Co-operatives of the Americas round-up

16 Apr 2014

New agreement will strengthen agricultural and agro-industrial co-operatives

Co-operatives of the Americas region are in discussion with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to sign an agreement for technical co-operation that would enable them to contribute effectively to the agricultural and rural development of the region.

With this agreement, Co-operatives of the Americas and the IICA aim to work on common initiatives to strengthen agricultural and agri-industrial co-operative organisations, including projects that manage to impact on public policies and the socioeconomic development of its members, the agriculture and rural development.

The areas of co-operation within the agreement include actions that impact on the productivity and competiveness of the agricultural sector, rural development, climate change, food security and women and youth involved in agricultural co-operatives.

Co-operatives of the Americas are also actively participating in the Regional Committee for the International Year of Family Farming, working with the Food and Agricultural Organization as well as other similar organisations.

First co-operative event at the premises of the Organisation of American States was a great success

20 March 2014 marked a historical event for the Co-operative Movement given that for the first time the Organization of American States (OEA) organised jointly with Co-operatives of the Americas region and the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) the first co-operative event at its premises in Washington, United States.

The event themed “Co-operatives of the Americas: driving economic growth with equality and inclusion” joined more than 180 co-operative managers, representatives from OEA and its member states, NGOs and international organisations to discuss key issues and opportunities that co-operatives sectors and the whole movement face.

Experts from across various co-operative sectors took part in the discussion on how co-operatives achieve growth and social inclusion; the barriers and opportunities to co-operative development in the Americas and collaboration and trade between co-operatives.

The deputy secretary general of the OEA, Albert Ramdin, highlighted the common values that the co-operative movement and the inter-American system share. “The way towards sustainable and inclusive development requires the common effort of many actors. Substantial investment from governments, the civil society and the private sector is required in order to create efficient associations that bring the best out of each sector. And the co-operative movement needs to be a privileged partner in this attempt because we share a los of values that for our Inter-American system,” said ambassador Ramdin.

Co-operatives of the Americas region sign an agreement with PNUD to advance gender equality in the co-operative world

Co-operatives in the Americas region signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the aim of intensively promoting the insertion of practices that foster gender equality in co-operative organisations through research, communication and the development of adequate means.

In the past few years, Co-operatives of Americas (before ICA Americas), via its Regional Committee of Gender Equality (CREG) has been intensively promoting gender equality initiatives in the region that are already showing results, helping to empower women in the co-operative world.

The Memorandum of understanding between Cooperatives of the Americas and UNDP aims to establish a framework for co-operation and facilitate collaboration between the two entities on issues of mutual interest.

They specifically agreed on collaborating on the following areas:

-Spreading information, awareness and research on co-operative organisations and gender equality

-take part in sessions and meetings and exchange knowledge and experience through co-operative strategies and mechanisms

-promoting the inclusion of co-operatives in Certification Programmes that focus on management mechanisms promote gender equality and are being developed in countries that belong to the Gender Equality Stamps Community.