ICA President Ariel Guarco travelled to Turkey in February where he visited local cooperatives and took part in a conference jointly organised by the ICA and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO)’s branch in Turkey.
Held on 22 February, the ICA-FAO Turkey event was an opportunity to reflect on the organisations’ common agenda.
“I believe this meeting has to help us to invigorate and deepen the enormous common task that our organisations have within the framework of everything that was debated last year at the World Food Summit, convened by the United Nations,” said Mr Guarco.
He said the ICA was strongly committed to the objectives of the FAO. In 2018 the ICA and the FAO renewed their Memorandum of Understanding.
“Now it's up to us, international cooperation organisations such as the FAO, and the ICA, to collaborate with all the cultural, technical, economic, and social changes that are necessary to build food systems capable of guaranteeing food security food, with decent living conditions for all its participants, associated with a healthy and accessible diet, and care for the environment.”
Mr Guarco added that achieving Sustainable Development Goals required the active participation of all civil society actors in each territory. He mentioned the role of agricultural cooperatives, financial cooperatives, rural electric cooperatives and consumer cooperatives in driving the transformation of the food system.
“It is necessary for families to organise themselves in cooperatives and other forms of the social economy, and to be active promoters of local circuits of sustainable, socially inclusive and environmentally responsible production and consumption.”
He explained that while the challenges faced were global, the answers were local.
“I invite you not to miss the opportunity. To bet on cooperation, to strengthen dialogue in the territories and from there develop the global responses that this difficult moment in human history demands of us,” he concluded.
The ICA President also met with ICA members in the country - the Central Union of The Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey (ACC) and the Central Union of Turkish Forestry Co-operatives (ORKOOP) and visited producer and consumer cooperatives.