One hundred stories that show the strength, scale and impact of co-operatives around the world are showcased in a special book from the ICA.
The 160-page hardback book to commemorate the International Year of Co-operatives features tales of empowering workers to co-operatives battling big business.
From Armenia to Uruguay, stories of recovering from crisis and conflict to how co-operatives deliver benefits are told by author Kate Askew. Other chapters of the book, which is set to be released next month at the International Summit of Co-operatives in Quebec City, look at how co-operatives heal abuse, feed the hungry, start new lives, inspire change and have a positive influence.
Dame Pauline Green, President of the ICA, said: "This book is a tribute to some of the most inspirational co-operative enterprises around the world. Many of the stories featured demonstrate the spirit of people at grassroots level as they seek to create a new and better future, often out of adversity.
"It also shines a light on the value of the co-operative model of business itself which, through its global set of principles and values, gives ordinary folk the ability to take themselves out of poverty with dignity. It shows the power of the co-operative values and principles that have helped to embed civil society around the world for over 170 years, by creating sustainable community owned and controlled enterprises."
In a foreword for the book, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, José Graziano da Silva, showed his support for the sector: "Co-operatives represent a resourceful and diverse enterprise model that has great resilience to financial, economic and environmental shocks.
"Agricultural co-operatives, in particular, have a significant impact on employment, wealth generation, poverty reduction and food security. Co-operatives allow small producers to act collectively and network more effectively, thus improving their livelihoods and overall wellbeing. They provide a variety of services ranging from access to markets, to access and management of natural resources and a voice in decision-making. As such, they often have a direct influence on food security."
Building A Better World: 100 stories of co-operation, will be officially launched next month at the International Summit of Cooperatives, Quebec, Canada; and will also be sold at Co-operatives United, Manchester, UK, from October 29-November 2.