International Day of Cooperatives

The International Day of Cooperatives (#CoopsDay) is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July.

The aim of the day is to increase awareness of cooperatives and promote the movement's successes and ideals of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace.

The ICA first celebrated #CoopsDay in 1923, though the earliest record we have in digital format on this web site is from the year 2000.

In 1994, thanks to the lobbying efforts made through the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) of which the ICA is a member, the United Nations recognised and reaffirmed that cooperatives have an important role to play in economic, social and cultural development and proclaimed an UN International Day of Cooperatives to be celebrated for the first time in 1995, marking the centenary of the establishment of the ICA. The UN requested all its member governments to join with their cooperative movements to celebrate the day. The decision of the UN to celebrate an international day with the ICA highlights the complementarity of the goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international cooperative movement. Both the ICA and UN Days are celebrated on the same day - the first Saturday in July every year.

Since 1995, the ICA and the United Nations through COPAC jointly set the theme for the celebration of #CoopsDay. It underscores the contribution of the movement to resolving global issues. The theme is determined by COPAC and announced between January and March. The ICA prepares a message for #CoopsDay which is disseminated to all ICA members, international organisations including the United Nations and its agencies, development partners and the press. 

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How to celebrate International Day?

Cooperatives around the world celebrate #CoopsDay in many different ways. Below are examples of some of the activities organised by cooperatives around the world:

  • The messages of the ICA and United Nations are translated into local languages and widely disseminated to cooperators, media, government officials at all level.
  • Use newspapers and radio programmes to create awareness! Issue a press release on the occasion of the International Day of Cooperatives. 
  • Cooperative Fairs, exhibits, contests, and campaigns are held.
  • Meetings with government officials, United Nations agencies and other partner organisations are held.
  • Cooperatives partner with community agencies to champion economic, environmental, social and health challenges (blood drives, tree planting, etc.)
  • Share your story with us! 


If you would like to get in touch with us please contact Leire Luengo, Communications Director at

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