As part of celebrations for International Co-operative Day, co-operatives helped to raise the public awareness of the sector around the world.
In the days leading up to and following the Day, co-operators successfully communicated that Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World in their activities.
In Vietnam thousands of people travelled to Hanoi including the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. He said that the Vietnam Co-operative Alliance will play an important role in fulfilling Vietnam’s targets to develop into a modern industrialized country by 2020.
Canada, which has over 9,000 co-operatives representing 8.8 million members, showed that the survival rate of co-operatives is two times better compared to private companies over a period of ten years. The country's Parliament also moved ahead with its commitment to create a special committee on co-operatives, and held a consultation meeting in Ottawa on July 10.
In the United States, the National Cooperative Business Association revealed that almost a third (29 per cent) of the population belonged to a co-operative and 72 percent of Americans think co-operatives such as credit unions and rural electric co-ops, are “helpful to consumers”.
While the UK reported strong economic growth for co-operatives, which outperformed the British economy for four consecutive years. Co-operatives UK reported the movement has grown 1.5% in 2011, which is twice the rate of 0.7% in the national economy.
In Europe, the ICA's sectoral organisation CICOPA issued research that identifies the mechanisms which reinforce the resilience of co-operatives. It noted that the resilience is down to worker-members being co-owners and sharing the responsibility of short and long-term strategies.
Over the past eight years in Morocco, the movement has doubled from 4,619 co-ops to 9,722. In 2011 a new co-operative bill was approved by the Council of Ministers allowing them to make it easier to create co-ops and allow for better transparency.
Malta, a country with only 55 co-operatives, submitted a bill to Parliament on 6 July to help the creation of more co-ops and to encourage existing ones to help in social aspects.
Picture: Co-operators celebrate the International Co-operative Day in Panama with IPACOOP's Executive Director Ana Giselle Rosas de Vallarino.