Co-op. News

World Cooperative Monitor looks at top 300 co-ops and their contribution to SDG8

The Monitor collected data for 4,575 co-operatives and mutuals

The latest edition of the World Cooperative Monitor shows that the world’s 300 largest co-operatives had a combined turnover of US$2.03tn in 2017, an increase from the $2.01tn reported for 2016.

In its eighth year, the Monitor is produced by the International Co-operative Alliance with the scientific and technical support of the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse).

The Monitor collected data for 4,575 co-operatives and mutuals (1,152 from Europe, 3,218 from the Americas, 197 from Asia-Pacific, and eight from Africa) operating in 10 sectors of activity. The data collected for the 2019 edition is from the year 2017 with sources including existing databases of economic data, data collected by national associations, research institutes, and other organisations, and the use of a questionnaire to collect data directly from enterprises.

Co-ops featured in the Top 300 come from various sectors with 39% active in insurance, 31.7% in agriculture, 17.7% in wholesale and retail trade 17.7%, 7% in banking and financial services, 1% in industry and utilities 1%, and 1% in health, education and social care.

The largest co-operatives in the world based on turnover are co-operative banks Groupe Crédit Agricole (US$96.25bn) and Groupe BPCE (US$59.03bn), both from France. They are followed by retailer REWE Group (US$55.85bn) and co-operative banking apex BVR (US$55.29bn) from Germany.

This year’s report includes an analysis of how the Top 300 are contributing to the eighth Sustainable Development Goal (Inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all).Advertisement

This includes a look at how co-ops ensure full, productive employment and decent work. For 12 of the 22 co-operatives which included the data in their annual or sustainability report, the percentage of employees in 2017 hired on a permanent basis was over 90%. For eight, this percentage was between 80% and 90%, and in just two cases, this percentage was less than 80% but still above 50%.

The report includes case studies of Up Groupe from France, KRIBHCO from India, and SOK from Finland, and their actions on SDG8, and an interview with the secretary general of Cicopa, Diana Dovgan, who explores the contribution of industrial and service co-operatives to the world of work.

Bruno Roelants, director general of the ICA, said: “This new edition of the World Cooperative Monitor goes beyond the Top 300 ranking based on turnover to further explore the dynamics of the co-operative movement. As highlighted by the United Nations, co-operatives make a substantial contribution to achieving the 2030 UN Agenda on Sustainable Development. In this year’s report, we see concrete examples of specific action undertaken by some of the largest from around the world.”

Gianluca Salvatori, Euricse secretary general, said: “Co-operatives must take on (and communicate) a strategy for sustainable development able to represent an effective alternative to the mainstream shareholder model, able to comprehensively respond to present challenges. In fact, the more organisations participate in reporting initiatives that enable the collection of reliable and internationally comparable data, the more research and analysis can be done to demonstrate the social and economic impact of co-operatives.”

Agriculture:

  • Top 10 by turnover came from seven countries: Japan, Republic of Korea, USA, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and Denmark.
  • The largest is Zen-noh in Japan (turnover US$41.37bn), followed by Nonghyup in the Republic of Korea (US$38.82bn) and CHS Inc. in the USA (US$31.94bn).
  • From this sector, there are 97in the Top 300 based on turnover and 87 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.

Industry and Utilities

  • Top 10 came from three countries: US, Italy and Spain.
  • The largest is Corporación Mondragón from Spain (US$13.49bn), with Basin Electric Power Cooperative from the USA on the second place (US$2.27bn) and SACMI. from Italy as third (US$1.61bn).
  • From this sector, there are eight in the Top 300 based on turnover and 6 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.

Wholesale and Retail Trade

  • The top 10 came from six countries: Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, UK and the USA.
  • On the top position is German retailer REWE Group with a turnover of US$55.85bn, followed by ACDLEC- E. Leclerc from France with US$42.01bn and Edeka Zentrale from Germany with US$37.22bn.
  • From this sector, there are 53 in the Top 300 based on turnover and 52 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.

Insurance

  • The top 10 came from five countries: Japan, USA, Germany, Netherlands and France.
  • The largest were Zenkyoren from Japan with a turnover of US$51.69bn, with Nippon Life from Japan coming second (US$48.36bn), and State Farm from the USA as third (US$42.42bn).
  • From this sector, there are 117 in the Top 300 based on turnover and 116 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.

