Rochdale Award for outstanding contributions to the 
co-operative movement awarded to The Plunkett Foundation

06 Nov 2013
Press Release

Rochdale Award for outstanding contributions to the 
co-operative movement awarded to The Plunkett Foundation 

06 November 2013 - the International Co-operative Alliance, at its Global Congress has awarded The Plunkett Foundation the 2013 Rochdale Pioneers Award. The purpose of the Award is to recognise outstanding contributions to the global co-operative movement. The Plunkett Foundation helps rural communities through co-operation to take control of the issues affecting them. This includes helping rural communities to set up and run community-owned co-operative shops and pubs alongside a range of food and farming co-operatives.  The Plunkett Foundation plays a lead role in championing rural co-operation in the UK as well as internationally.  
The Rochdale Pioneers Award is the highest honour the International Co-operative Alliance bestows. It was presented to the Plunkett Foundation at the International Co-operative Alliance’s biannual Global Conference and General Assembly in Cape Town on 5 November. The purpose of the Award is to recognise an outstanding contribution to the global co-operative movement. Peter Couchman, Chief Executive of Plunkett, took possession of the award.
Peter Couchman: “The Plunkett Foundation is honoured to receive the prestigious Rochdale Pioneers Award and to be the first organisation to be recognised in this way by the international co-operative movement.  We are proud to carry on the work of our founder Sir Horace Plunkett by inspiring people living and working in rural communities to believe through co-operation in what they can achieve together.  This award has made us even more determined to take this message further and wider.”
Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Co-operative Alliance said: “We are delighted to award the Rochdale Pioneer Award to The Plunkett Foundation. Since it was founded in 1919 the Plunkett Foundation has been a leading light and a pioneer in the international co-operative movement. The growing demand for organic food, has shown how strongly families value quality and honest produce. Where big business fails, co-operatives succeed in bringing healthy, organic and varied food to markets at a price affordable to all, while fairly rewarding farmers for their labour and care. In rural communities, co-operatives help to achieve more for members together than they can alone. They provide farmers with a stronger trading position, they create informal places for socializing and they support the development of community-owned village shops. The co-operative movement salutes The Plunkett Foundation for being key in connecting different types of rural co-operatives at both human and enterprise level. They are instrumental in building the healthier, more inclusive and thriving society that the co-operative movement aims to achieve.”
The Dunsany Declaration, a global agreement
To mark 2012 being the International Year of Co-operatives, Plunkett brought together rural co-operatives, co-operative representative organisations and United National agencies to develop a global agreement, the Dunsany Declaration for Rural Co-operative Development. 
This Declaration has been praised by the International Co-operative Alliance and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as an important contribution to the international year of co-operatives. 
The International Year of Co-operatives has raised the profile of co-operatives beyond the limits of the movement itself, in civil society and amongst governmental and inter-governmental bodies, including recognition in the Rio+20 Treaty. The Blueprint will build on that momentum to turn the International Year of Co-operatives into the start of the Co-operative Decade, 2012-2020.
For further information contact:
Jan Schiettecatte
Communications Director
International Co-operative Alliance
Tel: + 32 2 285 00 76 - +32 478 84 51 30
Notes to editors:
The International Co-operative Alliance ( (ICA) is an independent, non-governmental organisation established in 1895 to unite, represent and serve co-operatives worldwide.  It provides a global voice and forum for knowledge, expertise and co-ordinated action for and about co-operatives.  ICA’s members are international and national co-operative organisations from all sectors of the economy including agriculture, banking, consumer, fisheries, health, housing, insurance and workers.  ICA has members from one hundred countries, representing one billion individuals worldwide.  One hundred million people work for a co-operative globally.
Co-operatives are successful values-based businesses owned by their members.  Whether they are customers, employees or residents, the members get an equal say in the business and a share of the profits.
The Plunkett Foundation ( was founded in 1919 by Sir Horace Plunkett, the pioneer of agricultural co-operation in Ireland. Plunkett has a long history of promoting and supporting the development of rural co-operatives internationally. It has achieved this through running various support programmes for new and existing rural co-operatives, undertaking training and educational activity and developing and disseminating knowledge on rural co-operatives internationally. Plunkett is a proud member of the international co-operative movement through membership of the International Co-operative Alliance, the International Co-operative Agricultural Organisation, Co-operatives Europe and Co-operatives UK. Plunkett is based in Oxfordshire, England.


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