Economic and financial crisis: Cooperatives are part of the solution

During her recent visit to Canada, shortly after the United Nations’ launch of the International Year of Cooperatives, Dame Pauline Green said that the cooperative model is part...

During her recent visit to Canada, shortly after the United Nations’ launch of the International Year of Cooperatives, Dame Pauline Green said that the cooperative model is part of the solution to our current economic and financial crisis. While here, the International Co-operative Alliance President met with officials from the Co-operatives Secretariat, within the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, as well as executives from the Canadian Co-operative Association. Ms. Green also gave media interviews in which she explained what makes the cooperative and mutualist business model different, and talked about their underlying values. A key role In her interview on the CBC’s The Current¹, Ms. Green said that cooperatives can play a role in resolving the current crisis, because they are member-based and led by people who come together because there is a need for a service in their community. In this in-depth interview, Dame Pauline Green explained that the Occupy movement that has made headlines around the world can be partly explained by individuals’ lack of influence on economic and financial decisions. She says that the cooperative economic model is a solution to the current crisis because of its democratic values and because the business decisions rest with the members and the communities they belong to. A list of the 300 largest cooperatives in the world In conjunction with the launch of the International Year of Cooperatives, the ICA unveiled the Global 300 project, a list of the top 300 cooperatives, to show how important cooperatives are in today’s global economy.² The Global 300 list includes some of the biggest business names in the world. At least 62 of these businesses are located in the United States, representing 20% of the Global 300 list. France is next with 45 cooperatives, then Germany with 33, and Italy with 28. More than 50% of the Global 300 come from these four countries alone. Eight of the cooperatives on the list are Canadian, including Desjardins Group – the largest cooperative in the country – which ranks 36th on the Global 300 list, and Federated Cooperatives, which is 52nd. To listen to Dame Pauline Green’s interview on The Current To access the Global 300 Report: (DOCUMENT PDF)

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