Financial Service

  • The top 10 came from eight countries: France, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, Austria, USA, Japan and Switzerland.
  • The three largest co-ops by GDP are: Groupe Crédit Agricole from France (US$51.38bn), BVR from Germany (US$29.05bn) and Groupe BPCE from France (US$25.55bn).
  • From this sector, there are 21in the Top 300 based on turnover and 33 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.

Education, health and social work

  • The report includes the ranking of the top five largest co-operatives, which come from four countries: USA, Spain, Brazil and Colombia.
  • The top three are Health Partners Inc. from USA (US$6.65bn), Fundación Espriu from Spain (US$2.02bn) and Unimed from Brazil (US$1.55bn).
  • From this sector, there are 3 co-ops in the Top 300 based on turnover and 6 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.

Other services

  • The top five come from three countries: Norway, Sweden and Italy.
  • The largest co-op is OBOS BBL from Norway (US$1.40bn), followed by HSB from Sweden (US$1.04bn) and Coopservice from Italy (US$1.01bn).
  • From this sector, there is one co-op in the Top 300 based on turnover and 2 in the Top 300 turnover over GDP per capita.

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World’s top 300 co-operatives had a turnover of $2.14tn in 2018

The largest co-operative in the world based on turnover is Groupe Crédit Agricole from France

The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) has released the 2020 edition of the World Co-operative Monitor, which shows that the world’s 300 largest co-operatives had a combined turnover of US$2.14tn in 2018, an increase from the $2.03tn reported for 2017.

The monitor explores the economic and social impact of the largest co-operatives and mutuals worldwide, providing a ranking of the Top 300, sector rankings, and an analysis of responses to two global challenges: Covid-19 and climate change.

In its ninth edition, the annual report is produced by the ICA with the scientific and technical support of the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse).

The data collected for the 2020 edition is from 2018, with primary sources including annual and sustainability reports, economic databases, data collected by national associations, research institutes, and other organisations, and responses to a questionnaire sent directly to enterprises.

This report presents rankings based on turnover as well as the ratio of turnover over gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. The sectors with the most organisations present in the Top 300 are agriculture and food (104 enterprises) and insurance (101 enterprises) followed by wholesale and retail trade (57 organisations).

However, considering the weight of the enterprises by sector based on turnover, the insurance sector covers 34.5% of the total turnover ($758.54bn), followed by agriculture ($532.11bn, equal to 24.2% of the total turnover of the top 300) and wholesale and retail trade ($459.36bn, equal to 20.9% of the total top 300).

Related: Who counts the co-ops? The importance of data

The largest co-operatives in the world based on turnover are co-operative bank Groupe Crédit Agricole from France ($89.10bn), retailer REWE Group from Germany ($63.07bn) and co-operative banking group Groupe BPCE from France ($63.01bn). There are followed by insurer Zenkyoren ($58.14bn) and agricultural co-op Zen-Noh ($56.15bn), both from Japan.

The ranking based on the ratio of turnover over gross domestic product (GDP) per capita ranking is topped by two Indian producer co-operatives: IFFCO and Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited.

Special focus on Covid-19 on SDG13

The report includes a case study of platform co-operative SMART and its actions towards helping its members, primarily from the culture and creative arts sector. It also features a special analysis of the top 300 and the thirteenth UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action – SDG 13). This includes a focus on Rabobank’s (Netherlands climate consciousness approach to banking and an interview with the chief values officer of the Midcounties Co-operative (UK), Peter Westall.

ICA director general Bruno Roelants said: “The global pandemic has put a strain on many businesses, but as you’ll read in this report, many large co-operatives have stepped in to help employees, members, and communities to face the health and economic repercussions of COVID-19.

“We wanted to thank the newly formed ICA International Cooperative Entrepreneurship Think Tank (ICETT), a group of large co-operatives engaged in strategic thinking around co-operative entrepreneurship, for its contribution to this year’s World Cooperative Monitor, as well as the organisations that provided their data, and the supporters of this year’s edition for making it possible”.

Gianluca Salvatori, Euricse secretary general, said: “2020 faced us with the need to address a social emergency without depressing our economies. This has always been the case for co-operatives. So their model is more topical than ever. And the objective of the Monitor is to show how the co-operative model is capable of facing major challenges, activating important resources through large organisations, without any inferiority complexes.”

Agriculture and food industries

The largest co-operatives by GDP were Zen-Noh from Japan ($56.15bn), Nonghyup ($41.41bn) from the Republic of Korea and CHS Inc. ($32.68bn) from the USA.

From this sector, there are 106 in the top 300 based on turnover and 98 in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.

