Chicago Market has always held the internationally recognized Seven Cooperative Principles as guides and we've committed to following them in our Bylaws and Policy Governance documents.
But we know we can hold ourselves accountable to more, so it's exciting that at the Board's recommendation, our Owners have now also approved and added six additional principles to guide us in our work.
As our GM Dan notes:
"Chicago Market is doing exactly what was hoped for when the international principles were updated in 1995 to the seven we commonly see — we are adapting them to our time and place while embracing the wisdom passed on to us. Our Co-op is making explicit the important ethical commitments foreshadowed by the prior set of principles. We complemented the associational structural elements already established with new principles that address the clear needs of the Cooperative as an enterprise. Our 13 principles are well suited to help guide us to reach our collective potential and endure as a cooperative resource for generations."
8. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Our cooperative recognizes the importance and benefits of broad engagement from within our community and the need to intentionally create space for meaningful participation by people from varied backgrounds throughout our supply chain. We seek to support justice through the way we run our business.
9. Concern for Ecosystems
Recognizing our dependence on the Earth’s natural systems and resources, we respect animal habitats, human habitats, and the Earth’s biological and physical equilibrium in the course of our activity as a cooperative.
10. Concern for Workers
We strive to provide purposeful, dignified employment and to encourage and enable worker participation in the guidance and economic success of the Co-op.
11. Skilled Cooperative Management
Recognizing the need for organizational capacity, we rely upon effective management and accountable empowerment, filtering management decisions through the lens of the cooperative model. We seek opportunities to develop organizational skills and cooperative understanding for the benefit of our business and the cooperative movement.
12. Strategic Leadership
We are committed to cultivating leadership, accountability and trust at all levels. Leaders are tightly aligned to our principles and strategy, while demonstrating individual initiative and a bias for action. They seek diverse perspectives and work to challenge their assumptions.
13. Innovative Culture
We serve our Owners by fostering a culture of learning, continuous improvement and innovation, to ensure the continued relevance and success of the Co-op. We strive to develop and implement new ideas for increasing value and relevance to Owners.
These are now a part of our Bylaws, which ensures they're part of all we do.