Agricultural cooperatives endorsed at UN headquarters

Farm Forum

Rome, Italy — The World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) joined high-level representatives from the cooperative sector at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, USA for a UN special event to celebrate the occasion of International Cooperatives Day 2014.

An expert panel discussion on the role of cooperative development to achieve global sustainable development took place on Thursday, July 10 during the week the international community celebrates the UN International Day of Cooperatives, which was observed this year on 5 July.

The panel discussion, “Cooperative enterprises achieve sustainable development for all,” focused on the contributions of cooperatives to sustainable development, analyzed the cooperative advantage, and outlined how cooperatives can contribute to the post-2015 development agenda by formulating, promoting and implementing sustainable development goals.

“This is an excellent opportunity to highlight the impact agricultural cooperatives have on sustainable development around the world, and their key role in eradicating hunger and achieving world food security,” said Peter Kendall, President of the World Farmers’ Organisation. “The World Farmers’ Organisation works diligently to advocate on the behalf of farmers’ organisations and agricultural cooperatives from all over the world to enhance farmers’ position in international policy.”

Cooperatives are present in almost every sector across the world, but they are “particularly prevalent in agricultural sectors and are critical to achieving food security for all,” where they foster social development, advance innovation and facilitate equitable income distribution, stewardship and quality of life. According to the World Farmers’ Organisation “Agricultural innovations will help mitigate and stabilize climate change”.

The Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC), of which WFO is a member, stated in a panel summary that, “Cooperative enterprises put social justice and equity at the heart of economic progress.” COPAC is comprised of the cooperative movement and the United Nations and its agencies.