Industry and utilities:

The top three co-operatives by GDP were Corporación Mondragón from Spain ($14.43bn), Basin Electric Power Cooperative from the USA ($2.44bn) and SACMI from Italy ($1.70bn).

From this sector, there are 10 in the top 300 based on turnover and 5 in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.

Wholesale and retail trade:

The top three by turnover were: REWE Group from Germany ($63.07bn), ACDLEC – E. Leclerc from France ($55.08bn) and Edeka Zentrale also from Germany ($40.50bn).

From this sector, there are 57 in the top 300 based on turnover and 64 in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.

Insurance:

The three largest co-operatives by turnover were Zenkyoren ($58.14bn) and Nippon Life ($54.98bn) from Japan and State Farm ($43.43bn) from the USA.

From this sector, there are 101 in the top 300 based on turnover and 96 in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.

Financial services:

The sector’s largest co-ops by GDP were Groupe Crédit Agricole from France with a turnover of $40.62bn, BVR from Germany with $32.41bn and Groupe BPCE from France with $28.36bn.

From this sector, there are 21 in the top 300 based on turnover and 24 in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.

Education, health and social work:

The largest co-ops by GDP in this sector were HealthPartners Inc from the USA with a turnover of $7.06bn, Fundación Espriu from Spain with $1.92bn, and Naganoken Kosei Nogyo KR from Japan with $900m.

From this sector, there are two in the top 300 based on turnover and seven in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.

Other services:

The largest co-op by GDP was Nihon Delica Foods Association ($4.6bn) from Japan, followed by Selectour ($3.25bn) from France and OBOS BBL ($1.62bn) from Norway.

From this sector, there are three in the top 300 based on turnover and 6 in the top 300 based on turnover over GDP per capita.

Source: Coop. News

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Co-operative Societies tasked on regular seminars

On Wednesday 13th of January, 2021 Egbejoda (Abeokuta) Cooperative Thrift and Credit Union Limited held her Annual 21st One – day Seminar for her members at Egbejoda (Abeokuta) CTCU Limited, Alhaji Sheikh S. A. Adenekan Event Centre, Alowonle, Adigbe, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.

OPENING PRAYER: The Opening prayer was said by the Branch President, Abeokuta Branch II of OGSCOFED Limited, Evang. Philip Babatunde.

After the opening prayer, the Cooperative Anthem was rendered.

INTRODUCTION OF DIGNITARIES: The Administrative Manager of Egbejoda (Abeokuta) CTCU Limited, Mr. O. J. Odetola introduced the dignitaries as follows:

  1. Chief Olusegun Sofolahan – President, Egbejoda (Ab) CTCU Ltd
  2. Evang. Philip Babatunde – Representing Alhaji (Dr). A. Ola Balogun FHNR, CBD – President, OGSCOFED Limited
  3. Mr. David I. Ayelabola   –  Ag. Executive Secretary, OGSCOFED Ltd
  4. Mrs. Ifeoluwa Ajeigbe – Ag. Head of Audit Department, OGSCOFED Ltd
  5. Mrs. D. F. Adekale – Ag. Head of Extension Department, OGSCOFED Ltd
  6. Mr. A. P. Okusolubo – Branch Secretary and Officer in charge, Abeokuta Branch II of OGSCOFED Limited
  7. Miss. Oluwakemi Bankole – Assistant Branch Secretary, Abeokuta Branch II of OGSCOFED Limited
  8. Mr. Akeem Ayodeji Ogunjimi – Deputy Director of Cooperative Services, representing the Director of Cooperative Services, Mr. Samuel Mustapha
  9. Mr. S. A. Animashaun – Cooperative Zonal Officer for Abeokuta South Local Government
  10. Mr. Omidiji –  Officer in charge, Zonal Office, Abeokuta South Local Government
  11. Pastor S. A. Babalola – Administrative Manager, Iranlowo Oluwa Leme (Abeokuta) CMU Limited
  12. Mrs. J. Ola Bisiriyu – Facilitator and former Executive Secretary of OGSCOFED Limited

And other dignitaries from Egbejoda (Abeokuta) CTCU Limited, Board of Directors and the Seminar Committees.

Welcome Address: Chief Olusegun Sofolahan President, Egbejoda (Abeokuta) CTCU Limited in his welcome speech said he was highly delighted to welcome all participants to the 21st Annual One day Seminar for members. He appreciated God for saving our lives from the snares of COVID-19 pandemic and END SARS protest. He said cooperative education and training were vital principle enunciated by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) for Sustainable Cooperative Development throughout the World. He then announced the theme of the seminar “Striving for greater efficiency in Cooperative Movement” and then urged all the participants to pay attention and ask questions when it’s necessary.

