On the same day the world was officially proclaimed home of seven billion souls, the United Nations General Assembly officially declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives with the theme of “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World”.
“This Day of 7 Billion – is not about one newborn, or even one generation,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “This is a day about our entire human family.”
According to the U.N., one billion of the seven billion souls on the planet belongs to a cooperative and such cooperatives, especially in agriculture, are important to alleviating poverty and increasing economic opportunities in less developed countries.
According to the latest Global300 report, released today and prepared by the International Co-operative Alliance, the world’s largest 300 co-operatives generate revenues of $1.6 trillion—equal to the GDP of the world’s ninth largest economy. Most of the 300 largest cooperatives are found in the developed economies of France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands and the United States, with 30 per cent engaged in the agriculture and food sectors, 23 per cent in retailing, 22 per cent in insurance and 19 per cent in banking.
Among the successful cooperatives that will be participating in the yearlong cooperative celebration is GROWMARK. More than 150 representatives of the world’s largest co-operatives are in New York City for the official launch and side events this week.
GROWMARK is a member of the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) and the Canadian Cooperative Association (CCA) – both of which are supporting the campaign – and member cooperatives are being encouraged to participate on a local level with promotional materials, such as window clings, posters and other graphic pieces. GROWMARK will publish a 2012 calendar with photos that exemplify the cooperative spirit.