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rochdale principles cooperatives

Cooperative, association of producers and consumers for the purpose of sharing among the members profits that would otherwise go to intermediate businesses and individuals. The organized cooperative movement dates from the first half of the 19th century. Social reformers such as Claude Saint-Simon, Louis Blanc, Robert Owen, and Charles Fourier protested the exploitation of the workers associated with the Industrial Revolution and urged collective self-help. The first successful consumer cooperative was the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, founded in England in 1844. The Rochdale principles, still basic to many cooperatives, call for open membership, democratic control, education of members, and service at cost.

The founding of the National Grange in the United States in 1867 stimulated small-scale efforts to form cooperatives, and it promoted the adoption of the Rochdale principles throughout the country.

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