Goodwill message from OGSCOFED Ltd President: In his welcome speech, Evang. Philip Babatunde the Branch President of Abeokuta Branch II of OGSCOFED Limited who is representing the President of OGSCOFED Ltd, Alhaji (Dr). A. Ola Balogun FHNR, CBD start his goodwill message with an apology to members that the OGSCOFED Ltd President went for another official assignment that is important and he thereafter called on the participants to replicate what they learnt at the seminar to their members for easy management of their Cooperative. He added that a highly experienced Co-operative Professional and erudite scholar in Co-operative Management; the former Executive Secretary of Ogun State Co-operative Federation Limited (OGSCOFED) will adequately dealt with the topic, “Cooperative Leadership, Character and Trust Building”. Once again he welcomed all participants asked them to pay attention to the resource person and ask questions where and when necessary. (Oluwa a fun wa ni eti igbo ati aya igba’se) May God give us the listening ear and the strength to implement whatever we learnt today. Amen.

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Cooperative Societies have been urged to organize regular seminars to improve their performance.

The Director of Cooperative Services in Ogun State, Mr. Samuel Mustapha gave the advice while declaring open the seminar.

Mr. Mustapha who was represented at the occasion by Mr. Akeem Ayodeji Ogunjimi, the Deputy Director of Cooperative Services, said such regular seminars would help address fraudulent practices which could sink them. He implored all the Cooperative Societies to Audit and inspect their Books and Records before the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and no Cooperative Society should organize AGM without Auditing/Inspecting their Books and Records. He then asked the facilitator to do judges to the topic and thereafter declared the seminar open.

After the declaration, a group photograph was taking.

Dr. Akeem

Dr. Akeem in his address said member’s needs to be preventing against the corona virus and also shared more light on climate change and implore members to be thinking of their old days. He warned the participants on self-medication not to just use any drugs which is not described to them by the professional doctor.

Mrs. J. Ola Bisiriyu

The facilitator, Mrs. J. Ola Bisiriyu begins her paper presentation with appreciation to all Cooperative Members of Egbejoda (Ab) CTCU Limited for their moral and financial support at her sendforth and retirement party which was held on Thursday, 10th of December, 2020 at OGSCOFED House, Asero, Abeokuta. She then start her lecture with topic “Cooperative leadership, character and trust building”. She said in Cooperatives the ability of the leaders/elected officers to praise, motivate and encourage etc, is one of the most underrated leadership qualities. Recognition and appreciation serve to not only to boost member’s moral but also to make members/staff to continue to work in a friendly environment and to strive to impress the management.

Cooperative leadership if taken into consideration the participative style of leadership it will create mutual respect and promote self confident/independent among the staff. Good leaders as mentioned by some school of thoughts are great motivators and positive thinkers who always think about there followers and the future of the organization.

In her opinion, she said that every Cooperative leaders should imbibe the participative and servant leadership traits where every members will have a say in the running of the organization.

Finally, it is also important for every Cooperative leaders to understand and practice the Seven Principles of Cooperation so as to perform and carry out their duties effectively.

Related post: OGSCOFED Limited: Sendforth party in honour of Mrs. J. Olawanle Bisiriyu

Vote of thanks: On behalf of Egbejoda (Abeokuta) CTCU Limited and organizing Committee, Alhaji Semiu Junaid appreciated the presence of the Director of Cooperative Services, OGSCOFED Limited, Leaders and all Participants at the occasion. He prayed for safe journey back to our various destinations.

Egbejoda (Abeokuta) CTCU Limited Women’s League Products

Closing prayer: The Closing prayer was said by Mr. W. S. Idowu.     

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Maiden edition of End of the year party for Cooperative Stakeholders

On Thursday, 17th of December, 2020 Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited (OCC) organized a maiden edition of end of the year party for Cooperative Stakeholders in Ogun State held at Oba K. O. Olubiyi Hall, Chief ‘Tayo Sobanjo Building, Cooperative House, Asero, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

OPENING PRAYER: The party commenced with an opening prayer said by Prophet Taiwo at around 12:20pm.

