In the face of the global crisis generated by COVID-19, the organization of family farmers into cooperatives (or similar collaborative figures) may be key to meeting the challenges of the future.
The initiative has an important component that targets women and youth in family farming.
The initiative has been designed in collaboration with a number of organizations, which we would like to publicly thank for their participation: LORRA, KONFEKOOP, CSCE-EKGK, Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias de España, COGECA, Agriterra, ACODEA, Kaiku Cooperativa, Fundación Cándido Iturriaga, Laboral Kutxa, Cajamar, UDAPA S.Coop, ABERE S.Coop and ABELUR S. Coop.
2 June 2020 – The World Rural Forum-WRF launches a new initiative with the aim of promoting agricultural cooperatives and associations, taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Under the name of AgriCOOPDS, the initiative promotes the agricultural cooperativism, through the dissemination of good practices and clearly showing the contribution of cooperativism to the fulfillment of SDGs, and will seek to create an enabling environment that facilitates the adoption of better public policies.
Cooperativism allows for the pooling of supply and the improvement of prices, thus increasing the income of its members. It improves access to quality services for its members and creates sustainable and quality employment. The organization of the agricultural sector in cooperatives allows the mobilization of more capital and resources and contributes to a greater redistribution of wealth.
For all these reasons, cooperatives are an intrinsically social and sustainable business model that contributes directly to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In this regard, the United Nations Decade of Family Farming 2019-2028 (UNDFF) highlights, for example, the importance of the participation of women and men family farmers in cooperatives to improve their negotiating skills and conditions and as a catalyst for a steady supply of products in the market (UNDFF Global Plan of Action, 2019).
The AgriCOOPDS initiative is primarily aimed at agricultural cooperatives themselves, who will have the opportunity to learn about their contribution to SDGs through a web-based survey, which will also show where they can make the greatest effort to increase that contribution.
WOMEN AND YOUTH IN THE COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT
The AgriCOOPDS initiative has an important component that targets women and youth, farmers and family farmers affiliated to trade unions or agricultural organisations on all five continents.
In this sense, the initiative aims to increase the incorporation of more women and young people as members of existing cooperatives in their regions, which would strengthen the cooperatives themselves and contribute to improving the quality of life of youth and women in family farming.
COOPERATIVES ARE ESSENTIAL TO ACHIEVE THE SDGs
Agricultural cooperatives are directly linked to 69 SDG targets, 41% of the total existing targets.
The contribution of cooperatives to rural development, facilitating the achievement of targets related to inclusive economic development, climate change, hunger or inequality in rural communities, is done through their work in the productive area of the primary sector, but also through the development of the cooperative and collaborative spirit that facilitates the development of more cohesive and resilient societies.
Now more than ever, let us take advantage of, value, support and trust the enormous potential of family farming and agricultural cooperativism to ensure food security and sustainability of the planet. Family farming and its cooperatives today are the key that will prevent food crises of the future.