UN International Year of Co-operatives 2012

The UN has declared 2012 as The International Year of Co-operatives. A co-operative is a farm, business, or other organization that is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits. [Wikipedia].

According to the media release of International Co-operative Alliance: “ The International Year of Co-operatives, or IYC, celebrates a different way of doing business, one focused on human need not human greed, where the members (who own and govern the business) collectively enjoy the benefits instead of all profits going just to shareholders. 

The objective behind this year’s focus on co-operatives is to increase public awareness about them and to encourage governments to set up policies, laws and regulations to promote their development and growth. Co-operatives play a significant role in the achievement of Millenium Development Goals.  Here’s the official video: Video link here The 2012.coop website has been created by the ICA especially for the International Year and aims to be a hub for all IYC activity that is going on globally throughout 2012. You can follow The International Year of Cooperatives on Twitter and Facebook 

International Cooperative Alliance is an independent, non-governmental association which unites, represents and serves co-operatives worldwide. Founded in 1895, ICA has 265 member organisations from 96 countries active in all sectors of the economy. Together these co-operatives represent nearly one billion individuals worldwide.

Courtesy: International Co-operative Alliance
















According to ICA statistics, co-operatives provide over 100 million jobs around the world, 20% more than multinational enterprises, according to ICA statistics. The following is further data from ICA

Large segments of the population are members of co-operatives

  • In Asia 45.3 million people are members of a credit union. (Source: Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions, Annual Report 2007/2008)
  • In Indonesia, 27.5% families representing approximately 80 million individuals are members of co-operatives. (Source: Ministry of Co-operative & SMEs, Indonesia,2004)
  • In Japan, 1 out of every 3 families is a member of a co-operatives.
  • in Kenya 1 in 5 is a member of a co-operative or 5.9 million and and 20 million Kenyans directly or indirectly derive their livelihood from the Co-operative Movement.
  • In India, over 239 million people are members of a co-operative.
  • In Malaysia, 6.78 million people or 27% of the total population are members of co-operatives.(Source: Ministry of Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development, Department of Co-operative Development, Malaysia, Statistics 31 December 2009)
  • In New Zealand, 40% of the adult population are members of co-operatives and mutuals. (Source: New Zealand Co-operative Association, 2007)
  • In Singapore, 50% of the population (1.6 million people) are members of a co-operative.

Co-operatives are significant economic actors in national economies

  • In Japan, the agricultural co-operatives report outputs of USD 90 billion with 91% of all Japanese farmers in membership. In 2007 consumer co-operatives reported a total turnover of USD 34.048 billion with 5.9% of the food market share. (Source: Co-op 2007 Facts & Figures, Japanese Consumers’ Co-operative Union)
  • In Kenya, co-operatives are responsible for 45% of the GDP and 31% of national savings and deposits. They have 70% of the coffee market, 76% dairy, 90% pyrethrum, and 95% of cotton.
  • In Korea, agricultural co-operatives have a membership of over 2 million farmers (90% of all farmers), and an output of USD 11 billion. The Korean fishery co-operatives also report a market share of 71%.
  • In Kuwait, the Kuwaiti Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies whose members are 6.5% of the Kuwaiti population handled nearly 70% of the national retail trade in 2007.
  • In Mauritius, in the agricultural sector, co-operators play an important role in the production of sugar, vegetable, fruit and flower, milk, meat and fish. Nearly 50% of sugar-cane planters are grouped in co-operatives and the share of co-operatives in the National Sugar Production is 10%. Co-operative Societies also account for more than 60% of national production in the food crop sector – 755 of onion consumption, 40% of potatoes and about 70% of fresh green vegetables are produced by co-operatives. In addition, the Co-operative bus sector represents some 30% of the national bus transport. (Source: Ministry of Industry, Small & Medium Enterprises, Commerce & Cooperatives )
  • In New Zealand, 22% of the gross domestic product (GDP) is generated by co-operative enterprise. Co-operatives are responsible for 95% of the dairy market and 95% of the export dairy market. They hold 70% of the meat market, 50% of the farm supply market, 70% of the fertiliser market, 75% of the wholesale pharmaceuticals, and 62% of the grocery market. (Source: New Zealand Co-operative Association, 2007)
  • In Singapore, consumer co-operatives hold 55% of the market in supermarket purchases. NTUC Fairprice was the 2nd largest retailler in Singapore with a S$1.65 billion in turnover. (Source: AsiaOneBusiness: Dairy Farm is top retailer in S’pore, 20 August 2009)
  • In Vietnam, co-operatives contribute 8.6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The information provided above has been extracted from the ICA website.


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Posted by on Jan 21 2012. Filed under Green Action, Sustainable Agriculture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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