Ag. Executive Secretary, OGSCOFED Limited, Mr. David I. Ayelabola

INTRODUCTION OF DIGNITARIES: The HOD Audit of OGSCOFED Limited, Mr. D. I. Ayelabola introduced the dignitaries as follows:

Elder Felix Bamidele Ajibode – President, Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited

Alhaji (Dr). A. Ola Balogun FHNR, CBD – President, OGSCOFED Limited

Chief C. A. Ogunkoya – Director, Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited

Mr. Samuel Mustapha – Director of Cooperative Services, Ogun State

Mrs. B. A. Ogundeyi – President, OCC Women in Cooperative

Mr. M. O. Olurin – Former Director of Cooperative Services in Ogun State

Mr. S. A. Adeniji – Former Director of Cooperative Services in Ogun State

And other dignitaries from Director of Cooperative Services office, OGSCOFED Limited Board of Directors and Staff, Leaders from all part of Ogun State, Ogun State Administrative Managers and Women’s representatives.

After the introduction, the Cooperative Anthem was rendered.

President, Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited, Elder Felix Bamidele Ajibode

OPENING REMARKS: The Chairman of the occasion, Elder Felix Bamidele Ajibode in his speech said he was highly delighted to welcome guests to the maiden edition of the end of the year party, sponsored by the Board and Management of Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited. He appreciated God for saving our lives from the snares of COVID-19 pandemic and END SARS protest. He added that the party was organized to emphasize the needs for Cooperative Stakeholders to work together in peace and unity and promote peace and friendly relationship among all types of Cooperatives as this will enable us galvanize the movement to its rightful position. Finally, he enjoined all of us to preach peace and unity in all our activities and operations.

SHORT ADDRESS AND RESPONSE FROM LEADERS:

REPRESENTATIVE FROM IJEBU ZONE: Mr. F. M. Ogunsanya appreciated the effort of the OGSCOFED Limited President and commended the Director of Cooperative Services for settling the disputes between the leaders and the regulators, he added that Cooperators should bear it in mind that unnecessary rift should not be allowed and we must be positive in our thinking at all time. He highlighted the theme of the party as LOVE, PEACE AND UNITY. He wishes everyone Happy Christmas and New Year in Advance.

L-R: President Ogun State CFA Limited, Mr. Sahula. Kehinde; Hon. Olamijulo Owoseje, President Remo Branch II of OGSCOFED Ltd and Evang. Philip Babatunde, Branch President, Abeokuta Branch II of OGSCOFED Limited

REPRESENTATIVE FROM YEWA BRANCH: Chief T. A Salaudeen, said he was happy for being part of this peace meeting, despite the rift and agitation, at last the peace reign from Ogun State as this is the great achievement of the present Board of Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited. He sighted the example of Mr. Adeniji the former Director of Cooperative Services as the adviser to Odua President. He added that fear of God should be our watchword. He then prayed that the success recorded during Elder Ajibode’s tenure as President of Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited will not be in vain, Amen.

REPRESENTATIVE FROM REMO ZONE: Chief (Mrs). Modupeola Osoare on behalf of the Zone, urged the Odua President, Elder F. B. Ajibode to be patient and continue to adhere to the advice from the leaders, she pleaded on behalf of the Women’s League of Ogun State to allow peace to reign and work as one.

L – R: Alhaji Wasiu Olaleye and Elder Yinka Soyinka

REPRESENTATIVE FROM EGBA ZONE: The representative from Egba Zone in person of Elder Yinka Soyinka, the Agba Akin of OGSCOFED Limited prayed that we will live long to enjoy the fruit of our labour. He sighted an example of King Solomon in the Holy Bible that asked for wisdom, knowledge and understanding to rule his people. He added that Elder F. B. Ajibode should do same as King Solomon. He concluded that if we can love, is going to come back to us in another way because love is the most extra ordinary force that governs the universe.

REPRESENTATIVE FROM OGSCOFED STAFF: Mrs. Fatima O. Haruna, Ag. HOD Planning and Statistics of OGSCOFED Limited, gave a big kudos to the present Board of Directors of OGSCOFED Limited, Ministry of Community Development and Cooperatives, Cooperative Department and Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited. She thanked God for the good relationship that is resurfacing between them now and pleaded for unity.

REPRESENTATIVE FROM COOPERATIVE DEPARTMENT: Mr. Fattah Braheem representing the Ministry of Community Development and Cooperatives, Cooperative Department started with an adage that says “ikan parapo, o mo le…” love and unity is the message of today’s get together. He said we should show love unconditionally to people we are in contact with every day and show love without expecting anything in return. He added that recovery of all our assets as promised by Odua Co-operative Conglomerate Limited President is one of most important task ahead of us, and we must be ready to support Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited. Both OGSCOFED Limited and Cooperative Department should understand each other and work for the betterment of Cooperative. He laid emphasis on bringing up of the young ones and train them.

