Co-ops of the Americas championed at UN FAO conference

ACI Americas has signed an agreement with Consumer Co-operatives Worldwide (CCW) to leverage access to new markets

Cooperatives of the Americas (ACI Americas) recently participated in the 38th UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) regional conference for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The event, held in Georgetown, capital of Guyana, highlighted the co-operative sector as a strategic ally of the FAO in achieving its objectives of “better production, better nutrition, better environment, and better life” over the next two years.

The Co-operative Republic of Guyana is the only country in the world that specifies co-operativism in its territorial planning and government structure.

ACI Americas, the International Cooperative Alliance’s regional body for the American continent, was represented by its regional director, Danilo Salerno, and deputy director, Mario Lubetkin. 

Along with Pablo Barbieri from the Federation Argentina of Consumer Cooperatives, Salerno shared insights from the 23rd Regional Conference of Cooperatives of the Americas, held in Honduras last November, with a focus on developing communities through an economy based on people and co-operativism. 

The FAO conference referenced co-ops in a number of different panels and sessions as well as a text encouraging the promotion of “associative models of production and consumption based on economies of scale in favour of local development, such as business associations and cooperatives of producers, distributors and consumers, in order to achieve inclusive economic growth by improving sustainability”.

The conference also provided an opportunity for ICA Americas and other delegates to reconfirm commitment to the Hand-in-Hand (HIH) initiative. HIH, launched in 2019, employs geospatial modelling and analytics, as well as a partnership-building approach to accelerate the market-based transformation of agrifood systems towards the SDGs of eradicating poverty, ending hunger and malnutrition, and reducing inequalities.

Meanwhile, ICA Americas recently signed an agreement with Consumer Co-operatives Worldwide (CCW), which seeks to leverage access to new markets and facilitate exchange through its own platforms to strengthen agricultural production and consumption in the region.

A working group has been created to support this partnership, which will work to promote co-operation between consumer co-ops in the Americas, help to implement the Coop2Coop Marketplace pilot project, and work towards establishing a regional structure of consumer co-ops in the Americas.