International Day of Cooperatives is observed to promote movement and spread awareness. Cooperatives worldwide work in harmony towards social, cultural, and economic development.
International Day of Cooperatives History
The first record of cooperatives dates back to 1761. The group of cooperatives consisted of many artisans from Fenwick who were local weavers. This group of artisans formed the Fenwick Weavers Society.
Later in 1844, another group of 28 artisans who worked in cotton mills formed the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society or Rochdale Pioneers. The group worked together and collected essential goods used daily, like sugar, flour, and butter. The members of the group wanted the customers to be treated with honesty. They also made their customers members of their group, giving them a feeling of belonging.
In 1895, the International Co-operative Alliance was formed and is now one of the oldest and largest non-governmental organizations (NGO) that represent around 1.2 billion cooperative members.
The International Day of Cooperatives is observed on the first Saturday of every July. The day was first celebrated in July 1995 after its resolution in 1992 by the United Nations. The day was marked to celebrate the centenary establishment of the International Co-operative Alliance.
Principles of International Day of Cooperatives
Cooperatives work on principles that are aligned with their goals. These principles are also highlighted through the different themes of the International Day of Cooperatives. The principles include:
- Democratic control
- Voluntary / Open membership
- Training, information, and education are provided to the members
- Community is at the centre
International Day of Cooperatives Themes (2010 to 2021)
Cooperative Enterprise Empowers Women
Youth, Future of Cooperative Enterprise
Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World
Cooperative Enterprise Remains Strong in Times of Crisis: The cooperatives help the rural farmers of Rwanda and Afghanistan.
Cooperative enterprises achieve Sustainable Development for all.
Choose Cooperatives, Choose Equality.
An Old Idea, But more Relevant than Ever in Today’s World: The day is celebrated worldwide with roadshows and hosting stories on their website.
Cooperatives Ensure No One is Left Behind: The cooperatives emphasize inclusion and changing the world by eradicating poverty.
Sustainable Consumption and Production: Cooperatives showed how to run a business successfully in a sustainable way without harming the natural environment.
COOPS 4 Decent Work: The celebration included a short documentary screening from Bhabishya Nirman Sana Kishan Cooperative.
Cooperatives for Climate Change: The Cooperatives tackled the burning issue of climate change by proposing and discussing sustainable ways of running businesses.
Rebuild Better Together: Cooperatives for Building People-Centered and Environmentally Just Recovery: The cooperatives aimed at recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Day of Cooperatives Significance
Cooperatives are vital global organizations that work to improve the world. The International Day of Cooperatives commemorates the formation of the International Co-operative Alliance and contributes to making the world a better place. The International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated worldwide by organizing activities and discussions. The celebration includes the screening of short documentaries featuring the work of different co-operatives, creating awareness through radio programs and newspapers, and organizing fairs, exhibits, and contests.
FAQs on International Day of Cooperatives
Q.1. On which day is the International Day of Cooperatives observed?
The International Day of Cooperatives is observed on the first Saturday of every July.
Q.2. Which was the first known group of cooperatives that inspired the formation of the International Day of Cooperatives?
The first group of cooperatives that inspired the formation of the International Day of Cooperatives was the local weavers from Fenwick, who formed the group called the Fenwick Weavers Society.
Q.3. In which year was the first International Day of Cooperatives celebrated?
The first International Day of Cooperatives was celebrated in 1995.
Q.4. Who decides the theme of International Day of Cooperatives every year?
The Committee decides the theme of the International Day of Cooperatives on the Promotion and Advancements of Cooperatives (COPAC).
Q.5. What is the aim of celebrating the International Day of Cooperatives?
The Aim of celebrating the International Day of Cooperatives is to strengthen partnership and cooperation between people and countries. The group of cooperatives seeks to help society and enhance it with their work.