OGSCOFED BOARD OF DIRECTORS: The representative from the Board of Directors of Ogun State Cooperative Federation Limited (OGSCOFED) which Evang. Philip Babatunde represented, in his speech said today’s meeting has served as history and implored them not to relent their good work. He also pleaded on behalf of the Board of Directors of OGSCOFED Limited that our rights which are yet to be received from Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited to Ogun State Cooperative Movement be looked into and given.

REPRESENTATIVE FROM OGUN STATE COOPERATIVE MANAGERS FORUM: Mr. Oluyiga Gbodi thanked the Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited President as he was not surprised with these achievements from Elder F. B. Ajibode, because he knows him as peace maker’s right from his school days as lecturer at Ogun State Cooperative College, Ijeja. He pleaded for the stopping of bad mouthing and back biting and that, we should always pour out our mind out freely. He said the Director of Cooperative Services, OGSCOFED Limited and Managers should work together as partner in progress and added that if leaders can follow manager’s advice, it will be useful for them.

Cross section

REPRESENTATIVE FROM OCC WOMEN IN COOPERATIVE PRESIDENT: Mrs. B. A. Ogundeyi, the Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Ltd, Women in Cooperative President, in his address said it is the wish of God for Elder F.B. Ajibode to become the Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited President and threw more light on the good things that are happening now at Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited, when compare with the past Board. This is happening because we are unique in Ogun State. She further said that when there is no peace, there will be no progress. She pleaded for love and unity as they still recognize the OGSCOFED Limited President as their Patron. She later advertised their product to the house.

SPEECH FROM ELDER E. T. ELEGBEDE: He apologized for coming late and thanked God as a former Vice President of Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited, but he pleaded for full support from the Cooperative Movement in Ogun State by buying more Shares in Conglomerate and cooperate with other States.

President OGSCOFED Limited, Alhaji (Dr). Abdulrazaaq Ola Balogun FHNR, CBD,

OGSCOFED LIMITED PRESIDENT SPEECH: The Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (CFN) South West Coordinator and President, Ogun State Cooperative Federation Limited (OGSCOFED) Alhaji (Dr). Abdulrazaaq Ola Balogun FHNR, CBD, congratulated Mr. Felix Ajibode because his election into the post was through the divine intervention from God. He added that sitting together, winning and dinning is like a dream to him. He added that we had been denied of our post in the past, but he thanked God that at the end, we sing a victory song. He appreciated Elder F. B. Ajibode for settling dispute between the leaders and the regulators. He later thanked Elder Ajibode for his style of good governance. He recognized the Cooperative leaders for being there when there was conflict.

Mr. Samuel Mustapha, Director of Cooperative Services, Ogun State

DIRECTOR OF COOPERATIVE SERVICES: Mr. S. O. Mustapha said he has been preaching for peace, as when there is no trust, there will be no peace. He pinpointed the Nigeria situation now that leads to transition. He said he did not belief that there is agitation between the Director of Cooperative Services and the Cooperative Movement, it is just that issues must not be personalized. He said, all what he is doing is for the progress of the Movement, and that we should not tampered with the law, but stay within it limit. The Director of Cooperative Services, Mr. Samuel Mustapha remarked that he is a very humble man and that we should respect authority and avoid fighting beyond reconciliation, because we may not gain what we loose before reconciliation.

Related post: OGSCOFED Limited: Sendforth party in honour of Mrs. J. Olawanle Bisiriyu

Ag. Executive Secretary OGSCOFED Limited showcasing Odua Yam and Plantain flour

VOTE OF THANKS: On behalf of Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited, Chief C. A. Ogunkoya appreciated the presence of the Director of Cooperative Services, OGSCOFED Limited, Leaders and Past Directors of Cooperative Services and entire members at the program. He thanked the initiators and the Chairman Organizing Committee, Elder Felix Ajibode. He prayed for safe journey back to our various destinations.

Response: The President, Odua Cooperative Conglomerate Limited (OCC) Elder Felix Ajibode promised to pay all arrears due to Ogun State, but laid emphasizes on the need to be patient, because he is working hard towards recording huge amount of surplus this year.

CLOSING PRAYER: Mrs. Sotikare from Remo Branch II said the closing prayer at exactly 2:40pm.

The guests on the high table along with delegates took to the floor, danced, while menu menu were served.

