The International Co-operative Alliance is an independent, non-governmental organisation established in 1895 to unite, represent, and serve co-operatives worldwide. It provides a global voice and forum for knowledge, expertise and coordinated action for and about co-operatives.
The Alliance’s members are international and national co-operative organisations from all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, industry, services, banking, retail, fisheries, health, housing, and insurance. The Alliance has members from one hundred countries, representing one billion individuals worldwide. Several hundred million people draw all or part of their income from a co-operative.
The Alliance is the guardian of the co-operative definition, values, and principles enshrined in the Statement on the Cooperative Identity and included in the ILO Recommendation 193/2002 on the Promotion of Cooperatives.
Social and Solidarity Economy at the Alliance
Co-operative enterprises are a major part of the social economy. As a values-based and people-centred model of enterprise, co-operatives contribute to the sustainable development of the communities where they operate.
The International Co-operative Alliance has a role in promoting the co-operative model globally and, with that, promoting and supporting the role of this part of the social economy. To that end, the Alliance has published a Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade where it outlines a vision for the co-operative movement to become the acknowledged leader in economic, social, and environmental sustainability, the model preferred by people, and the fastest growing form of enterprise by 2020. The Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade identifies five strategic areas that make up the core work of the Alliance: participation, sustainability, identity, capital, and legal frameworks.
Relevant publications and outputs
- Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade
- Co-operative Growth Report for the 21st Century
- Co-ops for 2030: A movement achieving sustainable development for all
- Co-operatives and the Sustainable Development Goals – a brief
- Co-operatives and Sustainability, an investigation into the relationship
- World Co-operative Monitor