Japanese Consumer Co-ops are organization owned by its members and utilize the co-operative principle of Democratic Member Control, or one member/one vote. Members control their own membership and can be involved in co-op business from simply using the co-op facilities to becoming a Board Member.
The Consumers' Livelihood Co-operative Society Law (Co-op Law) and the ICA Principles underline the basis of Co-op Governance.
The owners of co-op are the members who provide capital not for the purpose of securing profits rather for the mutual bemefit of all co-op members.
Co-op members have the opportunity to give their voice regarding what is important to them, and co-op listen to and act on their comments.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the regional members' meetings, often once a year, are a key way that members can voice out their ideas and opinions to the running of their Society.
Co-op governance structure encourages dialogue, open involvement and democratic decision-making.
Unlike shareholder organizations, consumer co-operatives are 100% democratically controlled and jointly owned by its member-owners. Large or small, each member-owner has an equal vote at the AGM.
Any co-op that reaches a certain size has a professional management team, which administers the co-op business at the behest of the members. The ostensible role of consumer co-op management is to undertake the administration of the co-op for the benefit of the consumer members, being entrusted to do so by them.
Directors and auditors are elected by members who exercise their right to vote.
All consumer co-operatives have board of directors elected by and from the membership.
JCCU Board of Directors
JCCU Board of Directors consists of 44 members. Out of the 44, 38 are Directors, consisting of 31 member representatives, 5 executives and 2 experts) and 6 Auditors.
The Board's primary objective is to provide broad direction to the organization. The Board directs the activities related to the society's mission and operates independently from the day-to-day management of the business. Additionally, Board members fulfill roles on standing and ad hoc Board committees.
The Board is responsible for key governance issues such as:
1. ensuring the organization's financial viability
2. articulating the mission, ideals and vision
3. setting the strategic direction
4. the appointment, selection and performance management of the President and CEO
Management is responsible for the day-to-day guidance and operation of the society. Major decisions, such as significant investment transactions, acquisitions, business arrangements or alliances must be submitted to the Board for approval. Each year, the Board reviews the financial statements and strategic business plans for the company and regularly monitors its progress in achieving these plans.