Why become a Naturia cooperator?
12 reasons often mentioned:
- Because you like the place
- Because you like the project
- Because you like the people who are involved,
- Because you dream, you want to try, to achieve something else
- Because you think you can start small and think big
- Because you think a place can serve as an example
- Because you think that a collective thought takes us further (even if less quickly) than an individual thought
- Because you want to invest differently
- Because you have a project
- Because you don't have a project
- Because you have money saved up and would rather invest it in a transition project than in a bank
- Because you don't have so much money but ideas
- Because you have time and want to give it to a project that makes sense
- Because you have a social project that seeks to create synergies with other projects
- Because you like to fish
- Because you are an association that would like to expand its possibilities
- Because you want to surpass yourself by carrying out a project
- Because one of the calls for projects inspires you
- Because you like ducks
- Because you want to learn
- Because you want to transmit
Because you have a very good reason that is not in the list...
Being a cooperator of Naturia means that you are a shareholder of the cooperative and that you participate in the decisions we take as a member, at least, of the General Assembly.
You decide on the general orientation of the cooperative while to be part of the 'raison d'être' as defined by the guarantor cooperators.
The cooperators are the co-owners of Naturia
Naturia's current bylaws have 3 classes of shares. Each class has its own rights and obligations. We will be happy to explain all this to you.
We suggest that you simply call us or send us an email to the following address: email@example.com so that we can have a first contact with you.
We have collected the questions that we are most often asked and that may require clarification in relation to ROI
(don't hesitate to come and ask us other questions that we will add here)
1. Can I come and live on the site?
As we are a camping site, domiciliation on site is not possible. The habitats that are placed there must also meet certain defined criteria.
we have defined different spaces on the site (site map) that correspond to the different forms of occupation that we feel are important to keep:
Year-round tenants: They are places reserved for people and/or cooperators in physical or moral person who, because of their situation (economic, social and/or historical) benefit from the occupation of a land against payment of an annual rent. They have to apply the ROI - tenants and people passing through, as well as the constructive charter
People passing throughShort-term sites: can be set up on a short-term basis according to the current rates. If you wish to stay on a site for more than one month, rates can be negotiated at the OA.
The cooperators-actors: some locations are available for cooperators who have a project on the site that requires their presence on site.
2. How much time do I have to spend on the co-op?
This can range from two hours a year to 15 hours a day 🙂
First of all it depends on the classes of shares you have subscribed to. The principle of a cooperative lies in the contribution that each member makes. For some it will take the form of a sum of money, for others it will be more of a material contribution and finally some will contribute their time. Most often, it is a mixture of all of these.
3. What is the minimum and maximum amount to invest?
Again, this depends on the class of shares chosen:
In all cases, the minimum amount is 1000 euros.
4. What is the history of the site? What is the history of Naturia?
The history of the site is lost in the mists of time....
Formerly a quarry, then a farm and finally a charming relay, the site became a tourist attraction at the beginning of the last century. At the reception you can still see old photos of that time. Then the hotel-restaurant became 'Mon Rêve' and the campsite added another dimension to the place. A second pond was built, fishing days were organized and parties followed one another. Many old-timers come to tell one or the other anecdote while drinking a glass on the terrace, perhaps you will meet them...
In 2021, the campsite is bought in cooperative: Naturia, the Eco-camping of Chimay is launched. Since then, the project evolves, transforms and grows
6. What is the future of Naturia?
The main thing is not the arrival but the way...
The short existence of the cooperative has taught us that almost nothing happens exactly as planned. What guides us along the way is the consistency of our vision, the weight of our dreams and the culture of doubt.
7. Who are the cooperators?
As of January 1, 2023, we have 23 cooperators.
8. What is the status of the company and its legal model?
We are a cooperative society (member of the CNC, national council of cooperation of Belgium) and social enterprise recognized by the FPS Economy.
9. Is there any other way to support Naturia than becoming a cooperator?
Yes, by coming on site, spending one or more nights, talking about us, giving a hand, or a thumb, ...
11. How can I leave my position as a cooperator?
The departure of a cooperator is done according to the modalities defined by the statutes and this according to the status (founding cooperator or not) and the double test imposed by the company code. If you wish to resell your shares and depending on the class of shares, the person who buys them back must go through the OA again. It is only possible to resign from the company from January to June of each calendar year.
12. Am I sure to get my money back?
No, nothing is certain, but we have the guarantee of a place that has been estimated by an expert and the time that we have been investing for more than a year now to make Naturia an economically viable company
14. What about the benefits?
We are constituted as a cooperative and social enterprise. The cooperatives approved in this sense are committed to reinvest in the cooperative as a priority (art. 24 of the statutes).
The distribution of dividends for each cooperative member is legally limited to a maximum of 6%, in compliance with the double solvency and liquidity test.
The company code provides for the obligation of a double test (net asset test and liquidity test) in order to be able to make distributions (dividends,...) to the shareholders of a cooperative society, but also in case of a request for reimbursement of shares. According to this test, no repayment of shares or dividends can be made if the solvency of the enterprise would be compromised as a result of this repayment or distribution, or if the cooperative society would no longer be able to meet its payments for a period of twelve months.