Mrs. I. M. Ajeigbe, Reporter

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Raising awareness through co-operative education

Two new initiatives aim to raise awareness about co-operatives, particularly among young people

The lack of awareness about the co-operative enterprise model is one of the main challenges faced by start-up co-ops. A number of recent projects have been trying to address this by promoting the co-operative enterprise model, particularly amongst the youth.

According to the Co-operative College, one of the most substantial barriers around awareness of co-operatives is the continued absence of the model in curriculums across the world. This is something the College hopes to change through many elements of its work, including participation in the YOUCOOPE project.

YOUCOOPE is a European project that aims to encourage educational institutions to include the cooperative model in their curricula and to promote it among young students and entrepreneurs. 

The ten institutions involved, including the College, are designing innovative training modules with resources, methodologies and tools for educators to integrate cooperative entrepreneurship concepts, skills and real experiences in their classroom. 

A key part of the initiative will see the launch of a MOOC (massive open online course) that will be free for anyone to complete. The College is also playing a key role in the delivery of a programme of workshops that will roll out during spring next year.

Dr Sarah Alldred, international programmes manager at the Co-operative College, said: “It’s crucial for the future success of the co-operative movement that younger generations are introduced to the benefits of co-operation. The unique challenges that we face demand alternative approaches, and integrating co-operatives into curricula will increase awareness of a model that’s proven to empower people and bring about real, radical change that benefits more than just a select few.”

More information about the project is available online, where details of how to register for the MOOC are also set out.

Another recently launched initiative is YouTHink COOP (YTC), a youth focused educational activity organised within the framework of the ICA-EU Framework Partnership Agreement (#coops4dev). The project aims to offer young entrepreneurs and professionals the opportunity to learn more from their peers and to attend trainings on important topics that can build their professional skills and knowledge.

The Global Youth Forum in Kuching, Malaysia, included sessions on youth projects

The first session took place on 9 December and explored what co-operative entrepreneurship is about. Jose María Luzárraga Monasterio, social entrepreneur and founder of LEINN and Mondragon Team Academy thinks one way to raise awareness about co-operatives is to highlight how they are different from conventional businesses.

“We are not embracing competition, but cooperation”, he said. “It’s not about doing it alone but doing it together. And not about people doing extraordinary things but the whole society becoming an entrepreneur, ordinary people that do extraordinary things, not extraordinary individuals. We choose not to do alone what we can do together.”

Another key message should be the social imperative behind setting up a company, highlighting how co-operatives are diverse, multigenerational, and multicultural, he said.

“The essence of co-operative entrepreneurship is people coming together to do something they cannot or do not want to do alone,” he said. Yet, most educational systems across the world focus on individual performance.

“We are trained from an early age to be marked and evaluated alone so we lost what makes us human, a social being. So need to change our identity – am I an individual entrepreneur or a team entrepreneur?” he asked.

In spite of these challenges, Mr Monasterio feels optimistic about the futre of the movement. “Young people want to change the world, embrace solutions and digital platforms. If we reframe how we approach young people, create solutions and address challenges, then they can discover that the best way to create is a co-op legal form.”

During the session Jakub Lyszkowski from Warsaw, Poland, shared his experience of being involved in the Dobrze Food Cooperative, the only one of this kind in the country. Set up seven years ago, the co-op started as a youth project led by people in their 20s and early 30s. Their story was shared in a documentary by Aroundtheworld.coop. It now counts on 500 members and has recently opened an online store. The funding was raised through crowdfunding rather than a loan from a bank.

What was the key to success? He thinks it was important to have a sharp message and highlight that being part of a co-op was a “cool, fun thing to do.” His main tip for promoting the co-operative model is avoiding institutional language and enabling young people to implement their ideas by giving them opportunities to try.

“People learn about co-ops quite late,” said Marc Noel, International Development Director at the International Cooperative Alliance in Brussels, who first heard about co-ops at the age of 24.

“We look forward to seeing the formal education sector start talking about co-ops. But until then informal education and telling stories becomes very important. Young people need to know that the co-op model is an option. We can all be storytellers,” added Mr Noel.

Source: Coop. News

Co-op. News

How co-operative law helps co-ops grow

‘Law is one of the means to ascertain which of those entities, which claim to be a co-operative, are really a co-op’

Traditional companies are governed by corporate law. But globally, the legislation governing co-operative entities is far less standardised. How does legislation affect the growth and development of co-operatives? And what role does co-operative law play in safeguarding co-operative identity in the first place?

