Colombia and Italy strengthen co-operative ties

Co-op organisations are working together to develop communities affected by armed conflict

Confecoop, Colombia’s apex body for co-ops, and Coopermondo part of Confcooperative, Italy’s sector body – have met to strengthen their co-operation agreement.

The agreement was originally brokered so they could join forces to implement co-operative projects that benefit the Colombian population, especially in areas affected by armed conflict.

Coopermondo’s AGRICOOP Colombia programme has helped 60 producers in five sectors (quinoa, coffee, sugar, fruit and aquaculture) nationwide, bringing them together and indirectly benefiting more than 6,000 people. The organisation is also involved in the PUEDES development project in the Putumayo region, which was also set up to help local producers, as well as victims of conflict, displaced people and ex-combatants.

In 2019, Confecoop and Coopermondo will work jointly to further develop these projects, in line with the sixth co-operative principle – co-operation between co-operatives.

They will also collaborate on new initiatives that will include the participation of other organisations such as SENA – the Colombian national training service, the Putumayo chamber of commerce and the European Union, among others. The projects will continue to meet the needs of populations and territories that today face social problems as a consequence of armed conflict.

Confecoop will support Coopermondo in its operation in Colombia through the exchange of knowledge, information and resources, in a partnership that will strengthen international co-operation between co-operatives.