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Cooperative Principles

Benton REA is owned and controlled by the people it serves. As a cooperative, Benton REA operates on a truly not-for-profit basis and is guided by these seven cooperative principles:

Open Membership – Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their 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, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership.

Members’ Economic Participation – Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.

Autonomy and Independence – Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.

Education, Training, and Information – Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives.

Cooperation Among Cooperatives – Cooperatives serve their members most effectively by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

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

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