The International Labour Organization (ILO) published its first guidelines on co-operative law in 1998. A second edition followed in 2005, and referenced the newly adopted ICA Statement on the Co-operative Identity, UN guidelines for the development of co-operatives, and the ILO Recommendation No. 193 concerning the promotion of co-operatives. 

“The reference in UN and ILO documents to the co-operative values and principles demonstrates how important those values and principles have become. More and more co-op laws refer to them,” says Dr Hagen Henrÿ, adjunct professor of comparative law at the University of Helsinki and chair of the International Cooperative Alliance Committee on Cooperative Law (ICA-CLC). 

The ICA-CLC works with the ICA’s Identity Committee to develop proposals for contemporary legal interpretation of the definition of co-ops. It has recently launched a website, legislation.coop, with the aim of providing a portal to co-op laws all around the world. 

Parallel to ICA-CLC is Ius Cooperativum, a community of co-operative lawyers which organises the International Forum on Cooperative Law and publishes the International Journal of Cooperative Law.

He was previously chief of the ILO’s Co-operative Unit and wrote the first, second and third edition of the Guidelines for Cooperative Legislation, for the ILO.

What makes a ‘good’ co-op law?

For Dr Henrÿ, a ‘good’ co-operative law is one which translates the complex co-operative principles – as defined by the ICA – into legal rules. In turn, the countries that have got it ‘right’ are, theoretically, the ones which best translate the principles into legal rules. 

“The ICA Statement on the Co-operative Identity is part and parcel of the statutes of the internal rules of the ICA, which is an association – so for the members of the ICA (and indirectly also for the members of those members) this is highly important and also legally relevant because it’s part of their duties to make sure that they respect the statutes,” he says. 

“Do co-operative laws help co-operatives grow? The short answer is yes. But the question speaks to a very, very complex reality. I think law is one of the means to ascertain which of those entities, which claim to be a co-operative, are really a co-op. We should rely more on law to provide the mechanism to find that out.”

Implementation and education

The challenges around legislation don’t stop at the laws themselves. “The implementation of the law is very important. It doesn’t help just to have a good text if the law is not implemented,” says Dr Henrÿ. For co-operative laws to be implemented and upheld, there must be lawyers who understand them – but, as with business studies and economics, co-operatives are missing from the syllabus in most law faculties.

“One of the first questions I always put to my students is: ‘Have you ever come across co-operative law?’ With a very few exceptions, the answer is always no, never,” he says.

He saw the subject disappear from the curriculum, research and textbooks from the beginning of the 1970s. “Anecdotally, around that time, there was the oil crisis, the first report of the Club of Rome, conversations about the limits of growth – responding to how natural resources were being taken out of the equations and the financialisation of economics. There was thinking that you could replace the ‘natural resources’ which you need for the economy, with capital. And that led to giving preference to companies which put an emphasis on capital and maximising profit, meaning co-operatives were off the table.”

But things are changing again as new debates around sustainable development have come to the fore, and social responsibility has become a serious legal issue, instead of just a political one.

In this context, the issue for co-ops  – and co-operative law – is how to demonstrate co-operative distinctiveness. “This is quite a hard thing to do because businesses report on the same things, such as the environment and social issues,” says Dr Henrÿ. “The two things which are still distinct to co-operatives, and will hopefully remain so, are democratic participation and solidarity, in the legal sense. Solidarity means basically that you accept obligations, without any legally protected expectation that you would get something in return; that is a key issue for co-operatives and co-operative law.”

MEC and Safeguarding

As well as enabling co-operatives to grow (both in quantity and quality) co-operative law also has a role to play in safeguarding active, current co-operative enterprises. In September, the sale of Canada’s Mountain Equipment Co-op to US private equity firm Kingswood Capital Management caused an outcry and soul-searching in the global movement – particularly among MEC’s own members, who vehemently declared they had not been consulted on the decision. 

“Regarding MEC, I’m not saying this could have been prevented by law because I don’t know the case, but I think there was a serious issue of not involving the members, as they should have been involved, according to the principles,” says Dr Henrÿ.

Related: Members of MEC plan next steps in their fight for co-op ideals

“It is an extreme example, but it highlights the issue of participation, or rather the lack of it. In general, we know that in co-ops of all sizes, participation is an ailing issue. I think it is also misunderstood by many as you go to your general assembly where you have one vote per member. 

“I think this is a very, very simplistic if not ridiculous view of things – this is not the level to which participation should be limited. It has to be really enshrined in all operational and organisational aspects of the co-operatives.”

Source: Coop. News

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