15. What if it doesn't work?
Like any project, it is possible that the cooperative will not reach its economic viability. At that point, we will have to sell the company and its assets.
The fruit of the sale will be used in priority to pay back the loans (bank and private), the suppliers and then the cooperators.
16. What is the compensation policy at Naturia?
The tasks which are paid for the moment are those which are directly linked to the economic activity of the camp-site, i.e. the function of management, the holding of the store, the bar, the implementation of the small restoration. We are often at least two cooperators simultaneously for these activities but the available means allow at best the payment of only one person. We are currently thinking about the financial recognition of the people who invest themselves including for the hours spent since the beginning of the project.
Trainees and students are also paid according to the scales in force to support the economic activity of the site.
Eventually, we would like to be able to pay all the people who work on the site, taking care not to exceed an important difference between the lowest hourly rate and (often the trainee) the highest hourly rate (people with a certain experience and/or expertise). We are also careful not to use outside 'experts' whose pricing practices are too out of line.
Is becoming a cooperator a good idea for me?
Here are some points to consider if you want to become a cooperator:)
- I find myself in what is written (maybe not everything but it makes me want to participate in the exchanges)
- I have met other cooperators and I feel good about them
- I find myself in the raison d'être and the values defined
- I've been there and 'I feel it'.
- I am open to the 'passing' dimension of the project
- I am aware of the social dimension of the project which is particularly careful not to be in the exclusion, either by elitism or in a fold identity
- I know that the cooperative must remain the primary beneficiary of Naturia's economic activity
- I am aware that the goal of Naturia is not to make a profit at all costs but to make it a project that lasts
- I am willing to accept the authority of the Board of Directors (whose directors are elected every 3 years)
- I commit myself to be present or to give proxy to the GA at least once a year
- I know that the money I invest in Naturia in order to become a cooperator is earmarked for all the achievements that will be carried out by Naturia and that there is a risk of losing all or part of this investment.
- I know that dividends for cooperators are not guaranteed and certainly not in the short term.
- I acknowledge that the Board of Directors has the authority to validate (or not) my entry as a new cooperator
Rules of Procedure (ROI)
Naturia's internal beacons
Version approved June 13, 2022
The first part of these Internal Rules and Regulations (IRR) aims at marking and framing the human relations and activities in our cooperative.
It is in accordance with the cooperative's articles of association as published in the Moniteur belge, the provisions of which always take precedence over those of the ROI.
The ROI describes the rules of the collective game, in what is deemed useful to the interests of the cooperative. It provides a common framework within which everyone has̀ a role to take and to which everyone can refer.
In order for the rules to remain explicit for everyone and correspond to à what is really happening in Naturia's instances, the ROI will evolve over time according to the process described below.
The second part of this ROI contains more precise provisions that allow us to take care of the site, its inhabitants and the activity inherent to the campsite. It is linked to the internal rules that we propose to the tenants and/or the campers and to the legislation regulating the camping in the Walloon Region.
We invite you to refer to the table of contents to avoid being drowned in the numerous information.
It is statutorily the Governing Body (GB) that adopts the ROI.
When changes are proposed, the OA will inform all members of the cooperative Members will be able to object to these before the next AB.
Significant and longer lasting changes must be approved at least once a year at the General Assembly (GA) (see art. 12f of the statutes)
It is important to remember that the acquisition of shares and the fact of being approved as a Naturia cooperator implies full and complete adherence to the elements that make up this ROI (see art. 5c of the bylaws).
The general contact address for Naturia is : firstname.lastname@example.org
Table of contents (click on the blue title to open the different parts of the ROI)
Part 1: Internal Tags
1. the values of the project
1.1 Presentation of the project
1.2 Social impact
1.3 Clarification of social need
1.4 Territory of action and developments
1.5 Concrete solutions proposed in the short, medium and long term
1.6 Basis of the economic model
2. The structure of the project
2.1 Members - Co-operators
2.1.1 Role and responsibility of cooperators
2.1.2 Investment of time and financial recognition
2.1.3 Types of share classes and cooperators
2.1.4 Distribution of profits
2.1.5 Rebates and benefits
2.2 General Assembly (GA)
2.2.2 Organization of the meeting
2.2.3 Composition of the agenda
2.2.4 Decisions at the General Assembly
2.3 Governing Body (GB)
2.4 Coordinating Body (CB)
2.5 The poles - the working circles
2.5.1 Competencies and framework
2.5.2 Internal operation
2.5.3 Financial Management
2.6. Council of lights
3. Organizational levels
3.1 The decisions
3.3 The path of an idea, of a project
3.4 Cooperative meetings
3.5 In case of conflict
Part 2: The Place
Housing and storage
Maintenance and locations
Hygiene and cleanliness
Traffic-Safety measures-Noise pollution
Use of water
The Naturia Charter
The constructive charter
The de-cooperation process
Description of the functions
The latest statutes enacted in June 2022 can be downloaded here : Statutes 2022