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It’s Now and Forever: Engaging the Youth in Deepening our Cooperative Identity

Key lessons on leadership from the 25 Voices initiative were presented at last month’s Global Youth Forum, hosted online by #Coops4Dev. The initiative was launched in early 2021 to promote the World Cooperative Congress. Three members of 25 Voices formed the “It’s Now and Forever” panel and called for “cross-generational and inclusive” leadership and urged the cooperative movement to remove barriers between younger and older members.

How are cooperatives in the Asia-Pacific region living their co-operative identity?

Balu Iyer
Regional Director
ICA Asia and Pacific

COVID-19 has highlighted the perils of valuing short-term gains over longer-term viability. This has accentuated the pitfalls of relying on market-oriented models which increase inequality and translate into lower levels of ‘social capital’ and wellbeing. It has also brought to the fore the importance of the ‘real’ economy (which generates goods and services) and the role of cooperatives within this.

Mothers of the sea

Located just off the southern shores of the Republic of Korea, Jeju Island is home to over 3,000 female divers, or Haenyeo, who dive 10 meters under the sea without any breathing equipment. Today, there are 3,613 Haenyeo, and they share their harvests equitably with each other. They are all members of fishing cooperatives on the island, represented by the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives, which has 154, 870 members nationwide.

Message from ICA Director General

On behalf of the International Cooperative Alliance, I would like to re-affirm my commitment that ICA will be hosting the 33rd World Cooperative Congress in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from December 1-3, 2021. My team is in the process of planning an exciting programme that will be held in person as well as online.

Cooperatives offer solidarity and support to the Fairtrade movement

Global sales of Fairtrade products in supermarkets have grown steadily during the pandemic but non-grocery sales have slumped, according to Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation. Before the pandemic, sales of Fairtrade products had increased to approximately US$9.8 bn in 2019 and, while last year’s figures are still being calculated, the Foundation believes overall sales will not be down as much as they feared.

Message from the ICA President

The global COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed all our lives, causing a healthcare, economic and social crisis which has plunged the world into the deepest recession since the Second World War. The pandemic has also accentuated many of the other great global challenges that we still face including climate change, inequality and poverty.