The Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) has published a book to mark the 90th anniversary of the country’s co-operative movement.
More than 500 co-operators attended the launch of The Singapore Co-operative Story (1925-2015) on 26 September, which also featured a travelling exhibition showcasing the contributions of Singaporean co-operatives, which will tour libraries and schools.
Singapore is home to 82 co-ops, and a third of residents are members of a co-operative. The country’s co-op movement began almost a century ago, when the island was still a British colony, with credit co-operatives formed to provide affordable financial services. The Singapore Government Staff Credit Cooperative, set up in 1925, continues to offer services to all staff in civil service, statutory boards and government linked companies, with a total of 7,000 members.
Another successful Singaporean co-operative, NTUC FairPrice, formed in 1973 to moderate the cost of living in the country. With nearly 3oo outlets, it was named the number one retail brand in South East Asia in 2013 and 2014.
“The 240-page commemorative book and exhibition is a proud collection of important milestones in history that showcase the Singapore co-operative movement’s economic and social contributions towards improving the lives of members of Singaporeans over the past 90 years through self-reliance, mutual assistance and caring for the community,” said Dolly Goh, chief executive of SNCF.
“The exhibition and book feature compelling stories that will give co-operators, students, youth, the government and the public interesting insights into the history of Singapore co-ops and how they have supported the changing social needs of Singaporeans. Many Singaporeans, especially the younger generation, may not be aware of co-ops even though these social enterprises are around them. We hope the exhibition and book will help them understand how co-ops have continually contributed to the Singapore story. SNCF hopes to inspire more to be part of this special movement to do good well.”