International Co-ops Day

logo Coopsday 2022 seal version
On Saturday, July 6, people around the world will celebrate the International Day of Co-ops with the theme “Co-operatives Building a Better Future for All.”

Celebrated worldwide for more than a century and officially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on the centenary of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in 1995, the International Day of Co-operatives is commemorated annually on the first Saturday of July.

The theme for this year’s celebrations, “Co-operatives Building a Better Future for All,” offers the opportunity for food co-ops and other co-operative enterprises to showcase their contributions to building a more equitable and inclusive future, and to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030.  The day will also build momentum toward the second International Year of Co-operatives in 2025, which was declared by the UN last fall.

Here in the Northeast U.S., the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) and its member co-ops are spreading the word: When you shop at your local food co-op, you’ll not only find good food, you’re also Building a Better Future for All by supporting…

  • Local Food Systems. The NFCA’s annual impact survey found that on average, more than 25% of sales at our member co-ops were local products, supporting small producers and building more resilient communities.
  • Food Security. When you shop at your co-op, you’re making healthy, affordable food more accessible to everyone in your community, and ensuring reliable markets for local farmers and producers.
  • Good Jobs. You’re supporting more sustainable jobs and better wages for employees. 60% of co-op staff are also members, sharing in the ownership of their grocery store.
  • Sustainability. Your consumer dollars support family farming, organic agriculture, reduced packaging, and a business model based on meeting people’s needs rather than maximizing profits.
  • A More Inclusive Economy. Your Neighboring Food Co-ops are jointly owned and democratically governed by 185,000 members — people like you who are working together to build a better food system and economy that works for everyone.

Guided by shared Values and Principles, co-operative enterprises contribute to economic, social, and environmental sustainability across the economy and around the world. From farmer co-ops to food co-ops, worker co-ops to credit unions, housing co-ops to mutual insurance, co-operative businesses strengthen communities, enhance local resources, advocate for social responsibility, and promote sustainable business practices based on long-term well-being rather than short-term profits.

So, it may not be surprising that the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) was the first worldwide business network to endorse the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and be recognized as a partner in their advancement. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, offered a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 goals that recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

International #CoopsDay is an opportunity to learn more about the co-operative movement, and how your local food co-op is working to build a better future for all.

Erbin Crowell, NFCA Executive Director and Carla Decker, Former Board Chair, NCBA/CLUSA celebrating the 2022 International Day of Co-operatives.