Cooperation dates back as far as human beings have been organizing for mutual benefit.
Cooperative as any doctrine, and like all social reform, has its precursors. Some of the first great thinkers on cooperativism include Robert Owen from Great Britain, Charles Fourier from France and Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen from Germany, who proposed that a solution to social problems could be achieved through cooperation between individuals.
In the early nineteenth century, the City of Rochdale - birthplace of the modern cooperative movement - was a city that had achieved a great industrial development. The conditions in the industry at that time, resulted in exploitation of labor, generating frequently labor-management conflicts that workers tried to solve through strikes, which were pre-doomed by lack of appropriate organization and resources needed to maintain them.
However, in the meantime, the future pioneers of the cooperative made regular contributions to address the strikes. Due to the crisis that was affecting the industry in England, those workers were determined to find a formula that would enable them to improve their conditions, despite their small income. After considering solutions of several kinds, they came to formalize the establishment of a consumer cooperative.
Twenty-eight weavers and other artisans gathered at James Smith’s home. Under the leadership of Charles Howard - disciple of Owen- they discussed the foundations of the organization and created a series of core standards, based on experience and knowledge they had of the problem. This group of people set up the society to open their own store selling food items they could not otherwise afford.
Within those rules, highlights what is now known as the Rochdale Principle that have given rise to the modern cooperative
Since that moment, cooperativism has been spread all over the world
WHAT IS COOPERATIVISM?
El cooperativismo es una doctrina social porque tiene su propia filosofía, sus principios, sus valores básicos y opera con una metodología fundamentada en sus fines y propósitos. Es al mismo tiempo un sistema económico porque tiene una manera de actuar distinta a otros sistemas; porque en el cooperativismo se le da primacía a la persona humana y no al capital. Por eso se dice, con toda propiedad, que el cooperativismo tiene personalidad propia.
PHILOSOPHY OF THE COOPERATIVISM
It is the wholehearted participation of the human being to human beings to act together and achieve common benefits, as well as economic, social and attitude changes
It is the individual participation that each partner must give to the cooperative with capital goods, inputs of capital, skills and a productive force with which the business is strengthened.
It is the mutual support among members and the cooperative venture partners to give and receive services that seek the common good of the participants, without prejudice at any time for any reason to others or their property.
It is the decisive action of the cooperative participants to provide ongoing support to its partner and all its members. It is the interdependence between men and women who cannot be happy if others are not.