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Let's Look Seriously at How Co-operative Enterprises Might Do Business Together

15 Nov 2013 1:29 PM | Terry MacDonald (Administrator)
The sixth co-operative principle is know as 'Co-operation among Co-operatives".  So how does it happen, or perhaps more precisely why isn't it happening more. This is perhaps one of the most discussed questions amongst avid co-operators.  And while there are some positive examples, there appear to be many of missed opportunities.

For example there are many sound business financing and marketing opportunities in Africa and Asia, yet co-operatives in the west seem more interested in send co-operative development support than they are in actually doing business.

Part of the reason there may less business to business relationships  with co-operatives outside a local community may appear to be a risky proposition, and one if it fails in someway it leaves open the likelihood of questions of leadership competence from members. 

So what are your thoughts in this regard? What does co-operation among co-operatives mean to you? To what extent do co-operatives co-operate now?  What and where are the opportunities? 


  • 21 Oct 2014 11:25 AM | Richard O'Farrell
    Co-operatives tend to value their independence far more than co-operating together. Collaboration is undoubtedly the way forward - where 'people together are stronger', as in one message of the new Co-op marque - but Co-operatives do tend to be border bound, especially if we exclude the Global 300. Apex Orgs have done much good, but much more remains to be done. Fears, uncertainties and doubts abound in all walks of life - Co-ops have to move beyond that and embrace the global realities of the digital world. For Co-ops to become a credible alternative they need ground-breaking innovative structures to make the kind of impact for which people everywhere are clamouring, crying out – whether in Africa, Asia, India, Latin America or among the socially excluded present in every Community.
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