able to use their services
    2. Willing to accept the responsibilities of membership
    3. Without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination. 

Democratic Member control

  • Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. 
  • Elected representatives are accountable to the membership. 
  • In primary co-operatives, members have equal voting rights (one member - one vote)
  • Co-operatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner. 

Member economic participation:

  • Members contribute to the capital through equity and democratically control
  • Limited compensation to equity
  • Surpluses may be allocated:
  1. as reserves to develop their Co-operative
  2. to distribute Patronage
  3. to any other activity approved by the members that benefits the members.   

 Autonomy and independence:

  • Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by their members.
  • If co-operatives enter into agreements with other organisations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they should do so on terms that ensure democratic control by members and maintain their autonomy. 

 Education, training and information:

Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so that, they contribute effectively to the development of their Co-operatives.  Inform the general public - particularly the young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefit of Co-operation. 

Cooperation among co-operatives:

Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through

  • Local. 
  • National. 
  • Regional &
  • International structures.   

Concern for community: Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their community through policies approved by their members. 


Role and Responsibilities of the members

Members are owners, they should

  • Be sincere and loyal to DCS
  • Pour surplus milk only through DCS
  • Solutions through dialogue within cooperative framework
  • Should not spread rumors about their coop
  • Should participate in education & trainings

Rights- Members

  • Participate in the general meetings
  • Express views without hesitation
  • Exercise voting rights
  • Contest election
  • Seek information
  • Avail service provided by DCS