Resource and sparring partner for cooperatives

Independent &

In my private life and professional dealings I seek to apply a number of values and concepts, which are not my own (texts in italics are from the Baha’i writings):

  1. Human dignity: All are created as noble beings with unique, precious gifts and talents. That’s also how I look at farmers, Board members and executives. “Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value”.

  1. Trustworthiness: The cardinal virtue and the true foundation of all human interaction and commerce. As human beings we’re not all-knowing and we all learn from the mistakes we make. But I’d hate it if you found me not being trustworthy. Please remind me when.

  1. Freedom from prejudice: Be extremely careful when making judgements about situations and persons, as there are often so many factors unknown. Investing in knowledge and understanding is paramount. It’s good to get to know each other.

  1. Oneness of humanity: Differences of race, nationality, culture, class, sex, etc. are all entirely secondary and subordinate to the fundamental oneness of the human race. “The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” A world solidarity of farmers seems very natural to me.

  1. World unity. Humanity is now slowly and painfully approaching its worldwide unification. “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.” Global markets and cooperative internationalization fit in this.

  1. Diversity: Differences contribute to richness, as different flowers contribute to the beauty of a garden. Tolerance may not be good enough. Celebrate diversity! A good Board blends diversity of talents and backgrounds.

  1. Consultation: Group search for truth based on equality and freedom of expression, with frankness and dignity, and without personal claim on ownership of ideas. Rather than Board politics that doesn’t truly serve member interests.

  1. Justice: Each his/her due. Even on the basis of merit, one individual or group should never be allowed to exploit any other individual or group. “The purpose of justice is the appearance of unity among men.” It’s fair to stand up for the economic rights of farmers.

  1. Voluntary sharing: As we evolve to higher levels of understanding, poverty will disappear as the rich will see it their responsibility to share. All share this responsibility. Cooperative internationalization may not come about if farmers aren’t prepared to share.

  1. Happiness: True happiness is of the spirit, not of matter. In essence, human nature is spiritual. Material reality serves an educative purpose. “Eat of the good things of this world.” Farmers know that sometimes the harvest is good, and that sometimes it is bad.

  1. Perseverance: “A quick and rapidly-won success is not always the best and the most lasting.” Cooperatives will have to demonstrate their worth as a possible alternative to an anonymous, short-sighted and essentially self-interested public share trading system.

You can learn more about the Baha’i Faith on www.bahai.org.

Our values

CO-OP Champions

Dr. Onno F. van Bekkum

Cooperative Strategist & CEO

Van Herlaerstraat 1

5324 EA Ammerzoden

The Netherlands

Mobile: +31 (0)6-3614 5231